LifeisXbox’s Hell Architect review | Waiting outside his office for what was, in actuality, half an eternity you are finally at the front of the line. As his aide opens the massive, cast iron door to his office, you are overcome with dread. You’re standing in front of his towering desk, forgetting your own relatively small stature. On top, you spot his nameplate. Lucifer, the big boss of Hell itself. As he silently flips through the pages a smile appears on his face. “Yes, you will do fine. Demon, I’ve chosen to appoint you your own circle of Hell to design as your own.” He extends your hand and you shake it.
Hell Architect was developed by Woodland games and published by Leonardo Interactive.
ℹ️ | We played Hell Architect for 7 hours on PC. This game is also available on MacOS.
What we liked!
- Gameplay | So you’ve settled into your new office, let’s go over how you ought to run the place. Since Hell is underground you have lots of materials to build stuff with, but you’ll also need to dig yourself out nearly all of your infrastructure. Using the dirt, coal and metal you can have your sinners dig up for you, you will be able to make the most basic necessities. You have to feed them, provide them with drinkable liquid, a bed-like place to sleep and somewhere they can excavate their bowels while in between excavating the ores. Now Hell wouldn’t be Hell if we didn’t require this other resource above all. Suffering. Make sure to torture ‘em nice and hard, as suffering is somehow responsible for being able to craft most things. Besides suffering there is another intangible resource you need to extract for some more exotic projects. The very life essence of sinners themselves. This is part of the trifecta that sees us try and keep our sinners alive and out of Limbo. The healthier they are, the more they can suffer, work and deliver their life essence when sacrificed in one of many ways.
- Graphics | The visuals in Hell Architect are actually pretty friendly on the eyes for how hostile the place is to humans. The style is what you’d best describe as cartoon violence. Why the violence, specifically given the many ways you can torture or even sacrifice your sinners. A great thing is how you can tell what is going on when you’re zoomed out all the way, but once you zoom in there’s fun touches and details to be found all over the place. Like how the BBQ has a little “no broccoli” sign or each bed comes with little tally marks for the days. A point I also wanted to touch on is that the menu has options to clothe the usually naked sinners and to remove blood for those who might not be so inclined to see it splattered on many of the walls.
- Hellish soundscape | When you think of what hell would sound like, I’d imagine constant nails on a chalkboard while babies are crying and at least 2 mosquitos are constantly close behind. Well maybe it’s like that for the sinners, but your architect kit seemingly came with some nice headphones. Hell Architect is very good on your ears. The main menu music is quite bombastic but is actually quite happy. From the demon’s point of view at least. While in-game you get some quieter background tracks, which allows you to really hear the suffering if you want to. Whether it’s the squishing of flesh getting iron maiden’ed or boiling of an oil bath if you zoom in closer to these elements they come more into focus. The voiced dialogue during the tutorial and campaign missions were also a very nice addition that livened up the experience.
- Demonic tutoring | Given the complexity management games like these usually bring with them, a good tutorial is always a nice thing to have. This means we’re in luck since Frank is here to guide us through the basics. Clearly being punished for his own slothfull management, Frank is tasked with providing you three superbly voiced tutorial levels. His sarcasm, tired and done with this shift demeanour will help you get to grips with making your circle of hell function like a well-oiled torture machine. Seriously, it’s been a while since I felt this positive about a tutorial.
- At no point playing Hell Architect did things irritate me just a little.
What we disliked
- Sinful AI | This might just be me, but the AI of the sinners was often what I was fighting the most. Sure, they go and do the tasks you tell them to do directly. It’s mainly when they need to look after themselves that they seem to possess limited autonomy. For example; on one map I made sure to build everyone a bed so there wouldn’t be any hold-up when someone needed a nap. Sadly, no matter what I tried, they all went and used the same bed. Which meant some died from sleep deprivation.
How long to beat the story | 10 hours
How long to get all achievements | 20 hours
Similar with | Oxygen Not Included
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.