Helltaker

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Helltaker

Helltaker - Steam - Title Card.jpg

Steam - World - Title card.

Developer Łukasz Piskorz
Publisher Łukasz Piskorz
Published 2020-05-11
Platforms Linux, Macintosh, Windows
Genres Active puzzle, Block pusher, Passive puzzle, Puzzle
Themes Cartoon, Erotic, Horror

Helltaker is a mostly passive block pusher developed and published by Łukasz Piskorz for Windows on 2020-05-11, then ported to Macintosh and Linux shortly thereafter. The game was programmed in Unity. The game was updated a year later with an additional level pack.

In the game, you play as Helltaker, a hunky slab of a man who dreams of filling his house with a harem of sharply-dressed demon women. After descending into hell to convince them to join him, he discovers hell is a mess skeletons and stone blocks which must be pushed around before he can even begin to schmooze on the sexy demons. Once he gets to them, he also finds out the demon women have no qualms about killing him if he says or does the wrong thing.

Personal

Own?No. The game was never sold.
Won?Yes. With 7/10 achievements.
Finished2023-01-31.

I found this game ranked high on steam250.com. It was described as a short puzzle game with sexy demons and that was enough to interest me. I haven't finished the add-on.

Review

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6 4 7 6 5

Best Version: Windows

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The art is very nice. The closeups of the demons are well drawn with lots of characer; I especially like when you first meet Lucifer. The chibi characters bouncing to the music also looks great.
  • The music is enjoyable. It's far from boring, but also not so complex that it distracts you from planning your moves.
  • The dialogue is pretty funny and the demons each have their own personalities. Azazel, the curious angel, is wonderfully adorkable.
  • I like that the game doesn't wear out its welcome. I don't think I could take much more of the block pushing, so the active puzzles after level 9 were a nice change up.

Bad

  • The movement controls are a bit too touchy making it too easy to waste a move. Also, since bumping into a blocked stone does nothing, I would prefer it not decrease my movement count.
  • I felt like the game missed a lot of opportunities. For example:
    • Every level must be completed using the least number of moves possible. The game could let any correct solution move you forward, but given a bonus if the player found the optimal path.
    • A female playable character wouldn't be much more work, and made for an interesting alternate story.
    • The game only have two play styles: block pushing and pseudo-bullet hell. If additional styles were added, the game could be made a bit longer and more interesting.
  • Since the puzzle and dialogue are not related, it doesn't make much sense to require the player to redo the entire puzzle just to try a different dialogue option. And, since none of them are more than two options deep, it's just a pointless detour. I'd also like to see a bit more effort put into the dialogue.
  • Much of the game's content is hidden. For example, the "hints" aren't very helpful, but they do contain more enjoyable dialogue. However, if you're a decent puzzle solver, you'll never need a hint, and you'll end up missing it all. Also, you can skip most of the puzzles in the menu which lets a player bypass most of the game.
  • The close-up character art is a little grainy around the edges.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Promotional

Videos

Trailer.
Longplay.

Representation

Strong female character?FailThe strongest is Justice, but even she falls prey to the wiles of Helltaker without much effort.
Bechdel test?FailWhen speaking to each other, the women only talk about Helltaker.
Strong person of color character?FailThe cop at the end is black, but very minor. Judgement has gray skin, though I don't think she is meant to be a different race.
Queer character?FailNone of the characters are clearly queer, though Azazel possibly is.

Links

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