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Hell Pages Review

Hell Pages Review

Hell Pages is the latest in the growing lineup of indie shmups on Steam. It’s a genre that’s seen a sudden explosion in popularity in recent years. What does this title from Brazilian indie developer Medusa Head bring to set itself apart from the dozens of other options available?

Enemies use cheap attacks and are hard to avoid.

Unfortunately, not very much is the answer! The game is a straightforward affair in every way that sees you shooting a variety of hellspawn across ten stages that feature a large boss at the end. Each stage is extremely basic, having no obstacles and solely being made up of waves of pretty dull enemies with simplistic attack patterns.

To make matters worse, the enemy attacks outside of the fodder aren’t telegraphed in any meaningful way and have no windup time or animations, leading to you getting hit out of nowhere with no way of knowing attacks are coming.

This extends through to the bosses too, with the majority of attacks happening in a split-second giving you no realistic way to dodge them. This basically reduces the stages to 100% memorisation exercises which isn’t very fun. There is no room for improvisation or adaptation to things as they happen.

The store is a nice addition but is functionally bland.

The visuals have a certain charm to them but they don’t really have any consistency and overall have a smudgy, rough 90s flash game look to them. The bosses and the shop demon lady have nice designs but they don’t really gel with the other elements.

The music however really works and whilst it’s nothing ground-breaking it adds a lot to the atmosphere! The rest of the audio is just functional though with plinks and plonks for collecting pickups and your shots.

Visuals have a 90s Flash game look which have a certain charm!

In gameplay terms the game doesn’t really have anything unique to make it standout. It has a simplistic power up system with your shot becoming wider until it almost fills the screen and doesn’t really have a scoring system to speak of so there is no incentive to learn patterns and improve your movement.

The shop is a nice touch but it’s again relatively mundane. Enemies drop money that you can spend in the store between stages and it sells a health refill (as you only have one life and can only take four hits), the eponymous Hell Page (which you need to buy on each stage to get the true final boss) along with a continue and a save point.

Not having other weapon types or anything that alters gameplay available in the shop feels like a wasted opportunity and contributes to the distinctly average feel everything has. It all makes the game just feel really empty and soulless.

4.50/10 4½

Hell Pages (Reviewed on Windows)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

A bland, soulless horizontal SHMUP that is extremely basic and by the numbers. Interesting boss designs don’t do enough to hold the rest of the game up. In such a crowded genre there are much better options.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Simone Brown

Simone Brown

Staff Writer

Often reminiscing about the 'good old days'. Simone has almost perfected her plan to enter the Speed Force and alter the timeline.

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