Fallen Haven is Interactive Magic's attempt at the top-down strategic combat take-over-the-world genre. Although at first glance you might think "Command & Conquer clone," play for a while and that thought may change to "X-Com clone." The premise for FH is the usual aliens invading a human colony, with the player controlling the Tauran invaders or the courageous human defenders.
You start with a map of the world where you begin by conquering neutral territories and building up your strength to tackle the Tauran empire. You must control territories and build up your funds to fuel your war machine or you will die and get frustrated (I tried this many times). So take it slow, use a little common sense and you should have no problems forcing your enemies to grovel at your feet.
After building some necessary brawn, it's time to bust some Tauran tail (they do have tails). The tactical view is fairly typical of the X-Com/C&C genre with its isometric view. Tactically, the game is turn-based, with fire and movement coming out of a unit's pool of Action Points. As your research efforts push your technology level higher, you can shoot more often and move farther, with thicker armor and more destructive weapons. When all the opponent's units are dead or have retreated, the survivor wins. When you take the enemy capital, you win.
The world map is always the same. Humans and Taurans always start in the same provinces, and the neutrals never change in the amount of cash, research or resources they generate. Likewise, the bases in the neutrals are always the same, so eventually tactics will degenerate into the same method of capture each time, and beyond that the route of conquest to the enemy capital will also be pretty much the same. A random map and resource generator would add immeasurably to replayability.
Combat AI is also questionable. After a bit of gameplay, you can virtually guarantee which units the enemy is going to fire upon ... the most valuable. While strategically perhaps a wise choice, the AI tends to go after big-ticket targets like artillery while paying less attention to more threatening, but less valuable units. It's also quick to take up the attack ... too quick, as all you have to do is offload your units from their dropships, set up your artillery and wait as the AI plods inexorably from his defenses to engage you, to his annihilation. The couple of units he holds in reserve then become easy pickings.
At first the plush SVGA world captures your attention, but quickly gives way to the "average" in its class. I didn't like the way the little units moved, and they seemed to be "pasted" onto the backdrop in some cases. Since I am big on graphics, these little nuances kept me from being really immersed in the game. Terrain types are limited to passable or impassable, and some types, like desert can be very confusing when trying to find a passable route to the objective (during which time the enemy artillery is usually pounding you to bits). This is due to poor 3D effects which in my mind are unacceptable.
The background music/sound is great, and this is one of my favorite parts of Fallen Haven. The explosion sounds were well done and the music was not annoying, so I kept it on for the whole game.
Minimum Requirements: Windows 95, 486DX2/66 Mhz CPU or faster (Pentium recommended) , SVGA video card, 2X or faster CD-ROM drive, 8 MB RAM
I did not like the documentation for Fallen Haven, as it had none of the substance or detail that I like to see in a good manual. I like ALL the little details about the units, terrain etc., and I figured out how to play by just playing because I got frustrated with the manual. There is a nice on-line manual which is pretty, but does not really add to the card copy.
This would have been a great game three years ago. Now it's just got too much competition to stand out, and I would not recommend it unless you are a hardcore fan of this genre. In 1997, if you really want to design a game like this, it needs to be so groundbreaking that people will put down their copy of C&C and answer the new call. As for now, I see no reason for answering Fallen Haven's call to arms — it gets a 71 out of 100 for a solid, yet average effort.
Download Fallen Haven
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP