FranknJohn is a really unusual game that I’m not quite sure what to make of. It’s a fairly addictive 3D brawler, with a highly unusual attack  mechanic at it’s core.

You play as a small boy, thrown into a world built of different types of cubes and separated into rooms by gates. Each room is populated by monsters and traps. You need to avoid the trap spaces and beat up the monsters by throwing your head at them. Yep, your head is on some kind of elastic string chord and you use one of the analogue sticks to swing your own head at enemies to defeat them.

This head swinging combat mechanic was surprisingly responsive and enjoyable during the small portion of the game I played. you can either throw your head in a set direction and pull it back, or swing it around your head in circles like someone swinging one of those medieval spiked balls on a chain. I worry that their doesn’t appear to be much room for growth or addition of extra combat mechanics here and that this may not support the full game, but I may be proved wrong as what I played was both responsive and enjoyable.

The game is half procedurally generated. When I say that, I mean that there’s a pre made library of room types already made, which the game then procedurally pulls from to create random worlds based on different configurations of the existing rooms. The rooms are then procedurally filled with enemies and your start and finish points are generated. The worlds all felt cleverly designed, but there were some minor issues where cubes would look the same height as each other, but seemingly have differing height values preventing my attacks from landing unless I moved onto their cube. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed before release.

One of my favourite parts about the game visually is the main character design. A small child with a bald tatoo’d head and a bolt stuck into one side of his skull, he’s cute, but with enough of a dark edge that he fit in well with the rest of the world around him.

I’m interested to get some longer hands on time with the game in future to see how well the core head swinging mechanic holds up, but I must say I really enjoyed my time with FranknJohn and have high hopes for the full game.

About The Author

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Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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