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Hellraid: The Escape Review

By , on July 15, 2014
Last modified 3 months, 1 week ago


Hellraid: The Escape
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Dripping with atmosphere
  • Great range of puzzles
  • Hint system prevents you getting too stuck

CONS

  • Death mechanics feel repetitive
  • Interface issues can infuriate at times

VERDICT

Soaked in undead atmosphere, Hellraid: The Escape is a morbid adventure puzzler that isn’t for those of a sensitive disposition.


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Hellraid: The Escape's bleak, medieval environments drip with chilling atmosphere. You begin in dismal dungeon, transfixed on a giant being that’s bearing down you. The creature makes it's way towards your fragile form and swings a massive axe.

Moments later you come-to, sealed in a coffin. A few taps of the screen and you are free of the tomb, but still trapped in the underground jail, surrounded by jangling chains and the bones of your cellmates.

Your single goal in this gruesome first-person adventure is to escape. This is easier said than done, because you are imprisoned behind more than just bars and locks. A selection of puzzles, traps, and monstrous guards stand between you and freedom.

Leading your emaciated hero through the world is accomplished by a virtual-sick that handily appears beneath your left thumb whenever it is placed. Tapping the screen lets you interact with the world, while a handy drop-down menu hold items you have gathered.

This systems works well, though sometimes interacting with a desired object proves tricky. If your left thumb is not on the virtual-stick, then it has a habit of chasing your touches around the screen as you try to interact with items.

Luckily, the game makes it pretty easy to work out what objects you can and can't meddle with with thanks to a sparkling glow that surrounds active objects. Unfortunately, this can leave you scouring the murky environments for these sparkles rather than enjoying the immersive atmosphere.

Interface issues aside, the puzzles are entertaining. There are a huge range of brainteasers, the most exciting of which have you navigating your way past hulking undead guards. Whether you are trying to outmanoeuvre a minotaur, or crush a necromancer with spikes, Hellraid manages to balance the thrill of solving a problem, and the frustration of being instakilled for failing. The fact you are already dead is an asset, with each untimely death sending you back to a checkpoint-coffin for some morbid trial-and-error.

Hellraid: The Escape can be fiddly, and the constant restarts caused by the death mechanic can prove repetitive. But, despite these small problems, the tone and variety of puzzles make it grimly enjoyable diversion - providing you don't find it's bleak nature off putting.

Screenshots

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