Mayhem in Single Valley is a fast-paced adventure game with eye-catching pixel-art design.
Developed by Fluxscopic Ltd. and distributed by TinyBuild, Mayhem in Single Valley is a 2.5D action adventure with many hints of platforming and some RPG elements. The aspect of the video game that stands out above all the others is undoubtedly the aesthetic aspect and this is precisely the case with this game, which presents a nice graphic section of aesthetics pixel-art.
The choices related to the visual aspect, moreover, are perfectly integrated with the setting and theme of the video game, whose plot refers, in fact, to to the science fiction and horror classics for children of the eighties like the series stranger things.
Back to the 80’s
In Mayhem in Single Valley we get to play Jack, a boy from the town that gives his name to the game, about to leave his parents’ house to go to university. As he prepares to leave, Jack witnesses an inexplicable event: a humanoid creature, eerily dark in appearance, releases a kind of poison into the local aquifer. The effect of the contamination does not take long to reveal itself: anyone who comes into contact with the water, animal or person, transforms into some kind of radioactive zombie, willing to hunt and kill or mutate those around him. In addition, the catastrophe will be blamed on Jack, guilty only of being nearby at the time of the incident, who You will have to act to save your city and clear your name.
As has already been said, the video game is inspired by the works of the 80s, but he does it with awareness and a touch of parody. The almost total randomness of the events that trigger the adventure and the absolute naturalness with which the blame is unloaded on the protagonist represent some of the most common characteristics of the products of that decade.
Platforms, puzzles and adventures in abundance
Mayhem in Single Valley is characterized by a gameplay of unbridled rhythm, where there is a lot of few moments in which the player is given time to reflect on the next step to take. As if this were not enough, just by being hit once by an enemy we will die. Some technical features prevent the path from being overly frustrating, as is the case with the clarity and simplicity of the actions to be carried out. To progress we will often have to solve puzzles or overcome platforming sequences, but in any case, the solution of these will always be in the correct interaction with the elements of the environment.
So that these passages are not so obvious and so that the pace of the game remains high, there is the constant presence of numerous enemies. Also with respect to these, the solution is to interact with the environment: we don’t have the possibility to fight zombies, but we can use some objects to distract them and keep them away from us. From a certain point on, it will also be possible to “cure” them to make them human again. Finally, there is an improvement system, which allows us to enhance some aspects of the character.
Despite the positive aspects listed so far, the gameplay of Mayhem in Single Valley does present some negative elements. Among them, there are two that stand out the most: the lack of originality and the repetitiveness of it. The mechanics of the game, as fun as it is, no different than what numerous other titles have done (in some cases even better) more or less recent. Also, even though he tries to touch various mechanics, after a few hours the title starts to look repetitive.
The pixel-art can almost everything
The game’s graphics, characterized by the use of pixel art, exploit the technique of 2.5 dimensions, that is, two-dimensional characters and items move within a three-dimensional environment. As mentioned in the introductory paragraphs, this choice gives the title a particular aesthetic, that blends well with the setting and tone of the game. Mayhem in a Single Valley It also has a good variety of scenarios, from urban environments to others of a natural nature.
On the other hand, many of these landscapes seem a bit generic, making our journey into this pixelated world somewhat less pleasant. Probably using fewer zones would have given developers the ability to give them more personality.
By comparing the strengths and weaknesses found in Mayhem in Single Valley, we realize that they are only two sides of the same coin. The game is designed to be an enjoyable pastime, capable of entertaining without excessively testing the player. To achieve this, the video game is forced to give up the search for originality and depth. Despite this, Mayhem in Single Valley achieves what it sets out to do: give a few hours of carefree and fun play.
Mayhem in Single Valley is fully translated to English and is available on the Xbox store.
- Nice pixel-art graphic section
- Simple and fun gameplay
- Little originality in his approach
- After hours something repetitive is done