Review: Alien Hallway – as much fun as a one-sided tug of war

alien hallway - screenshot 1
Review: Alien Hallway – as much fun as a one-sided tug of war

Platforms: Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Alien Hallway

Publisher: Sigma Team Inc.

Developer: Sigma Team Inc.

Genre: Action, Strategy, Casual

Release Date: August 19th, 2011

Developer Summary

Alien Hallway is a totally new action- strategy shooting game for the PC developed by Alien Shooter series makers, Sigma Team company.

Control an entire army in a challenging single-player campaign mode with a simple click of the mouse. With an approachable interface, players can go through a three-dimensional battlefields destroying the enemies with superpowered weapons, throwing various types of grenades, using airstrike skill, and upgrading both the base and the units. Players make serious decisions saving the soldiers and earning gold bonuses which are vital in this intense confrontation.

What We Think

From Sigma Team, the makers of Alien Shooter 2 and Zombie Shooter 2, comes Alien Hallway: a tug of war PC game on Steam. The tug of war genre was made popular by such games as Warcraft 3 and Starcraft 2 by way of custom maps. For those unfamiliar with the genre, let me take a moment to explain: a typical tug of war game lasts a good 20-30 minutes and consists of two or more sides throwing units at each other.

alien hallway screenshot

The units gather around the mid-point between the two or more sides and fight to the death repeatedly. The way to win usually comprises countering the units on the field with your own while upgrading to advanced units faster than your opponent. A good tug of war typically has 60-100 units.

How Alien Hallway stands

Alien Hallway steps up to the genre and then falls down, flounders and ultimately drowns in a pool of its own mistakes.

Essentially, there are two manner of unit in this game: close-combat types (shotgunners, flamethrowers, etc.) and the obvious counter long-ranged classes (snipers, riflemen and such). On the enemy side there are ten or so varieties, ranging from small to huge, and they all remind me of black-lit frogs.

alien hallway - upgrade screenshot

Friendly units include an engineer that looks and acts like a Protoss probe, collecting minerals excuse me, “energy” which is used to create other units during a game. There is also a Flamethrower, Rifleman, Sniper, “Shotgun Man,” Machine Gunner and a few others that basically do the same thing. The game offers very little variety between the enemy classes, with perhaps one standout being the suicide bomber.

The game is rather easy even with the difficulty set to Hard, and each level only lasted three to five minutes. On offer are some twenty-one levels on three different tiers, and while this may seem like a lot, in reality each level is played on the same map with different amounts of enemies.

alien hallway - screenshot 1

Each tier takes place on a different map, which aren’t all that creative or exciting in the first place. If things unexpectedly get too difficult, the game offers “skills” which can be upgraded between levels. Each unit can upgrade his skills to level 10. The upgrade system requires the completion of goals attained from winning individual levels. All told, the whole game only takes two to three hours to complete.

alien hallway - upgrade screenshot2

The Final Count

As stated above, a typical tug of war map on Blizzard’s Starcraft or Warcraft series contains much more content than the entirety of this title. To be clear, I am not asking Alien Hallway to compete with the core content of any Blizzard title, but rather illustrating that these in those cases, the maps are user-built and offered for free over and above the title, and here the developer does not even manage as much as the modders and DIY’ers.

starcraft II -1 tug of war
A little game of tug-of-war from Starcraft II

Is this a fair comparison? Maybe not, but I always have the option to reach for the custom maps, and so it should be taken into account. By the same token, was it fair that id Software managed to turn the industry on its head (let alone the fact that they created an industry) by putting out DOS based games as shareware?

Recently, I have seen two types of indie developers: the ones who want to make put out a title, maybe make a little money and output something like Alien Hallway. Not to mention that there are other micro-developers, in some cases a team of five or less who output Super Meat Boy, Solar 2 or Bastion wherein these developers had a dream, a need to make these games no matter the cost. I hope we continue to see more of the latter.

Get Alien Hallway on Steam

Alien Hallway at the Official Sigma Team Site

[xrr rating=”0.5/5″]