REVIEW : Hell Architect (PC)
Hell Architect is a 2D game in which you construct and manage Hell. It’s a city-building game set in Hell, developed by Woodland Games. You play as a new employee, seeking to get as much work as can from the many “sinners” as you build. The first thing that comes to mind is Hell Architect’s disturbingly charming 2D visual style. Even when you make your small line of sinners do horrific things to themselves, it manages to be charming.
Apart from its art style, Hell Architect’s biggest selling point is its gameplay. Hell Architect has a lot of depth to it in terms of gameplay. To summarise the gameplay, there are three basic components: sinners, materials, and construction. And, to avoid giving too much away about the game, I’ve just saved photographs from the beginning.
Sinners are the small helpers that the player is given to complete the various duties in your own personal Hell. Players will begin with around four sinners in each new scenario or sandbox.
At frequent times, new sinners are presented. And these sinners can be instructed to mine for materials, perform various chores such as food and water preparation, work on the building, or be tortured and killed to provide the Architect with a few materials. Every offender has a few characteristics that make them more suited for certain vocations. There are even Legendary Sinners that arrive with extra perks and bonuses for the gamer to work with.
If it weren’t for the game’s supplies, all those sins would be wasted. Metal, earth, and coal are the game’s fundamental ingredients, collected through simple mining and utilized at every construction level. There are rare resources to mine, such as green and blue crystals, which aid in developing new structures to make Hell more efficient. Not to mention the materials that sinners make, such as suffering and essence. Suffering is created by suffering sinners, whereas essence is created by torturing a worker in the darkest pit of Hell, where your worker has gone missing and is no longer accessible to serve you.
The game’s core loop is to create new structures to improve certain triggers and produce more resources, which allows the player to build better structures. At first, you are given basic blueprints and the knowledge of how to generate food, water, and suffering, but the responsibilities of the various structures gradually shift and develop. They can get imaginative and fun by the conclusion of the run.
All of the game’s elements work nicely together and complement each other in different ways.
Some constructions in the game, for example, require essence to update or purchase. You’ll need to extract the resource from sinners for this. However, the essence is most often created by saner sinners. This means that there should be enough systems to supply sufficient resources to the sinner while also forcing them to work hard enough to extract the fundamental resources.
This is only a simple example, and it’s something you’ll see in the game’s early stages. As the game progresses, Hell Architect manages to include many more gameplay scenarios similar to this one. There is a dark sense of humour sprinkled throughout in each of these jobs, which made me laugh. I recommend that any new player goes through the tutorial because it is thorough and will help them master the game fundamentals.
However, base gameplay is only one facet, and how one handles it depends on where it occurs. There are scenarios and a sandbox in the game. Sandbox is simply a fundamental gaming set that the player can toy with and create as quickly as feasible. On the other hand, the scenario is the game’s story mode, and it’s a little off. The tutorials should be completed before beginning a scenario. This is important not only to understand the basics but also because the tale begins with your instructional instructor serving as a recurrent character.
The story follows the player as a low-level Hell architect as they work their way up through the ranks while completing the duties assigned to us in each of these scenarios. There are a total of seven of them, ten if the lessons are included. Each of these sends the player into a new area of Hell with only the most basic tools, forcing them to grind for all of their previous upgrades. This gave the impression that we were pausing a lot in the middle of the story. Several individuals are part of Hell’s bureaucracy who supervise and work with you, all of whom are voiced. The voice acting isn’t horrible, and in most situations, it’s rather decent, but the dialogue and the character irritated me. Even the imp, who is supposed to be our ally, was the game’s most irritating character. I have encountered a few bugs in the story mode where an objective is not shown as completed for a while, even after it is done. But for the most part, playing the game was smooth. And I almost forgot about the soundtrack, which is fitting as I thought it was average.