Review: Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This?

Nathan Grayson | 3 Sep 2009 09:00
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You've never played anything quite like Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? In a gaming landscape where you can't walk two feet without stubbing your toes on yet another Halo-clone or button-mashing action title, Holy Invasion of Privacy stands out as something completely different. But while the game's certainly a breath of fresh air, Master Chief, Mario and the red-eyed Killzone guys aren't in any danger of falling off the top of the charts just yet.

Holy Invasion of Privacy is hard. Really hard. The game's retro-chic pixelated style suits it well, since here "Game Over" screens aren't all but extinct as other modern games would have you believe. In Holy Invasion of Privacy, failure is a foregone conclusion.

The game's main mode works like this: You construct a maze to keep pesky JRPG heroes from capturing your fledgling demon overlord and preempting his plans for world domination. Unfortunately, the glitzy, glamorous lifestyle of an evil ne'er do well isn't all it's cracked up to be. Heroes delve into your dungeon, do their thing, and before you know it they've hogtied your overlord and dragged him to their castle that's conveniently situated about two feet away from your Cave of Malevolent Intent. Then you start the whole game over again.

Despite that fact, however, Holy Invasion of Privacy isn't too frustrating. Instead, each game over serves as a learning experience that helps you build a more efficient maze the next time around. And boy, is there a lot to learn.

The basis of your maze is the soil itself, which picks up nutrients, which create slimes, which feed creatures, which - yeah, it's pretty complicated. Basically, your maze, which you build block-by-block, is an ecosystem. Breaking blocks that contain more nutritional value than the average hunk of dirt will yield oozes, near-defenseless creatures that move in straight lines and spread nutrients to other blocks. Depending on how many nutrients a block sponges up, it can give birth to any number of monsters, which serve as your only real line of defense against the day-saving, evil-slaying scourge known as "heroes." Monsters, in turn, eat oozes in order to mature and grow more powerful. Thus, maintaining your ecosystem quickly becomes a tricky balancing act.

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