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Fear & Hunger

Developer: Miro Haverinen Publisher: Happy Paintings
11 December 2018
Fear & Hunger - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.84 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
184 Ratings /
#426 All-time
#15 for 2018
In the Kingdom of Rondon lies the dungeon of Fear & Hunger, where dark forces threaten the lives and sanity of any who enter. As either a mercenary, a knight, a dark priest, or an outlander—each coming to the dungeon with their own intentions—players must survive the trials that await them.
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Title
Tedium & Frustation
There are three ways to approach Fear & Hunger. Yes, this is an overly reductive take, but bear with me.

The first approach is casual. Load it up, wander around, lose your shit at the first sight of a stinger, die early, and then quit and experience the game vicariously via YouTube. Approached this way, F&H is actually a great experience. It has a unique aesthetic and broaches topics that rarely appear in the medium of games.

The second approach is hardcore. Play for a while, die a lot, double down, study the wiki, learn the best strategies, take advantage of the game’s secrets, and become an F&H expert. For gamers who want to dig in deep, F&H can also be an excellent game. It offers all sorts of mechanics, many of which are hidden, for tenacious players to discover and exploit. Likewise, it’s packed with rewarding secrets for those willing to put in the work. Notably, players who play this way are also the ones who make captivating Let’s Play videos of the game.

Which brings us to the third way, a middle approach which falls between the first two. More dedicated than casual, but not as deep-diving as hardcore. This is where I fall in the F&H spectrum, and as you probably guessed from the two-star rating I slapped on this review, I did not have a good time.

The biggest issue for me is time. Fear & Hunger is a slow game. Your character walks like they’re wearing stone boots. Yes, there are ways to move faster, but you won’t find them unless you engage in lots of trial and error or read a guide.

The slow pace is exacerbated by the fact that life or death is often predicated a literal coinflip. Yes, there are many ways to avoid coinflips – methods which you can learn via extensive trial and error or guides. If you’re really crafty, you can even find a way to turn the coin flips in your favor – but it’s a secret you’re unlikely to discover without the help of a guide.

Personally, I found that the slow pace and chance-based deaths worked against the horror elements. Horror works best when there’s a sense of relief every now and then, but here it’s all tension all the time. Likewise for the obscenity: The game turns the flesh up to 11 early, and after ten or fifteen minutes I was completely inured to the depravity. When everything is obscene, nothing is.

After a few failed runs, I grew tired of the tedium. Under most circumstances I would’ve just dropped the game, but it was the game of the month for a group I’m in, so I felt compelled to finish it. So instead of quitting I downloaded a “Game Genie-fied” version (whoops – my age is showing) of the game that gave me lots of extra weapons and items and plowed my way through.

A few hours later, I limped across the finish line. Burnt out as I was, I was still feeling curious about why everyone else loves this game, so I jumped over to YouTube and watched a few Let’s Plays. Taking a step back like this, extricating myself from the brutality, helped me appreciate the game more. The art is lovely, and there are all sorts of cool mechanics that I didn’t even know existed.

That’s good and all. But it doesn’t change the fact that my experience playing the game was less Fear & Hunger and more Tedium & Frustration.
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toadhjo 2024-05-24T02:55:43Z
2024-05-24T02:55:43Z
2.0
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Often when I play a game that is labeled as unfair and difficult it's not long before this statement is boiled down to “once you understand the mechanics it's not too bad”. The biggest example of something like this is with Dark Souls where large swaths of the game are completely fair as long as you understand what you are working with. Fear and Hunger breaks this mold by genuinely being one of the cruelest and most unfair games I have ever played. Almost every mechanic in the game is designed to work against you. Enemy encounters can leave you limbless, having acquired permanent disabilities or encountering a fate worse than death and this could all occur when fighting the first enemy. The game also heavily uses RNG where simple things such as looting a crate could either reward you with a useful healing item or your sixth duplication of a useless piece of armor. Accompanying this base RNG is a coin toss mechanic that dictates how certain events will play out. Once prompted, you choose either heads or tails, and depending on the outcome you will either be heavily rewarded or dead on the ground. This mechanic is used in enemy encounters, specific world events and even searching treasure chests. Hell, even most save points require you to flip a coin to decide whether you get to save or get bum-rushed by an enemy.

After reading all of this you might be thinking “why would anyone want to play a game that is so reliant on RNG when even one mistake could set you back upwards to an hour”. The answer to this is how rewarding it feels to discover how to utilize everything the game throws at you to your advantage. Never before have I experienced such a sharp learning curve and been immediately rewarded for understanding the game. Some examples of this are figuring out how you can break save areas so that you never have to worry about getting attacked while saving or utilizing seemingly useless scrolls to acquire some of the most powerful equipment and spells fairly early in the game. One of the most useful strategies I utilized was doing a death run where once I saved I played very loosely and did not worry about dying just so I could see what the future encounters were which allowed me to prepare ahead. In all honesty, I feel this game is more of a survival horror than an RPG.

My final point I wanted to touch on was how in love I am with the dark fantasy aesthetic the game has. The setting, characters, and deep lore are all utilized to develop a compelling narrative where mortals go toe to toe with gods. The story displays ramifications one would realistically suffer from if one were to witness beings beyond their comprehension in a world that only seeks their demise. The feebleness of humanity, monstrosities being born from the darkness, and the willingness to delve deeper into hell are all themes I adore. These themes are further elevated by the game's extremely moody art style and soundtrack which worked so well on me that I felt queasy after my first session. The style of the whole game really is something I have never seen before and one I greatly admire.
I was originally going to end this review by saying “I love this game, do not play it” but to be honest I feel there are too many cool things here not to be experienced by someone that might be interested in it. It is a cruel game, yes, but it was probably one of the most unique and memorable experiences I’ve had with an RPG in a while. I know for a fact this game is not for everyone but I feel it has an overall low cost of entry. In conclusion, I love this game, play it.
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ThatOneLupin 2023-02-27T17:42:35Z
2023-02-27T17:42:35Z
4.0
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no sean mamones
opino que es un mal juego .no podes tocarte con el presidente ni qliar a elonk musk |,pense que aca se podian descargar juegos
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Catalog

toadhjo Fear & Hunger 2024-05-24T02:55:43Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-05-24T02:55:43Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Maliptail Fear & Hunger 2024-05-23T00:45:24Z
2024-05-23T00:45:24Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BurgurBurgur Fear & Hunger 2024-05-22T06:33:54Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-05-22T06:33:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Want to Play
courtlandia Fear & Hunger 2024-05-21T04:18:30Z
2024-05-21T04:18:30Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jovanjovan Fear & Hunger 2024-05-18T15:46:56Z
2024-05-18T15:46:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ipodd Fear & Hunger 2024-05-18T07:26:02Z
2024-05-18T07:26:02Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
NibiruShiranui Fear & Hunger 2024-05-17T10:34:30Z
2024-05-17T10:34:30Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Silly_Clown Fear & Hunger 2024-05-16T19:46:58Z
2024-05-16T19:46:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Arxril Fear & Hunger 2024-05-16T16:44:23Z
2024-05-16T16:44:23Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MiceInTheHoles Fear & Hunger 2024-05-13T17:03:41Z
2024-05-13T17:03:41Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Wolis Fear & Hunger 2024-05-12T11:25:56Z
2024-05-12T11:25:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Calixto Fear & Hunger 2024-05-11T14:59:28Z
2024-05-11T14:59:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (12) Loading...
  • Benci 2024-03-02 17:14:13.573831+00
    goku?
    reply
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  • Revolution666 2024-03-03 02:21:38.858213+00
    I don't even remember what I posted in the comments before...oh well, lol
    reply
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  • _sawdustanddiamonds_ 2024-03-10 18:53:26.448593+00
    when i saw this was horror i thought it would be more creepy vibes like yume nikki not actually scary lol
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  • babyclav 2024-03-28 21:34:59.562363+00
    Having difficulty options in this game feels like a massive oversight
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  • Potis 2024-04-01 22:25:01.894305+00
    Why would anyone do this to themself...
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  • Nergal997 2024-05-20 23:12:59.914252+00
    It's probably the greatest example of how well a high difficulty can create tension in horror genre. Too bad so much of it is so luck dependent. Also this game feels like it was inspired by Berserk a bit too much.
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