Hellraid: The Escape is a first person puzzle game where players find themselves inside a dungeon they must escape from. The game world resembles hell itself and is populated with terrifying creatures, skeletons, and various torture instruments. Death is never too far away. Your mission: get out of this prison at all costs.
Find the exit!
Hellraid: The Escape sets the tone with its opening cinematic. It shows a character being brutally killed by a creature straight out of one of your worst nightmares. This is the character you have to control throughout the adventure that is Hellraid: The Escape after he wakes up in a terrifying afterlife.
The game begins in a tomb that you open by sliding your finger across screen. You're able to see gloomy scenery that doesn't really inspire confidence. There is very little light, skeletons gather every few meters and the torture areas are inhabited by monsters that are ready to attack if you get too close. The goal is to find the exit in each of the different rooms you find yourself in (seven in total) by inspecting the premises.
Scrolls are placed around to shed light on the story. You can also find several items to pick up, collect, and move to help you access the exit doors. You will also need to play around with different aspects of the environment to activate mechanisms that allow you to progress. As for enemies, you can never hurt them directly. Instead you'll have to solve puzzles and explore your surroundings in order to find tools to kill them indirectly and from a distance.
Solve well-crafted puzzles
Hellraid : The Escape's controls are very good. You can move around using a floating joystick that can be placed wherever you like on the screen. The right side of the screen allows you to control the view. Elements you can interact are easily located thanks to orbiting stars.
However, although it's easy to find these interactive sections, knowing how to use them is a whole other story. The puzzles are well thought out overall, but are sometimes too conventional and lack originality. Fans of the genre won't have too many problems getting to the end.
There are stones you can throw at switches, mirrors for reflecting things, items that can be collected and used with other items. One original aspect of the game is the presence of enemies that you can't harm directly. When faced with one you'll need to solve a puzzle and explore the surroundings in order to find the tools to kill them.
A terrifying atmosphere
Hellraid: The Escape's biggest achievement is its artistic design and the atmosphere that it creates. The Unreal 3 engine works wonders using smartphone and tablet configurations to its advantage. The different rooms in the dungeon are full of details and rich in scenery that will surely make you nervous.
It can get a bit repetitive going from one room to another, however you can't deny that in terms of graphics each room is a success. The graphics are accompanied by a dark and disturbing soundtrack that fits perfectly with the game's horror atmosphere. Between gusts of wind blowing through the rooms, the clinking of chains and the distant cries of horror, the noises you hear along the way will give you goose bumps.
Unfortunately there are a few bugs and several times I found find my character stuck in the scenery. It can be really frustrating when you've already made good progress in a room.
A bit short
Even though we're left wanting more with few rooms to escape from, Hellraid: The Escape is a game that offers a generally well put together experience and thrives through its great artistic design. A great game to keep you busy while waiting for the release of Hellraid on PC and consoles.