๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿฅง Hell Pie Xbox Series X Review 7.5/10 "A wonderfully ghastly concoction straight from Satan’s kitchen" ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿฅง @SluggerflyDev #GameDev #IndieGames

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Warning lights flash in my mind whenever games go for humour - as so often cheap gags and lazy writing are brought to the fore at the cost of gameplay, or perhaps the humour doesn’t connect with you personally.

So every attempt at it elicits a sigh. However, the trailer for Hell Pie showed what seemed to the naked eye to be a surprisingly polished 3D platformer. Having fancied this genre for a while - the last I played was the sublime A Hat in Time - I thought I’d give Hell Pie a goosey, and by Jove, it was a wise move.

A colourful, cartoonish, crass and cursed 3D platform title, Hell Pie casts you in the role of a demon called Nate, who has been tasked by Satan himself to go out into the big, wide world in order to collect ingredients for his birthday pie. If you think you’ll be tottering off to pick up salt, sugar and sultanas, you’ll be disappointed - as the Devil’s palate demands more…. unusual ingredients.

You aren’t alone on your quest however, a cock-eyed, cuddly, and somewhat thick cherub called Nugget acts as not only a rotund, airborne companion - propelled mostly by farts and burps- but is also your main weapon, and allows you extra mobility.

The form of movement in the game is a real highlight - as it ideally should be in the 3D platformer genre. From the start, a lot of manoeuvres are open to you, from wall climbing to double-jumping, air dashes, and - thanks to Nugget - a swinging mechanic. It makes the basic game traversal an absolute joy to perform, and I felt totally in control of my journey as I made my way through everything from beaches and office blocks to the inside of a beached whale being used as a restaurant. Good.

The audio work is also well-implemented, with the style and genre-changing, dependent on where you are in the world, all with a sense of humour about itself. The music had my foot bobbing – I do love a good waltz - just as the sharp visuals pleased my retinas.

In terms of the humour, whilst I didn’t find it ‘laugh-out-loud funny’ it was gloriously unpleasant and amusing enough to keep me on board, with some of the visual gags landing as well as Nugget’s occasional commentary raising a wry smile.

I did find it refreshing to play a game in this genre that wasn’t cloyingly cutesy, it does make it stand out - and the quality that shines through the rest of the design really does prove that this isn’t just reliant on poo jokes - there’s a lot of impressive design work going on in all areas of the game.

The pseudo-open world aesthetic is inviting, the level design urging you to fully explore every nook and cranny, to see what secrets abound. The fact that simple traversal and exploration are made so engaging, satisfying and fun is a huge boon, and the only quibbles I really had were Nugget’s dialogue boxes occasionally blocking off the action and the unreliable framerate, which can affect some key acrobatic moments. 

Developer - Sluggerfly

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