This is a game that looked to be the best mix of idle gaming, topped with strategy and satire. Oh, and torturing people in the fiery pits of hell. What’s not to like!
Turns out, quite a lot.
Hell Architect by Woodland Games is a side-presented Hell simulator. It has resources for you to mine (one of which is suffering, obviously), facilities to build and a lot of management to keep your people alive and happy. Well, alive and happy enough so that you can extract the optimum amount of suffering out of them.
You start by clearing out the areas in Hell, which often involves digging down (using your people, obvs) and extracting resources to build the necessary items. This is primarily just to keep your people alive and out of purgatory. Obvious misunderstandings surrounding the direction of travel in the afterlife aside, it’s an interesting idea that should force you to strike a delicate balance between torturing your internees and keeping them fed, well(ish) slept and ready for work.
Unfortunately, it’s micromanagement and busy work at its worst. It’s never really clear on what they the “buildings”, such as they are, do or why each tech addition seems to exist just to exist. Not to make your life easier, or to progress and optimise flow in your resource queue like other games – no, they just seem to exist because. As such it’s almost impossible to plan an effective build queue for what you want to do. You may as well just do it randomly. Your primary focus will be the toilet (which generates water, natch) and food generation. Following that, sleep will be your next big issue, as if you’re low on any of these then your minions will start to die. In Hell.
Yeah… I know.
I think I can see what they were trying to do, but it’s just not that fun to play. And without the sense of progression, there’s no incentive to.
The game could probably be saved by the art and humour. They’ve clearly gone for the comedic side here – a smart choice, given the subject matter. Everything’s ‘cutesy’ and over the top which actually serves the game well. It’s just…. Well, everything looks so naff. This game looks like one of those browser-based games you got in the early noughties. I feel bad for the developers as a lot of effort has clearly gone into the artwork but mein ghot, it’s bad to look at.
Couple that with a tedious game-play loop, scant sense of progression and just general boredom when playing that I can’t recommend this game at all. Not even on sale. I really wanted to like it (a hangover from my dungeon keeper days), but there’s just nothing here.
Pray you live a good life as I’ve looked into Hell, and it’s playing this game.
Hell Architect is now available on Steam and Xbox/PlayStation networks.
Verdict: Crotch Shot
Platforms Available – Microsoft Windows, Macintosh
Platform Reviewed – PC
Review based on a review copy provided by developer. Please read this post for more on our scoring policy