Review – Death is better than Hell (PC)

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  • Bio: "The evil sorcerer NekroSkeletus kidnapped your girlfriend. You need to enter the lair of NekroSkeletus. There will be many traps and labyrinths on the way. A very difficult way of salvation." - Steam store front
  • Label: Polina Alekseevna
  • Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
  • Genre: Action
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Death is better than Hell (as the name appears on the store page and not a typo in this review) is the first game to hit Steam from developer/publisher Polina Alekseevna. It’s a top-down dungeon crawler-esque action title that pits you against NekroSkeletus and its underground minions. At first glance it looks like a simple non-isometric rpg title from the four-eighty-six era of PCs kind of in the vein of Dungeons & Dragons, albeit a very basic one. In this case, however, those looks are incredibly deceiving.

Death is better than HellWhile the footage and images on the store front show a mildly competent creation, it’s far from one. First of all the keyboard control scheme is ludicrous at best. You move around with the arrow keys while you attack using the space bar, q for an alternate attack (which is a dash forward with your sword), and e to use mana which brings back a small amount of life. Thankfully this isn’t too much of a problem given the hit detection box surrounding your foes seems to be random, and your alternate attack happens sporadiclly after eight to ten normal ones.

And then there are the enemies themselves. The common hordes of spiders, bats, and skeletons will rush you if you get within their line of sight, which is expected. However, they also will just stand there if you take two steps away, or just not even attack. Sometimes they randomly bombard you, and then do nothing or move slower the next time. And with the ever changing hit detection you can be feet from them and hit, facing away and hit, or be right on top and not even make contact at all.

All that said, the goal is to defeat all enemies in the fairly small dungeon and find the steps to advance. Given the aforementioned issues, what seems simple becomes a frustrating nightmare regardless how good you are at these types of games. After only a few floors (if you even make it that far) your interest will quickly wain due to the glaring faults of the title that is on sale at the time of writing this for a dollar snd nineteen cents. Sadly, it isn’t even worth that, let alone the regular asking price of two dollars (both US currency) until further improvements have been made to the controls, hit detection, and enemy ai.

Death is better than HellDigital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.