Review: Hell Architect

Hell needs resources to keep it running and torturing the souls of sinners and it's your job to make it all work in Hell Architect

hell architect
Hell Architect

Sometimes games come up with some weird ideas that are weirdly fun. You take a common concept and it's already a bit old, put a new guise on it, mess with something and, suddenly, something new and interesting appears. Think about how many games you've seen like this. A simple game of taking down towers with a catapult trades rocks for birds and the slingshot for a slingshot and we have the Angry Birds phenomenon! Take a simple infinity runner and put a pounding system on the screen and we have Flappy Bird. Anyway, take a known idea and put your creativity on top and we have something new and different.

And this is the case with Hell Architect! A game in which you are a demon “trainee” and must manage one of the cycles of hell (a concept from the classic Dante Aligeire literature) and use souls to make everything work well. Sounds innovative, doesn't it?

The concept is simple and we've seen it in many games, from the Fallout Shelter for mobile and PC, released a few years ago, along with Fallout 4; Hustle Castle, Krusty's Fun House and even Lemmings, from 1991. You have a space and you have to guide your “minions” so that they do certain tasks and fulfill certain objectives, whether it's building something, reaching a place, eliminating an obstacle or whatever. thing like that. The difference is that, as said before, in Hell Architect you have to manage one of the cycles of hell and use the tortured souls to get resources to torture them and ensure they don't go to limbo.

A very new and strange guise for an already known idea that transforms the game from Woodland Games and published by Leonardo Interactive into something new and fun that can consume you a few hours of relaxation and laughter or many hours if you really like the genre you want to be the devil's employee of the month! A deliciously acid sense of humor, that cartoonish violence and even some things that make you say “yuck” can happen in the game, but what to expect from hell, isn't it?

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Build your cycle in Hell Architect

Hell Architect is a game about building and managing your own hell. You take on the role of a manager from hell and are tasked with developing the underworld in a way that would make Lucifer himself drop his jaw. You start out with some basic features and buildings, like power plants (yes, they need them in hell too!) and canteens (like in many companies, you have to pretend you care about your workers), making your way through of temples and toilets and ending up with some sophisticated torture contraptions like Iron Maidens and other "fun little things".

You can treat sinners sent to your “humble” abode with different and charming (or not) sources of suffering – either punishing them for disobedience or just doing it for fun (which you will sometimes do, just for the slut). Your hell, your choices. Create the hell of “your dreams” (if you've dreamed of it, better get help). You can have the famous 9 circles or create your own chaos, however you see fit!

The game starts with an animation that shows a simple scared little demon ready to go and deliver the resume (it's really "hell" companies that ask for experience from people looking for their first job) to Lucifer and, after analyzing his qualifications, he Okay gives the job and his plans to manage a place where the tortured are there in a good way. Time to end their cakewalk. Now the game starts with the title screen.

From here, it is recommended to go to the tutorial, as the game is not as simple as it might seem. Although it's a management and resource gathering game, the game has more complexity than it might seem. So, you'll start by learning the basics of how to collect some resources, build the structures to collect resources, the needs and abilities of your tortured ones, who does what best and other important things for the game.

Once you understand the controls, you won't be able to remember everything and will get lost a bit during the game. Trust me and know that if you don't make the most of the tips the game gives you, you'll get lost and the session will be hell (and not in the right sense).

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In addition to the management mode, the game also has other game modes, such as Sandbox, so you can play as much as you want, and choose your difficulty and a Scenario mode, where you have some situations predetermined by the game and have to solve the problems that come your way, if you don't have time for a complete match. The good part is that, to make it a little easier, the game has subtitles and texts all in Portuguese!

Minimum and Recommended Requirements

The game is nothing heavy and you can play it smoothly on any average PC at the highest settings, no problem. The game is single player and there is no online mode that requires the internet to be connected at all times.

Minimum Requirements

Operational system
Processor:AMD Phenom II X4 955 / Intel Core i5-750 or equivalent
Memory:4 GB of RAM
Video card:Intel HD 4600 (AMD or NVIDIA or equivalent)
DirectX:11 Version
Storage:4 GB of available space

Recommended Requirements

Operational systemWindows 8 or Higher
Processor:AMD Phenom II X4 955 / Intel Core i5-750 or equivalent
Memory:4 GB of RAM
Video card:Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 GPU / AMD Radeon HD 7870 GPU
DirectX:DirectX Version 11
Storage:4 GB of available space

Hell is other people

Developed by Woodland Games and published by Leonardo Interactive and PlayWay it comes as an interesting twist on the resource manager genre. In it, you will have the responsibility to deal with your own circle of hell and use the suffering of your sinners to feed your project and expand and create more and more misery ad infinitum. Or at least that's what you intend to achieve, as you depend on the abilities of your sinners.

You are put in charge of some cursed souls in your personal hell and given tasks to complete using the suffering you can wring from your sinners, which acts as currency. While this new job is thrown into your lap in the most corporate way you can imagine, there is a story in the game where Lucifer went to heaven and was jealous of all the beautiful statues that exist in the Silver City.

So even if you're “the new guy,” your superiors in Hell named Frank and Lilith leave it to you to complete Satan's latest vanity project of building a statue of himself. The statue, of course, looks nothing like the evil and ugly reality of the devil, but that's not your problem, is it? You're doing your job. Then, with the help of your Assistant Imp, named Bob, you begin to command your sinners to dig up resources that can be found in your hell.

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The three resources you need for anything are Earth, Blood, Coal, Mushrooms and Metal, among other things. You need one or more of these elements to build anything in your hell. Furthermore, the most advanced pieces of equipment or torture amenities require suffering, and that's where the game's difficulty lies.

Hell Architect may seem simple in its gameplay, and while it's certainly not the most demanding game when it comes to strategy or management, you can dig yourself into a hole pretty quickly if you're not careful and thinking through your next moves. While using the resources you can dig up and create, you must manage to create a steady supply of suffering for your sinners without letting them die and go into limbo.

Explore Your Circle Layout

While there doesn't seem to be any environmental effect on where you choose to place a structure, other than whether or not the area is lit and accessible, it's fun to explore your little hell and map in your head where you want to install a Torture Room, a Kitchen, the Bathrooms or bedrooms. Or you also have the option of creating something chaotic and having a cardboard box for someone to sleep right next to the latrine, which could be additional torture on your head, but doesn't really seem to affect the sinner or create more Suffering. So that might be a moot point.

To start the game, digging is critical as you need to reach the most valuable resources such as coal and metal. The earth is somehow used to build the first structures in your hell, like a simple ladder and platforms for your sinners to walk on.

Anything more complex than this will require a combination of earth, metal and coal, though not always all three. You can click on the dig option with the mouse or use the X on your keyboard to enter the dig menu and click on the squares you want your sinners to dig. It wasn't immediately obvious to me, but you can also click and drag to select multiple squares at once.

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Don't Let Your Sinners… Die?

You need your sinners to do everything, you can just order them to follow. This adds a bit of a sadistic tone to the game, with the whole “dig your own grave” vibe, except that the sinners are building their own torture devices and are generating their own suffering into a deliciously hellish experience.

Your sinners are extremely stupid. Hell Architect even warns you about this during the tutorial, and the nice part is that you can line up your orders, but they will stop digging because a block is behind a block above them, not thinking to remove the nearest block first. Sometimes they ignore a dig order and set out to dig a block on the other side of the level.

All sinners have different skill levels when it comes to cooking disgusting food or preparing the horrible dirty water they have to drink (I won't even mention where that water comes from). From what I've seen, these skills range from 1 to 3. If you have a sinner with a cooking skill level of 2, he will generate 10 units of food in each cycle. If you have a sinner with level 3 cooking skill, he will generate 15 units. This is a very exploitable mechanic once you reach a certain point in the game.

Review: hell architect | 7640b5d5 hell | married games reviews | hell architect, leonardo interactive, pc, singleplayer, steam, woodland games | hell architect
And you'll still have to go back to work on Monday

Likewise, sinners have a specific sin for which they were sent to Hell, which will affect how they can be used most effectively. Some sins will cause the sanity to decrease more quickly under certain conditions or cause the sinner to work more slowly. Some sinners are better suited for torture than others, just as some will be more useful for cooking or brewing the “special beer” than others will drink. There is certainly a strategic element to the game, even if it's simple.

Each sinner also has 5 characteristics that you need to manage to keep them working: Hunger, Drink, Thirst, Bladder and Health.

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The game allows you to create amenities for your sinners to satisfy each of these needs and you will need to use some of the sinners to operate some of those amenities. One needs to operate the water squeezer to generate something to drink (I'll really let you figure out what's being squeezed to get this water for yourself), and another will need to cook the rotten meat to increase your food supply, to name a few of the features that you need to manage.

In addition to the basic resources you get by digging, you need food and drink so that sinners don't die or go mad. If you lose your sinner, you can get him back from Limbo if he has enough pain to buy him back. Each time you lose one, the price to get it back increases.

Here is one of the game's pitfalls. If you don't plan ahead, these traits will begin to cost you your sinners and therefore your ability to create suffering and continue your expansion.

Resources and Suffering

The ultimate goal of everything you dig and build is to generate suffering, which works like currency. I have already mentioned that anything very complex requires more than earth to create, like the metal bucket for sinners to drink, the latrine, and so on. The basic amenities you can get aren't good for meeting the needs of sinners, but they work.

You can also get improved amenities in exchange for resources and a certain amount of suffering. Those are more expensive, yes, but they do a better job of raising the sinner's stats, with longer lasting effects, something common in other games of the genre.

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Building new structures in order to improve various actions and produce more materials that in turn allow the player to build better structures is the main game cycle. You are given basic projects at first, along with the knowledge to make food, water and cause some suffering, but slowly the roles of the various structures change and expand. At the end of the game, they can be very creative and fun.

All game components sync well with each other and complement each other in unique ways. For example, some structures in the game need suffering essence to be upgraded or for you to buy them. For that, you will need to extract these resources completely from sinners, but the essence of pain is more produced by sinners who are healthier. Which means that there must be enough structures to provide the sinner with adequate resources, while making them work hard enough to extract the basic resources.

Lucifer's minions will give you a task, which will gradually evolve. These sections of the game include talking heads, fully voiced and devilishly good - the humor in these parts is brilliant. My only complaint is that there can sometimes be a delay in speaking in relation to the game and it's not always clear what to do with the goal. Also, time doesn't stop when they're talking, so if you've sped up the game to speed up a building and your sinners are on the brink of death, you might miss some.

The lackeys are your advisers, while the workhorses are your sinners. Regardless of their sins, they are all treated with contempt, but you still need to keep them alive. This comes from creating food and beverage production lines and resting places. Not that they deserve it, after all they're in hell and not a resort.

A Hard Start to an Easy Journey

A well-organized hell is a hell... Happy?
A well-organized hell is a hell… happy?

Hell Architect has a certain learning curve, and your first move could be a failure when all your sinners start to need something to supply the same need, like sleep or water. When that happens, you will find yourself screwed, as having a sinner on the brink of collapse will make you useless. So you can't create what you need and it's essentially a vicious circle.

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If one or more of your sinners “die” (or go to Limbo due to collapse), you can buy them back for a certain amount of suffering and they come back with all their stats and traits as if they were new. But to generate this suffering you need sinners capable of working.

That means if your sinners start falling before you can build your first torture devices to produce suffering, then your game could be a failure and you'll have to start over. That's not right, but it's a possibility. If you have already produced some suffering and your sinners start to die, then that is not really a big problem.

You start the game with 4 sinners regardless of whether you play the prologue scenario or sandbox mode. Every 10 minutes, you get a new sinner into your ranks. Each new sinner comes with full stats and bonuses that last for a while and you can explore if you have the wherewithal to do so. The flaw in the game is that once you have 7 or 8 sinners the game no longer needs you to be actively involved in it. If you have a sinner with level 3 cooking and a sinner with level 3 making drinks, beds and enough toilets, so you can just let the game run on its own.

Leave the game running, be careful not to send anyone digging into the… (what's under hell?) and see the people thriving (if they can thrive in hell) alone. The amount of resources you will have after a while can double in some cases. Of course, if you find everything too easy, the game has other difficulties that can make your job more complicated, making resources more scarce and needs falling faster.

Sound, Animations and Graphics

The first thing you notice is Hell Architect's 2D art style, which is morbidly adorable. It can be cute even when you make your little line of sinners do horrible things to themselves. They come with vine leaves covering them, variety of colors and hair types and other cute features.

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Both the graphics and the audio are good, but it's not that impressive. Part of the game's charm is the visual and sound effects of the animations, like making Emperor Nero burn endlessly in a furnace. A few other historical characters have been included in the game and it's possible that over time the developer will include some other popular characters to be tortured (I have a suggestion for a name for you!!), and they all have some irony in their features as well. like Nero has an aversion to fire.

Lunch time
Lunch time

The animations of sinners being tortured are funny and "cute", although they can sometimes be disturbing. Nothing to lose sleep on, but you might want to develop a darker sense of humor if you don't already have one. The cute sounds they make while being tortured or just a little more active are reminiscent of Happy Tree Friends and other more sadistic animations. The game is mostly funny and can be enjoyed in the way the sinners calmly leave their respective torture chambers to relieve themselves or have a drink, only to come back and undergo the torture once more. "Just one more day in hell"

Ambient music is normal; are the same short songs over and over again. The sound matches the cartoon style well, however, eventually the torture sound effects become repetitive. The game even has a few NPCs with well-chosen voices that match the characters' styles, like Frank, the “Acclaimed Infernal Designer of the Forgotten Realms of Lower Hell”, who helps you through the tutorial and has that kind of “whose voice” fed up” of repeating the same job. Ah, in the Portuguese version, Frank became Chico! So expect lots of jokes and sour humor.

After all, is it good or not?

Hell Architect is a game with a mobile game face (which may even get a mobile version at some point) and despite the simple gameplay and the idea of ​​a resource management game already seem old, it hides a depth (get it? ) in its mechanics and still has a fun look and sarcastic humor for you to make your sinners' lives “hell”.

You'll have to pick up a little at the beginning, play the tutorial over and over until you understand the whole game mechanics system, lose one or another time, you'll get the hang of it and, despite how much the game progresses, if you play with the right resources, making him end up “walking alone”, that's not exactly negative, after all, something that manages itself is the dream of any supervisor of anything, isn't it? Indicates that you did the right thing.

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The game is now available for PC and MacOS, but if you want a Nintendo Switch version, you can help them with their campaign. Kickstarter.

Where to buy?

Steam: $ 47,49
COG: R$ 47,49

Review: hell architect | 37b8a218 hell1 | married games reviews | hell architect, leonardo interactive, pc, singleplayer, steam, woodland games | hell architect
Hell Architect

Hell Architect

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About us

Developer: Woodland Games
Distributor: Leonardo Interactive
Platforms: MacOS, Microsoft Windows

Beautiful 2D graphics with cute characters;
Sour and sarcastic humor;
Creativity and elaborate mechanics for a simple management game;
Excellent dubbing;

A little tricky to remember everything at the beginning;
Simple and unremarkable sound and repetitive sound effects;
Little sound during gameplay, apart from sound effects;


Now, leave in the comments, what did you think of Hell Architect? Enjoyed managing your cycle of hell? did you like the game? Contact us and enjoy to read more analysis and reviews on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.