Screens: Herman (360)
Developer: Dirge Game Studio
Publisher: Dirge Game Studio
Release Date: January 2010
Los Angeles, CA (December 2, 2009) – Dirge Game Studio is set to release their classic scroller Herman on Xbox Live Indie Games in January, 2010.
Herman is the absurdly funny story of a man who struggles through a brutal midlife crisis and attempts to quit work — only to find that his co-workers do not take kindly to the idea of “one of their own” escaping their shared fate. Players pit Herman’s wits, kicks, and arsenal of tangerines against his crazed ex-coworkers as they use anything at their disposal to thwart him: fists, rulers, bowling balls, flying staplers, RC airplanes, model rockets… and yes, even potato launchers. The gameplay is fun on any level, but is especially intense and challenging on the higher difficulty settings.
Certain moments of Herman are beautiful and touching, approaching the level of Braid…and this is not said lightly. However, at it’s core, Herman is a game riddled with hilarity. Quirky enemies: funny. Death knells: funny. Numerous homages to classic games and cult movies: funny. The face Herman makes when a stapler is bounced off his head: funny. Another example: two of the possible upgrades you can choose to outfit Herman with are “Herman’s lucky fedora” and “70’s baseball shinguards.”
One aspect that definitely sets Herman apart from other games is the fact that the backgrounds play a major role in the unfolding of the story. As players scroll through a series of over 200 beautiful backgrounds, they learn the truth about Herman’s past and find out what caused his emotional break. From childhood all the way up to his breakdown, players witness Herman’s successes and failures in life. Many of these backgrounds are genuine works of art.
And then there’s the music. The music in Herman is of a caliber that is rarely seen in smaller studio games. The 15+ music tracks perfectly compliment the backgrounds, while still maintaining the twisted quirkiness common to the Herman universe.
One could argue that Herman is one part Braid, four parts Lode Runner, five parts Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and three more parts Butthole Surfers. It’s a wonder that this recipe was not stumbled upon sooner. One last note: half-way through the game, there is a major plot twist. But that’s a secret…for now.