The Architect of Hell is a 2D base building colony management simulator. As the last demon in power of hell, your goal is to build your young parts of the underworld into a series of successful torment colonies that would make Satan incredibly proud. Players will be offered a story mode to test their management skills, or a sandbox mode to easily build everything the black heart desires. Anyway, Hell Architect offers an interesting take on the recent Sim colony trend, but is it enough to get you hooked?
The gameplay principle of Hell Architect is to collect resources, build buildings and achieve the goals set in each of the story missions. The story mode offers variety in what you have to accomplish at different levels and does a good job of moving you around with humorous dialogues. Your sinners are at your disposal to collect the resources or, through torment, be a source that you need to build buildings and achieve your goals. Even if they are tormented souls who are supposed to act according to your will, they still have basic needs that you need to take care of, such as food and potty breaks. Your benevolence will ensure that your sinners work as efficiently as possible, so you need to keep an eye on their needs.
I understand that the “needs” system adds an additional element that needs to be managed in Hell Architect. But in a “simulator from Hell”? It seems a bit irrelevant, doesn’t it? Browsing the Steam forums and other outlets, this is a sticking point for some – Why do I have to worry about feeding these sinners? If you are dead, how can you use the bathroom? These are all valid points and you have to overcome this alternate reality of hell relatively quickly if you want to have fun with this game.
Hell Architect’s layout and controls take some getting used to. Tasks can be assigned with a click of the mouse and you can access the menus with mouse and keyboard shortcuts. However, the allocation of basic actions can lead to strange logic when trying to mine ore or build structures. It gets a little easier with more experience of the game, but don’t get too frustrated if something is still not built because your sinners are still hacking stones and debris on the other side of the map. I must say that the user interface and controls would work well on a mobile device, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this appeared in The Apple Store in the coming months.
Hell Architect’s appearance is a cute 2D cartoon art style that illuminates the potentially graphic/grotesque themes of the game. Your naked sinners are going through the depths of hell and fulfilling your commandment while being tormented, sacrificed and drinking shit water – and you don’t feel so bad about it. Again, this style would work well on mobile devices, as you won’t be loading your GPU when you scroll through the map.
So, what’s the problem? The depth of the gameplay is realized in the first missions of the story. I’m just worried that there’s not enough here for those of us who aren’t avid gamers of this kind who want to stay here. I hate to add the weight of cost to a review, but the price is way too high for what you end up getting here. Hell Architect seems like a perfect $10 game that you can dive into on an iPad or play on the PC from time to time without it having a negative impact on your wallet. However, it’s good to see that the developers on Steam are saying that they will focus on the new content once they fix some things and update some balance issues.