Game Review #489: Rising Hell (Steam)
  • Allan Jenks

Game Review #489: Rising Hell (Steam)

Reviewer: Robert Krause

Developer: Tahoe Games

Publisher: Toge Productions, Another Indie

Category: Vertical Roguelike Platformer

Release Date: 10.17.2019

Price: $9.99

Trailer

Buy Rising Hell from the Steam store here.

Groundhog's Day in Hell

On October 17th, 1980, my mother gave birth to the most stubborn pain in the arse that the world had ever known. On my 39th birthday, Tahoe Games delivered unto me my son. A dark, gory hellscape from which there is no escape (for me at least… I suck) packed with a heavy metal soundtrack. Rising Hell is a vertical roguelike platformer with randomly-generated paths in which you are trying to escape the depths of Hell—key word: trying. Become the strongest demon you can be by collecting Blight to unlock multiple characters, gear, and talents in each attempt, before you die and restart at the lowest pit in Hell.


Hack, Slash, Death, Repeat

After listening to the Phantom-of-the-Opera-metal-like opening theme for like 5 minutes straight, I finally started the game and was greeted with two options: Quest Mode and Challenges. Quest Mode starts with you playing as Arok, a Fallenborn human with a demon arm. It shows you the available second character and upgrades you can unlock, along with how much Blight you will need to unlock them. Like similar roguelike games, your first few attempts are going to be failures as you learn the mechanics, where traps are, and, if you're good enough to reach them early on, the boss patterns.


Arok is a melee fighter, so you are up close and personal with the demons. This can be a pain, as you'll be right on top of them when they unleash an attack, which you can easily miss, since you are covering part of them. There is a dash button that comes in handy once you get into a rhythm and learn when it's time to bolt.


Zelos, a Rogue Fiend, uses ranged attacks and is quicker to avoid incoming demons. With each character, you'll be wanting to chain combos and use Hellbreak attacks to do heavy damage. There are advertised to be 2 more warriors to be released by the summer, but as it is an Early Access game, results may vary. At the time of this review, there are 3 worlds in Quest Mode to conquer while you work to upgrade and reach level 30. Challenge Mode is comprised of Hellrisen, a challenge to reach the top with no floor or platforms, Bloodlust, a wave survival, and Godslayer, a boss rush. Each has a leaderboard and weekly challenges to come, along with another Challenge Mode: Deathrush.


The stylish 2-D pixel graphics are a nice touch compared to similar games where the color palette is minimal. Boss battles, especially, are bright and colorful; and If it wasn't clear the soundtrack is great, where can I find the OST?


Wrap Up, Up, UP Ya Go, Only to Fall Back to the Beginning

Rising Hell is definitely a challenging game that requires patience and perseverance. My only complaint would be that you can't crouch, and when you attack, you jump, so you can't attack something on your level without dropping down on it. Once you start getting past the first boss and unlock new abilities, you'll have the combat mechanics down, and then it's just a matter of taking your time—unless you're in a stage where the floor is lava or saws. The game is in Early Access, but I didn't notice any bugs, and they have a road map of updates through the summer. I'll definitely be coming back once it's fully released to see the new demons, warriors, and realms.

Score (in its current form): 8/10

Buy Rising Hell from the Steam store here.

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*A game key was provided for review purposes

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