Hell Pie is a 3D platforming title in which you will take control of Nate, a demon from Hell that is tasked by Satan to ask the chef what happened to his cake. Yes, I'm being serious!
Hell Pie's graphics and themes are a far cry from my preferred style; I love cutesy games, chibi graphics, and sweet stories, and that is everything that Hell Pie is not. That said, 3D platformers are my favourite genre, and I vowed to play every title in that genre due to the growing scarcity of releases. With these contrasting ideologies that Hell Pie sparks within me, will I love it despite its themes, or will they be plainly too dark for me to enjoy?
Starting with the story of the game, Hell Pie starts with grotesque and sexual humour to set the mood straight off the bat, though never does it go into actual explicit sexual acts. Implications and innuendos are the furthest Hell Pie will go regarding sexual humour, though Sluggerfly, the developer of the game, pulls no punches regarding grotesque and gory imagery. Exploding corpses, flying eyeballs, and mutations are child's play in contrast to the thing Hell Pie promptly introduces within its first world. Being more of a cutesy type of gal, this wasn't my favourite aspect of the game, though some of the themes got a chuckle out of me from time to time. Knowing what I was going into with Hell Pie did little to prepare me for some of the themes that were included, which often went as far as animal abuse.
The harsh themes aside, Hell Pie did a phenomenal job at keeping me engrossed, though it wasn't because of a compelling story and lovable characters (aside from Nugget; I love Nugget). Story elements aside, Hell Pie is a fantastic platformer outside of its stories, and that is mostly due to the numerous abilities and locomotion options that the game offers the player to traverse its environments. You get plenty of abilities to help you in your journey, many of which you get by finding dog food to feed Nugget in order to raise their (are angels binary?!) skills.
All of the locomotion upgrades you get will be focused around a specific collectible you'll be able to find sprawled across the open-area environments you'll be exploring. Finding Unilambs to sacrifice at an altar will offer Nate (our demonic protagonist) a new set of horns with unique abilities that'll help your traversal, the first of which works as a sprint. Meanwhile, finding dog food will allow you to feed Nugget and get more offensive- and platforming-focused abilities, making Hell Pie the enjoyable platformer it is. In fact, the game gives you numerous collectibles that could almost be daunting were I not such an enthusiast for finding items hidden in the darkest corners; four total collectibles, including the primary objective "ingredients" you have to find, are spread across the world for you to gather — often dozens at a time.
That is the main essence of Hell Pie in general — the collectibles. Aside from finding the ingredients to bake Satan's cake for his birthday, you'll be focused on getting all the other things to make your experience more enjoyable; Satan's pie will soon become an afterthought after merely stepping foot into the first world — sorry, Luci. The platforming elements aren't punishing, but it's easy to ignore the straightforward route in place of a self-imposed challenge in an attempt to make a ridiculous jump without touching the ground. Swinging, dashing, running, and double jumping through worlds meant I very often played The Floor is Lava like a five-year-old and tried to break the game by making jumps that I knew I wasn't intended to.
Knowing whether you'll like Hell Pie is as easy as asking yourself a question: can you handle the grotesque themes? With sacrificing cute little Unilambs, enslaving an angel for your benefit to smash your foes' faces (often leaving blood puddles of poor Nugget), fighting poop and poop-eating... maggots(?), and even delving into a whale restaurant where the main course is its innards will be challenging for the more queasy folk. Explosions, blood, and gore are spread everywhere and thrown around like candy, with themes like poop and drugs becoming a commonality in an attempt to shock the player, similar to Conker's Bad Fur Day. If these themes don't bug you and you are merely looking for an enjoyable platformer to play, you'll not find many that are better than Hell Pie.
Hell Pie (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
Incredibly enjoyable locomotion abilities, pleasant collectibles to find, and fun (albeit simple) platforming puzzles are all that await those that are willing to look past Hell Pie's grotesque themes of animal abuse, drug use, and religious tones.