Our Rating: 7/10
If there is a more unique approach to video games, it is unquestionably the ability to play the baddie. The games that provided this to gamers can be counted on one hand, with the Dungeon Keeper franchise being perhaps the best example. Even though we aren’t technically villains in Hell Architect, we have a difficult task ahead of us; at least for the unfortunate souls who reach hell. Regardless of philosophical debates, it is a job that must be completed. And believe us when we say that it isn’t easy! Even a soul condemned to an eternity of anguish has requirements.
It doesn’t have the same evil tone as Dungeon Keeper. However, it does have the same dark humor and concept. At the end of the day, we are all representations of evil. Only the management aspect is present here, but it is presented in a much more complex manner. From a practical standpoint, someone has to deal with the situation; even if the souls continue to arrive (every 10 minutes, to be more precise). The principle is intriguing and, for the most part, works well.
It is very similar to other games in the genre, although it manages to provide a minimally enjoyable experience. It doesn’t have highly original mechanics and instead prefers to take the safe route of recreating previously successful gameplay. However, this isn’t entirely a bad thing. Particularly for those who are already familiar with these games and are merely looking for a new topic to focus on. Don’t get me wrong: Hell Architect is a fun game with a lot of potentials; it’s just following a tried and tested formula.
Stages and Modes
Hell Architect is in 2D, so we can see everything that’s going on right away. Zooming in and out got us where we wanted to go quickly. Being as practical as possible in this regard is a plus. The fact that navigation is natural and does not frustrate the player deserves to be commended in this type of game. This is because we need a wide field of vision.
There are 3 stages of difficulty and two game modes to choose from (Sandbox and Scenarios). In the Sandbox mode, we’ll have complete freedom. Whereas, in the Scenarios mode, we’ll find the tutorial; as well as specific goals and challenges in each of the nine scenarios. The game is more enjoyable in this mode. Sandbox mode becomes tedious after a short time and appears to serve no purpose.
No, we aren’t incarnations of the devil. Ironically, we are merely one of the dreaded cogs in the entire industry from hell, literally! The pressure to please the boss is evident. And, as in any capitalist system, we will have to make others suffer to avoid suffering ourselves; at least because suffering is the currency here.
An endless cycle of pain
As I previously stated, a new soul enters hell every ten minutes, and we can obtain energy from each of them by torturing them, resulting in the generation of points. The goal of the game is to build multiple torture rooms so that we can collect points and build more torture rooms and platforms in an endless cycle of pain. However, it is an agony festival that must be carefully managed because souls have needs that, if not met, can lead to death.
Overall, it reminds me a lot of the game Oxygen Not Included, which was probably the studio’s biggest influence and inspiration when it came to making Hell Architect. We’ll be able to mine and excavate resources, transforming a small initial region into a large and complex colony in the medium and long term.
We’ll use the poor souls there, too, to perform a variety of tasks ranging from digging to building small structures and torture machines. But don’t let it bother you; forced labor is a luxury in this hellish existence, as torture is the alternative. Woodland Games was very inventive in this regard, considering a variety of approaches to excruciating pain.
Gore abounds, matched only by its comedic side. It’s a game that you don’t try to take seriously – which is fortunate, given the context – and that, given the absurdity of the various situations, is capable of eliciting the most unexpected laughs.
It’s very well-designed in terms of graphics. The slightly animated and grotesque aspect also contributes to the ideal environment for everything to flow naturally, and the interesting artistic situation must be highlighted. The audio is also of high quality, with subtle background music and humorous and macabre sound effects that add to the overall experience.
Hell Architect is a fun way to kill time and unwind (if you can unwind while torturing souls for all eternity). A game that will delight anyone who enjoys a good dose of black humor as well as those who simply want to be entertained and have a good time with the absurd. It could, however, have a more interesting Sandbox mode, which is inferior to the Scenarios mode.