Shattered Haven: a zombie apocalypse survival puzzle game from Arcen Games

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Arcen's Shattered Haven bills itself as "an environmental puzzle game about family, grit, and survival", and I'm very grateful for that first comma because family grit is something I generally steer well clear of. Following hot on the heels of A Valley Without Wind 2, Shattered Haven (opens in new tab) is a zombie survival game, sorta, and from the available evidence it appears to be a very slightly tower defencey one, in that you lay traps to defeat the zombie menace. The game's currently in beta - a beta only a week long because the full game is launching March 18th. Blimey, Arcen work fast.

Here's the setup: "Grays roam the land, largely in the absence of human interference. These aren't your typical Zed -- theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse. Animals spontaneously transform into twisted, violent beings. The earth decays, collapsing into a network of abysses. The wilderness thickens." I love a nice thick wilderness, me.

The short beta is down the game's levels being handcrafted, in contrast to Arcen's typically procedurally generated approach. Shattered Haven's story revolves around the Williams family; in each level you're trying to keep one or more of them alive, while tactically eliminating the assorted zombies (sorry, 'Grays') by using tools, dropping traps and so on. If 100 stages, local co-op and a branching narrative isn't enough for you, there's also a level editor, so you can subject the poor Williamses to even more turmoil. What did they ever do to deserve this?

Shattered Haven is due out next Monday, but you can get it slightly cheaper if you buy into the beta now, without knowing if it's any good or not first. The following video illustrates how the game's top-down puzzley action works.

Thanks to IndieStatik (opens in new tab) .

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.