Deadly Chambers for Android review

Android shooters are a bit of a rare commodity, at least when compared to the slew of puzzle and arcade style games which make up the majority of the Android gaming market.  Some of you may have some experience with Android shooters, including Quake, and the port of GameLoft’s Nova.  Today, we’re bringing you a new addition to this rather sparse genre: Battery Powered Games’ Deadly Chambers.

In Deadly Chambers, you play as Dr. Chambers (clever, yes?), who has been taken captive by some unknown assailant and forced to fight for his escape.  While playing, you will be faced with numerous foes, who get tougher and harder to beat as you progress through the game.  Never fear, though, for you are constantly rewarded with bigger and better weapons to slay your enemies.

The game can essentially fall under both the FPS and TPS (third-person shooter) categories, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Are you curious yet as to how this game stacks up against the likes of titles such as Quake and Nova? Continue reading after the break for the full review of Deadly Chambers for Android.

When you first load up Deadly Chambers, you are presented with the option to start a new game, continue your saved game (you can only have 1), or go back and play a level you have already cleared.  When starting a new game, you are presented with the standard selections of “Easy”, “Normal”, and “Hard”.  I typically like to go the middle route on anything, so for the purposes of this review, I chose “Normal”.

The presentation of the menus and loading screens has a very polished feel, and an attention to detail that is often times neglected in games.  The loading screen between each level marks your progress to the 5th and final level.

Before you enter a level, you must first select the three weapons you wish to bring with you.  Choose wisely, because once you pick them, the only way to select new weapons is to start the level over again.  When first starting out, you are given only a pistol, but you unlock additional weapons as you progress through the game.  There is quite a diverse range of weapons to choose from, including a sawed-off shotgun, laser rifle, Tommy gun, and my personal favorite, the bazooka.

When you start a level, you are greeted with a taunting message from your captor (I’m not exactly sure how you receive said message.  MMS perhaps?  I hope Dr. Chambers is not getting charged roaming fees).  Speaking of Dr. Chambers, the character model’s face is eerily lifelike, and makes me wonder which of the developers was chosen to be the protagonist.

Now, in terms of the UI, you are given several different camera options, including a first-person mode, and several third-person ones. I will discuss first-person in a minute, but for now, let’s focus on the third-person aspect of this game, which is the default camera angle.  While the game follows a linear progression, the areas in which the enemies spawn is anything but.  Each room you enter becomes sealed off, and will only unlock after you have defeated a series of enemies which magically appear throughout the room.

Playing in third-person gives you a much better chance at seeing when enemies are spawning beside and behind you, which is usually the case.  I found that playing in first-person required a constant turning motion, which is not exactly the easiest thing to do.  One downside to this is the loss of accurate aiming, and although there is somewhat of an auto-aim feature while in third-person mode, it makes the game feel slightly cheap.

This sadly brings us to the game’s most fundamental flaw: the actual gameplay itself.  For the first two levels, the entire playing experience consisted of traveling from room to room, killing monsters which spawn in no logical order, and hoping that a first-aid kit or some ammunition randomly drops.  I found myself running out of ammo more times than I could count, and without a way to melee attack, you are basically left to die and start again.

(update): I was informed that when you run out of ammo, more will drop somewhere in the room, so you are never left without a means to fight.  Perhaps I overlooked this, or perhaps it wasn’t obvious enough.  Either way, I felt the need to add this update.

Many of the monsters utilize a ranged attack, which I found difficult to avoid and cost me a great deal of health. You are able to continue from where you died, but instead of spawning outside of the room where said death occurred, you are forced to run all the way back through the level.

The levels also left much to be desired, with most of the wall and floor textures finding their way into every single room I visited.  The textures themselves weren’t necessarily bad, but I was tired of seeing them after about the third room.

Conclusions:

I consider myself a pretty seasoned gamer across a variety of different platforms.  However, I was unable to continue playing past the second level of this game for a variety of reasons.  First, and most importantly, the ratio of monsters to kill and ammunition dropped was not enough to keep myself armed for the duration of the sometimes endless spawns of enemies.  On normal difficulty setting, I died over 10 times trying to get through a particularly nasty room, which significantly reduced my desire to continue playing.

Secondly, the game itself was incredibly redundant and uninspiring.  The only unique experience was the boss found at the end of the first level, which required a bit of thinking to be able to beat.  This game could have significantly benefited from having to think a little bit, rather than just mindlessly shooting enemies 95% of the time.

Graphically, the game was not terrible.  The weapons all had unique skins, the monsters were easy enough to differentiate, and although the level designs were redundant, visually they were pleasant.  I was also impressed by the overall stability of the game.  The user menus, weapon changing, and overall gameplay were uninterrupted by glitches of any kind.

Also, story is an often overlooked aspect in many games, and this one is no exception.  The plot I was able to gather is I was being held captive for no apparent reason by some unseen foe, and my only mission was to blast my way through unexplainable monsters to achieve my freedom. I understand this is a game on a mobile phone, but I don’t think that means there’s no room for a meaningful storyline.

This game has the potential to be a solid offering in the Android shooter genre, but must overcome these various shortcomings in order to do so.

  • Gameplay: 4
  • Graphics:7
  • Story:4
  • Design:6
  • Fun factor: 6
  • Stability: 9
  • OVERALL: 6/10

For more information about this game, or other titles by Battery Powered Games, visit their website.

    • http://www.batterypoweredgames.com Robert Green

      Thank you Tyler for a very fair review of Deadly Chambers. If I may correct something – I accept that we could have done more to diversify or make for more interesting gameplay, but the one thing we didn’t do is leave you without any kind of ammo option. If you find yourself out of ammo, scan through your weapons. You will either have a different weapon with ammo left or you will see an ammo spawn somewhere in your room. There should never be a point in which you are truly without a fighting option.