Imagine that you're minding your business on an interstellar research base on the planet of Terribilis when alien life-forms attack your compound, either killing or infecting everyone around you. This sounds like it could be the script for every space-horror plot ever conceived, and Hive of Evil: Alien Strike doesn't buck the trend. Your goal is to make your way through 10 alien-infested levels to the last remaining escape pod so you can leave Terribilis before it becomes your grave. The gameplay in Hive of Evil is simple and mildly entertaining, but the game is ultimately too short and too repetitive to sustain the good first impression it gives.
Each section begins with a vague description of your location and your goal for that level. The goals consist entirely of finding the exit, disposing of enemies, or some combination thereof. At any point during the level, you can access a map that indicates your location and that of the entrance and exit, which comes in fairly handy should you lose your way. This isn't likely, given that the levels are quite small, but since traversing them is merely a matter of trial and error and running from screen to screen, the mini-map helps make the short event even shorter. Along the way, your objective is to kill enemies and pick up health, ammunition, armor, and other aids, should you need them. These pickups are abundant, and even though contact with aliens depletes your life quickly, the frequently placed health pickups more than account for any possible damage you might suffer.
The controls are comfortable but not ideal. The responsiveness of the controls makes the limited directional movement seem perfectly normal, and you shouldn't run into problems navigating through the small levels, despite that the enemies move more swiftly and freely than you do. Encounters with enemies are occasionally challenging because of this, as they can approach you from a diagonal or in a way that prevents you from immediately getting a good shot off. But one bullet kills all enemies, and there are often explosive barrels strewn about the level that will easily do the trick as well. While the gameplay is quite simple--especially since all you have to do is point and click--it is entertaining for as long as it lasts. The enemies move like the speedy neo-zombies of the recent remake of Dawn of the Dead, which makes the game move quickly. This is great for gameplay, but it's not so great for the game's overall length, as the 10 levels can be traversed easily within a half hour.
Hive of Evil looks great on the LG VX7000, from the varying floor patterns to small details in the environment. Even your character and the enemies are well designed and detailed (despite the limitations of a top-down view), with shadows and realistic body movement. There's no sound at all, which is unfortunate, because some effects could have enhanced the atmosphere of the game.
The goal of Hive of Evil, aside from actually escaping, is to come up with a high score, which is determined by how fully and quickly you complete each level. However, high scores are only measured against your own personal best, so there's little motivation to play through multiple times. Although Hive of Evil is entertaining and fun for a time, it's too brief, and there's not enough variation within the gameplay to warrant playing it more than once.