A few months ago, Munich-based developer SenAm Games gave us our first look at their upcoming game Hauma. The cinematic heavy, noir interactive graphic novel tells Judith’s story, a former boxer and detective. She has found her purpose again in a cold case that spans thousands of years, worldwide conspiracy, mysterious cults and even a sacrifice. Judith has one goal – to close the case.
SenAm Games has released a first-look demo of Hauma alongside the Steam Game Festival. It is about 30 minutes worth of gameplay to introduce players to Judith and the story, teach investigative mechanics, let players explore a bit of the world and enjoy the fully voiced cast of charismatic characters.
DISCLAIMER: After this point, the post will have spoilers for the Hauma demo.
The Hauma demo opens with Judith on her motorcycle. Through her narration, I was caught up on the current events happening within the demo. Two years prior, Judith was nearly killed by a mysterious cult member. She plans to infiltrate the cult during their secret meeting that only happens once every two years. Once she arrives at the club, the real gameplay started. This is where the interactive novel style really shines. Each scene feels like it was pulled right out of a graphic novel. I interacted with different items on the screen that lit up with a white outline when I passed over it. Clicking on an item or area let me know a bit of information about it.
If there was something more to inspect, the screen would shift to a close up of the area. This was the case when I interacted with Judith’s bike and the one statue outside of the club. When I was ready to move to a different part of the club, I just needed to click on the corresponded arrow that appeared as I ran my mouse over the outside of the screen. The one thing I found that the Hauma demo lacked was checking any items I have picked up or my progress. There is also a clear lack of direction through the demo. I spent quite a bit of time in each scene just aimlessly clicking on items until something clicked. This game would highly benefit by showing current objectives or a way to check out inventory.
Besides interacting with my environment, I was also able to chat with different characters during the demo. Through these conversations, I learned a bit more about the story. This mysterious cult meets at this specific club every two years, so members have the chance to meet with the leader. Through a mix of infiltration, questioning members of the cult and a bit of eavesdropping, I figured out how to get a meeting with this mysterious leader. All I needed to do was plant a bone in my drink and then I would be the chosen one. Of course, just as I was about to exact my revenge, they figure out that Judith is an imposter and she scarcely escapes before the demo comes to a close.
There is quite a bit to look forward to in Hauma when it fully launches. The story we have learned so far through the trailer and demo has intrigued me. What kind of cult is this? Why do they need a sacrifice? Will Judith be able to uncover these mysteries and close the case? The demo itself is worth checking out to get the chance to experience how the game works and what types of things to look forward to. It will be interesting how they will implement future puzzles throughout the game and how the dialogue will expand based on what we already know.
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