Faif Review

Faif Review

Mar 24, 2014

Faif is an ultra-minimalist take on the RPG combat/puzzle game that is commonly seen on Android like Puzzle Quest. Faif is a game that was created as part of the Ludum Dare game jam and was made in a very limited amount of time.

Faif’s concept is an interesting mix between a fighting game and a puzzle game. The playfield is compared of a grid of tiles. On each is a skull, sword, gem or heart. Players take turns stringing together any five tiles on the board. When five tiles are selected, the game randomly picks a tile from that set and the tile selected has an effect. Matching a sword allows the player to attack the opponent, but only if skulls are also matched. The number of skulls in the combo affects how much damage is done, but if a skull is selected instead of a sword the player hurts themselves instead. Landing on a heart heals the player and gems can be exchanged for powerups in the shop.

Screenshot_2014-03-23-12-40-13Since the game randomly picks a tile, the idea is to match enough skulls to do decent amounts of damage without having so many that there’s too great a chance of the player doing damage to themselves. Thus there are several different strategies such as high risk attacks or weaker attacks that are safer. It’s also possible to employ defensive strategies, such as a lot of healing.

Computer opponents are randomly selected and range from out and out attackers to more defensive players. Faif lacks multiplayer which is a shame, as it would be a fun game to play online, despite its randomness.

Screenshot_2014-03-23-10-05-28A shop is also available in game that stocks spells and other affects the player can buy with gems. As the player plays more games and levels up, they start with more gems thus unlocking the purchase of spells from the start of the game. This feeling of progression is well done and makes it possible to get further and further into the game. A nice collection of achievements also motivates play.
Faif’s presentation is very slick. The tiles are easy to see and the colours used are contrasting and good to look at. With its fancy backgrounds, pulsating buttons and smooth animation Faif looks really good.

Faif’s sound really meshes well with its combat vibe and is as striking as its graphics. Strange but awesome wild westernish style songs play in game and it just nails the one-on-one-somebodies-gonna-die feeling of the game. The sound is well done as well and is a complex as it needs to be.

Faif is one of those games where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it might be simple but it has a laser focus on gameplay and involving the player and its graphics and sound really show what can be done with so little. Faif is as much art as it is game and is worth a close look.