Taking control of a neglected demon from hell, Satan tasks you with collecting the right ingredients so you can make him a special pie for his birthday. The only thing more outlandish than the plot is the actual gross, demonic humor that is constantly thrown at the player.
Hell Pie feels a bit like N64’s Banjo Kazooie as it is a collect-a-thon spread throughout numerous, large-spaced environments and hub worlds… only with blood, guts, and other bodily fluids everywhere. Each area is more different than the last so there is no shortage of environmental variety… and grossness.
There are tons of things to collect. While common color gems are everywhere some items, like ripping horns off sheep or collecting upgrading cans, grant the player with additional abilities. Although stages can be rather large, they are mostly straightforward which is good since the map isn’t very detailed. Nate can also take a few hits before dying and death isn’t a major setback; you just respawn at that checkpoint you activated a minute ago. There are plenty of things to unlock in the skill tree and in the outfit store so the player is rewarded for going through the effort of collecting everything.
The gimmick behind Hell Pie is the grapple hook mechanic. I have been saying this for years but almost any game is instantly more fun if double jumps or a grapple hook is involved. Hell Pie actually has both and then some. Once upgraded, the player can swing his cherub angel like Spider-Man across a stage without needing buildings in which to swing. The swing anywhere mechanic is awesome and really makes this game what is it. Simply just jumping and swinging through stages is where the most fun is. The game just gives you things to collect along the way. In time, the player earns the ability to swing multiple times in a row, combined with a double jump and air dash. The chained cherub is also your weapon, swinging it against enemies like Kratos’ blades of chaos.
Hell Pie knows what it is and leans into it hard. If you aren’t being exposed to gross blood splatters, then expect see a lot of crotch, fart, and poo jokes. It never lets up and sometimes can be a bit much but props must be given for fully embracing the crudeness of the presentation from start to finish.
Looking beyond the revolting humor, Hell Pie is actually a refreshing call back to the 64-bit era. The stage design gives the player an excuse to search every corner for collectables and getting there is fun thanks to the fluid movement system. I fear Hell Pie will not get the full recognition that it deserves because it might look like another “me too” platformer upon quick glance but has enough original material and fun gameplay to recommend a purchase.
Also Try: the Psychonauts games
Don’t Forget About: Pumpkin Jack
Wait For It: Banjo Threeie
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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