Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This? is a somewhat mad creation from Japanese development studio, Acquire. It's been available in Japan since 2007 under a different name and NIS America have now decided that American audiences are ready to experience this challenging puzzle/strategy game. However, it's only possible to purchase the game online though the PlayStation Store, as it's a digitial download title only.
It's apparently from the off that this is a game that doesn't take itself seriously. The player is thrust into the role of "God of Destruction" and is challenged with overthrowing humanity by making mazes that are so confusing and convoluted that even the bravest heroes will succumb to their devilish traps. Well, that's the plan anyway. To help in the player's quest, an Overlord is kind enough to serve as a guide, but he has quite an attitude. It's exceedingly comical to read his jibes that are aimed at literally everything.
Creating a fiendish dungeon revolves around a simple premise, digging tunnels. At the start of the story mode, the player is given a completely blank canvas and it's up to them to build the dungeon as they see fit. However, there is a catch. Upon finishing a level, the dungeon created carries over to the next level. This means it's possible to get to the last stage and find that the dungeon is built in completely the wrong way. Sometimes learning the hard way is the only way to learn, and in that respect Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! is very unforgiving.
What's so impressive about the story mode is there is so much creative freedom. Two people can play the game and go about accomplishing the same objective completely differently. However, having an amazingly complicated labyrinth is just a small facet of the gameplay. Keeping the Heroes at bay is of the utmost importance, as if they manage to capture the Overlord, it's game over. To combat the Heroes, it's necessary to build units and these can only be built if a good ecology is present. It's a system that seems exceedingly complicated at first, but actually makes a lot of sense after spending time to learning how it works.
A simplified version of the ecology found in Holy Invasion Of Privacy Badman! sees the Slimemosse as the foundation for everything in the dungeon. They are responsible for the overall balance of nutrients and feeding the monster population, and this means that if they are not looked after properly it's easy to be looking at a losing situation. Obviously as the levels become more complicated there is a lot more involved in keeping this ecology running smoothly, as creating the more advanced monsters requires a lot more cunning. This however, is where the challenge lies.
It's quite apparent that the developers weren't trying to pioneer the latest graphics, as there's a very obvious nostalgic feel. Every hero and monster is but a simple sprite, yet their animations are surprisingly detailed. It feels like a role-playing game (RPG) attempting to masquerade itself as a puzzle game, which definitely creates an interesting dynamic. The music also reflects this and sounds very typical of the fantasy genre.
There is a wealth of content in this game. While the Story Mode is in reality quite short, the majority of time will be spent in the game's other modes. If anything, the story mode can be used as extended training as the really daunting gameplay comes with the challenges. There are around 30 challenges available and they get increasingly more difficult; defeating them is no easy feat. Unlike the story mode, each challenge starts players off with in a set scenario, so it's a lot more restricted. For those seriously glutton for punishment, there is also a Hard Mode, which follows a similar format to the original Story Mode.
The other time sink is Edit Mode. This mode allows players to fully customise a set of heroes and stage their own scenarios. This enables the game to become as difficult as the player chooses and it's only limited by the player's imagination. How the heroes' look, speak and comment can all be determined, and their stats can all be assigned how a player chooses. The scenarios can then be played out by the player, for endless fun.
Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! is a gem hidden amongst a slew of generic and bland titles. It's exceedingly challenging, but that just makes it all the more rewarding. While the story mode may seem quite short, there is plently of content to keep players occupied for a large amount of a time. Gamers who enjoy puzzle games with a quirky sense of humour and appreciate innovation will definatly enjoy this title.