Mayhem in Single Valley presents you with a simple concept of exploration and problem-solving. Dodge all monsters in your way or distract them to get past.
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Fluxscopic Ltd.
Release date: 20 May, 2021
There is mayhem in Single Valley. Everyone turned into radioactive, mindless monsters that can kill you in one hit. Explore the whole valley, dodging all monsters along the way, to save everyone.
Mayhem in Single Valley is presented in a combination of 2D and 3D graphics. Characters are depicted in 2D sprite graphics that are placed vertically in 3D environments. It gives a unique look to the game, especially with the use of shadows to strengthen its style. Environments are displayed similar to the 2D graphics with simple-shaped models that are enhanced with their textures.
To be honest, it’s hard to figure out the story. The game starts just like any other day in the main character’s life, except that you don’t know who is he or what he is going to do. Everything will be revealed as you progress, although it does the same thing again by letting your character wandering out of nowhere which leads to somewhere. It’s hard to figure out the connection between the explorations, but at least you got all the main plots covered. If that doesn’t satisfy you, don’t worry – the story isn’t the strong point of this game.
This game has a unique concept compared to other action games – enemies can attack you, but instead of giving you a weapon to slay them, you are left with leftover items that you can find everywhere. You can’t throw these items to defeat the enemies, but you can distract their attention. Yes, Mayhem in Single Valley focuses on avoiding enemies, as a single hit from them will lead you to death. You can choose between dodging their attack or luring them with any item that they will like – squirrels love acorns, rabbits love carrots, and so on. Having some general knowledge about animals might help you to save your skin if you are not fast enough to dodge their attack, although dodging is always an option if you prefer more action.
Despite the core concept of luring enemies, you start with a small inventory slot. My bag was full right after I cleared the first area, and I’m not that even long into the game. Moreover, I didn’t know that most items in my inventory were useless at that time, so it was hard to let go of them – in fact, I still have 2 useless items that I got from the beginning by the time I finished the game.
The mechanic of Mayhem in Single Valley is not just limited to dodging enemies. It incorporates some puzzles in adventure games, in a sense where you need to figure out what to do to proceed the area. Most solutions are simple, although some will require you to think a bit to solve. However, there is one area where I got stuck, and the game doesn’t seem to have any hint system to help their players. It’s still acceptable though since the game revolves around trial and error.
A lot of collectibles are available to be found. There are two types of collectibles: clones and… well, collectibles. While the latter one is just for an achievement purpose, collecting clones will allow you to upgrade your items, allowing you to pass through the areas with ease. Some collectibles are well-hidden although most of them can be found in plain sight.
The game seems to discourage you from completing the collectibles. There is no backtracking – you are bound to restart the game or load your earlier saves if you miss one at some point in the game. Luckily, there is no reward apart from some achievements and upgrades, although it also means that you shouldn’t waste your time looking for everything if you don’t care about achievements.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the game in 13.7h. Some of my playtimes were spent in making a guide and reloading my early saves to check out any missing collectibles. The game isn’t hard as long as you know what to do. The one-hit die nature of the game might terrify some people, but checkpoints are abundant and the game autosaves often. You’re not going to experience problems from playing the game, especially if you know which item to use to lure the enemies.
Resources are limited, so you can’t move around in the same places for too long. Lastly, the last minigame is just too long. I wished that it was made shorter or made with some checkpoints in between.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Mayhem in Single Valley is a unique experience that I didn’t expect. You can play it in two ways: figuring out what the enemy likes to lure them away from you or dodge everyone in your way. To be fair, I’m not the type to pick up and waste my items, so I tend to use the latter option. It’s still fun playing the game though, exploring the whole unique areas of the Valley and trying to figure out the hidden areas. The small “minigames” that are put in some areas also help to break the repetitiveness, while some solutions are tricky enough for my taste. People who are fond of exploration will like this game, especially those who don’t mind doing some puzzle solving.