Hektor is essentially a really bad acid trip. The aim of this first-person indie horror game is never really certain, but gameplay consists of stumbling your way through a bizarre ever-morphing facility that is part asylum, part jail, part god-only-knows-what, looking for something new to do.
Sounds like plenty of other scary indie titles so far, but Hektor has a very interesting USP in that its environments are constantly shifting, so rooms that you’ve just left behind will suddenly reappear in front of you. At first you’ll simply think you got turned around in the gloomy corridors, but the third or fourth time it happens, you’ll finally twig what’s going on.
This ever-changing layout is quite unsettling and adds a layer of uncertainty into your progress; is this whole thing just some bizarre, twisted fantasy, or is there something more complex going on? However, it can also be quite tiresome as it never really ends. In games such as The Park and that infamous Silent Hills demo, morphing environments can be a very effective mechanic. Here, it feels overused and often results in aimless wandering.
You don’t spend the entire two hours of gameplay simply wandering about, however. Occasionally you’ll find an object to grab or interact with, or a row of lockers to search through (which frustratingly are almost always empty). You’ll pick up bottle of pills as you wander about, which further add to the doubts over your own sanity, but they don’t appear to have any real use, or at least none that I could ascertain.
When you hit a certain point in the game, you’ll also start running into evil zombies. Some of these rather funny-looking flesh-chompers merely pop out to scare you silly, while others lumber after you to gnaw on your face. Death comes quickly, but there’s no real consequence and therefore not much reason to panic. You simply reappear again and continue to wander through the seemingly endless corridors.
Hektor isn’t a bad game, in that it doesn’t annoy or frustrate. I didn’t come across any bugs and occasionally it can be quite unsettling (or at the very least shock when a monster lumbers around a corner). However, it doesn’t do much to grab your attention either and there are too few interesting ideas to make it work, despite the short length.