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Fallen Haven

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs


GAME DEVELOPER:Interactive Magic

GAME PUBLISHER:Interactive Magic

Copyright 1997, Interactive Magic

Fallen Haven is a noble attempt by I-Magic to attract non-strategy gamers who are interested in the turn-based strategy genre but found X-COM too daunting. Perhaps more appropriately called “X-COM Lite,” Fallen Haven fails on its premise, and instead delivers a humdrum and repetitive experience that nowhere approaches Panzer General in accessibility or fun.

The game’s setting is the familiar “human vs. aliens” (in this case the Taurans) cliche — so we might as well not bother. What makes the game interesting, though, is that it offers the strategic overlay on top of X-COM-style tactical battles. Tim Chown, strategy editor of Games Domain, explains why the game isn’t as good as the competition:

Fallen Haven does manage to be quite a fun game to play, but the problem comes when you win your first game and you then find the next one treading the same path. A lack of randomness, even in resources, is not easily forgiveable. You could I guess argue that Command and Conquer only gives you 15-ish levels per side, and at least Fallen Haven lets you fight dynamically over its levels. But the opportunity for a fun and replayable game was, I feel, missed here.

The interface also is worthy of mention. While each screen looks great, they don’t gel too well. There’s no way to get unit info up for the selected unit, there’s no overall unit summary screen, and there’s no mini-map on display in the main tactical view, you have to drop out to a separate screen. This makes redeploying units into defensive positions after capturing a territory something of a pain. And most bizarrely the very pretty unit encyclopedia can only be viewed outside of the game.

In its favour the game does have a very simple and efficient save game facility, and the buttons to reserve enough AP for a light or heavy shot after moving are also welcomed, but these are nothing new. Your radar lets you see into adjacent territories, but you can only get exact troop types and placements from either attacking with a dropship (with one unit on board) or a nuke – oddly the post-nuke screen lets you scroll the tactical view of the enemy territory.”

The bottom line is that if you want a quick strategy game in the mold of X-COM, Fallen Haven probably fits the bill. If you are looking for a more involved game with more longevity, though, look elsewhere.

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