Every now and then a nice original game comes along and H.E.D.Z is definitely one of those games! It's really hard to describe what kind of game H.E.D.Z. is, so I'll refer to the description given by VIS Interactive, the developer.
"Meet the H.E.D.Z... a hyper-intelligent, pan-galactic, cross-dimensional race of quite short extra-terrestrials, that visit Earth on a regular basis, abduct interesting human specimens, hack off their heads and take the trophies back to their home to use as weapons in their most popular sporting pastime....But hey, who's perfect?"
"En route, each head is transformed into HedWare, using a secret alien process. Once converted, any alien can slide this head over their own and adopt the powers of its previous owner. So 'Clown' HedWare lets the alien throw custard pies, whereas 'Captain Ahab' HedWare means they fire harpoons . . . it's as simple as that!"
H.E.D.Z. features a 3rd person view, 250 different "Hedz" to choose from, multiple arenas called asteroids, and of course tcp/ip play.
Even though H.E.D.Z boast's 3D card support, I wasn't too impressed with the 3D graphics. Most of the effects are very bland and boring, for example the explosions and gunshots. The textures of the arenas aren't too impressive either. Most of the arenas are very blocky and looked like cardboard cutouts. The graphics, however, aren't bad to the point where they make the game un-enjoyable, they just could be better. I did not see any texture flaws or any other graphical errors. In fact, the game ran very smoothly on my P2 system.
Sound & Control -
The sound is pretty good. I really enjoyed all the voice effects for each head. Each character has his own little stereotypical remark he/she says when you select them. One nice touch would have been background theme music for each arena. The control takes very little getting used to. You have several very basic commands such as jump, shoot, change head, open backpack so it's very easy to control your character.
This game is VERY simplistic, but its still loads of fun. You run around killing other hedz and collecting their head, and sometimes you get a key to open a door or breakdown a wall. That's about it for what you do in this game. It did take me a while to beat some levels though. You have to act fast to get keys off other hedz before they snatch them up. It's very hard to compare this game to another title already out there since it is so unique, but I suppose it is a little along the lines of a side scroller or an arcade platform game.
Fun Factor -
This game rules! I had a blast playing this game. My only complaint is the lack of more levels. There are 250 different H.E.D.Z ranging from Russian Planes (flying) to a crazed guy in a snowplow. The variety of Hedz alone is sure to provide hours of fun. Some levels do become difficult and tedious, that's why I opted to play multiplayer, which is even better.
A wide variety of connections are supported, the most popular being TCP/IP. Even with just a dial-up host the game runs pretty smoothly. My only complaint is; just 4 people can play. Once again, I had a great time in multiplayer.
Overall Impression -
I can't stop playing this game, I definitely recommend it for anyone that gets a kick out of mindless shoot 'em up games. It's a very unique game that offers hours of fun gameplay.
Graphics: 12/ 20
Sound: 12 / 15
Gameplay: 26 / 30
Fun Factor: 18 / 20
Multiplayer Play: 5 / 5
Overall Impression: 8 / 10
Total Score: 81%