In Helltaker, you’re a man of culture building his own harem of demon girls. You solve puzzles, die, flirt, die, make pancakes, die die die.
|Developer||vanripper (Lukasz Piskorz)|
|Publisher||vanripper (Lukasz Piskorz)|
|Genre||Puzzle, adventure, dating sim|
|Free Download (PC)||Download from Steam.|
The past decade had taught me a lot of things. Disappointment is a recurring feeling in adulthood, people still fall prey to honeyed words and propaganda, a modern-day pandemic can have more casualties than a war, adding waifus to your video game will end lives.
What, you don’t understand the last part? Come on, think about it! All you need to do is add some cute girls into your video game, then it’s easy hook, line, and sinker. Then you’re pretty much set for the rest of the game. Possibly life itself, but don’t quote me on that.
When Fire Emblem Awakening embraced the marriage mechanic, it breathed whole new life into the Fire Emblem series, which is now going strong. Whether it’s for the best or not, who knows. And of course, you can’t forget the Persona series, a social sim/turn-based RPG hybrid that has a dating mechanic. You can date your own teacher in one of them (also, she has a maid outfit… for the bedroom, of course).
Not to mention the upsurge of visual novels for the past decade, quite a few that allow you to romance girls. Anyone remember Doki Doki Literature Club!? Yeah, charming game.
…Up until the game broke.
Also, mobile gacha games about personified military vehicles turning into cute girls (hello, Kantai Collection, Azur Lane, Girls Frontline). And there’s a very popular webcomic creator called Merryweather, who will personify any non-living entity into an anime girl. The mad lad.
So yeah, it seems this trend of anime waifus won’t die anytime soon. It will enter your American games. It will even enter your Polish games.
I apologize for this clunky-ass transition, but I need an excuse to talk about a new freeware game called Helltaker, a short game about sharply dressed demon girls.
Well, screw it. Repeat after me.
Waifus are life-u.
Like Dante’s Inferno, Except With Cute Girls and Less Eternal Punishment
Imagine waking up one day and you thought to yourself, “Hmm, you know what my life is missing? A harem of demon girls! The kind that kill you over frivolous things, wreak havoc on the real world, make Doomguy’s job harder, and piss off Christian fundamentalists! Just cuz.”
That’s Helltaker in a nutshell. It gives you those Bad Dudes vibes. You know…
Are you a bad enough DUDE to save the president?
In this case…
Are you a bad enough DUDE to create a demon harem?
So you’re some random guy who is like a cross between Duke Nukem and Kronk from the Disney movie The Emperor’s New Groove. I even read this guy’s dialogue in Patrick Warburton’s voice. And let me tell ya, he’s so badass that he’s willing to venture into hell, kick around rocks and skeletons, walk through spikes, and flirt with demon girls who may or may not kill him. The culture is strong with this one! True balls of tungsten!
Helltaker’s gameplay is simple. You just move around on this top-down map and solve a puzzle to reach the demon girl at the end. But don’t mistake this for an easy game. You only receive a limited number of turns (called “will”) to complete the puzzle. And you only have enough to complete it with the least number of moves possible.
Also, performing actions like kicking skeletons and boulders will use up 1 will. Walking into a tile of spikes uses up 2.
These puzzles get devilishly tricky very fast, so chances are you will die. A lot.
Once you reach the end of a puzzle, you must flirt with some cute devils… or get your neck snapped, your legs broken, your blood turned into vinegar, that sort of thing. What do you expect? You’re in Hell! What were you thinking, daft fool!?
Also, there might be something about “Ancient Inscriptions,” whatever that means. And I think they have something to do with hinting at a hidden alternate ending? And there are three of them, I think? But don’t quote me on that. I might be slowly going insane and talking to myself amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fiiiiiiiiiine. You stand on the pentagram in your living room, then perform the following movements:
↓ ↑ → ↑ ← ↓ ↓ ← ↑ ↓ → ↑
Then a portal to Giratina’s butthole appears. You happy?
Overall, Helltaker is a small burst of fun with charming characters (who are terrible people), a distinct comic book art style, catchy music from Mittsies, and challenging puzzles. It’s also FREE on Steam. Unless you’re uncultured swine, go get it. Make your demon harem into a demon party.
- Charming characters (who are indeed terrible people).
- Devilishly tricky puzzles that are satisfying to complete.
- Hilarious bad endings.
- Distinct comic book art style.
- Catchy EDM.
- The game is very short. Not counting the story bits and the amount of times you failed the puzzles, it's about 5 minutes long.