Antony Lavalle's visually striking platformer Heir is a bit strange. It tells the story of a "Pale Man" who arrives to save a kingdom from a plague of... uh... well, you'll see. That's one heck of a plague, though. Move with the [arrow] keys, jump with [X], and hold [Z] to make the camera zoom out and give you a better look at your surroundings. Which you'll need to do, because they're pretty big. You can't survive long falls unless it's into a body of water, and a single hit from . Fortunately, throughout the stages you'll find glowing orbs of white light that become checkpoints when you touch them, and hitting the [spacebar] will instantly warp you back to the last one you activated, even if you just died.
What the game is good at is impressing on you a sense of scope; the very first time you get a good look at your surroundings, it's a pretty striking surprise, and the way the screen trembles as you try to make your way up makes you feel appropriately small. The game frequently calls upon you (literally) to make leaps of faith, which can be annoying, but the [spacebar] offers instant resurrection, so you can usually point out where you should have been aiming for as you plummet to your doom. What it's not so good at is varying its gameplay. None of the game's chapters feel particularly distinct, even though the terrain changes slightly with each one, and the formula is always the same. You never really feel like you're in any sort of danger, and after a while you start wondering why nobody else could be battling this "plague" since you don't appear to have any special skills beyond occasionally making vague, mysterious text appear out of thin air. Someone get Mike Rowe on the phone, we've got a job for him!
Heir isn't a very long play, and ultimately I would like to see more of it. Just with a bit more variety. It feels a bit more like a proof of concept than a full game, and I feel like that concept has a lot of potential. At just three chapters, none of which are very long, Heir feels more like an "experience", and despite clearly taking a lot of inspiration from certain sources, is worth a look.