by Timothy Peers


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Short-lived fun which does what it says on the box., November 25, 2010
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: Inform, IFComp 2010, comedy

In Heated you play a messy guy with a messy life who needs to get to work early, and in a more than presentable state, to secure a raise from the boss. This is a small adventure with a handful of domestic problems for you to solve in a finite number of moves. Things will go wrong frequently, and when they do, your heat-o-meter climbs in response to the aggravations. Get back on track and you will cool off a bit, hence the game's title.

The production is not polished (there are typos and incidences of inconsistent programming) but the important thing is that it works as a whole, however modest, and thus is fun if you enjoy figuring out how to optimise your path through a game's obstacles in the fewest number of moves. There are some Babel Fish-like moments la Hitchhiker's Guide and some cute jokes like (Spoiler - click to show)the move-eater that your backyard turns out to be.

The game is too small for its inconsistencies to really mess you up, and its size is a plus in terms of the gameplay style -- as soon as you learn a better way of doing things, you can replay through an optimal path in a matter of seconds or minutes. This doesn't mean you can't save the game, but UNDO gets you further het up.

One problem with Heated only becomes apparent once you've completed it - (Spoiler - click to show)that the game's small scale mitigates against your heat level really having much of an effect. But the idea that life might work to sabotage us in little ways when we have a deadline comes through clearly.