Go To Hell
Go To Hell is a skill- and reflexes-oriented puzzle game by Metasauce, creator of Hex Empire. One part digging game, one part physics playground, the title welds the two elements together into a tightly-structured experience that's as intriguing to play around with as it is to beat.
We start on the surface, standing on the dark grass with only one instruction: go to hell. Holding the [left], [right] or [down] arrow keys for a brief moment will cause you to dig in that direction, while tapping [up] lets you jump. Your goal is to work your way deep underground, avoiding the perils that lay beneath, and make your way to the fabled Hell precisely 666 meters below. Not only are you going to hell, you have to collect at least 50 coins to get in. Honestly, wouldn't you think digging that far would cover the entry fee? And it seems to me charging to go to a place of eternal torture isn't the best business practice. But hey, what do I know?
You have three meters at the top of the screen to keep an eye on: health, hunger, and air. Health is depleted by hitting things like bats, snakes, spikes and torches, but you can grab first aid kits to keep it topped up. Hunger, if left unattended, will eventually gnaw at your health bar, too, but chunks of meat scattered throughout the earth will keep you sated. Mmm, underground meat. Air is depleted while you're underwater and, if the meter empties, will end your life in just a few seconds. Always keep a clear path to the surface so you can bob up for a quick breath or two. Don't want to arrive in hell dead, do you?
In addition to tending your basic needs, you'll also contend with bats, snakes, spikes, burning torches, and a few other dangers on your way down. Fortunately you have one friend: water. The delicious liquid is by far the most interesting and useful thing in this game. Pools of the stuff sit untouched throughout the level, but if you free it from its prison, the water will pour out and flow with surprising realism. Water kills many enemies, which is mega-useful, and it will also extinguish torches, which is just as handy. You can also use it to float across dangerous pieces of ground or reach high ledges. But, you know, don't drown in the stuff.
Analysis: Go To Hell keeps things very simple. Why throw a billion gimmicks at the player when one or two well-implemented ones will do just fine? You have a few meters to mind while you're digging, but they tend to take care of themselves and don't offer up too much panic. Enemies are generally dealt with with a bit of fore-planning. Food and health pickups are generously scattered under the dirt, making you do just enough work to get at them without turning the game into a health pack hunt-a-thon.
Once you hit a certain depth, our friend water dissipates and makes way for our non-friend lava. Lava hurts, and suddenly the game takes a much more challenging turn. I only lost one or two lives working my way down this far, but once the red stuff came into play, the challenge jumped up considerably. It's jarring, and it almost kills the charm of the game, but hopefully you've built a stockpile of lives by this point and can continue your journey below.
A simple game with a simple goal, Go To Hell offers up a lot of fun for both a short sandbox experience and an arcade puzzler. Its bag of tricks doesn't have to run too deep to keep you coming back for more.