Review – Hell Pages

Coming from small Brazilian indie studio Medusa Head, Hell Pages is the latest budget-priced indie shoot ’em up to reach the wild west that is the Steam marketplace. Considering how safe and saturated the genre is, one can only wonder what this small, up and coming studio thought of to make their little title stand out from the rest of the literal hundreds of games that show up every week on that storefront.

Hell Pages

It does look like a Flash game, doesn’t it?

One thing I learned from playing Hell Pages is that the folks at Medusa Head really, really, reaaaaally like Doom. Most specifically, the classic Doom games from the early 90’s. The game’s art style and music are heavily inspired by the 90’s classics. They’re all about being a mix between hellish and sci-fi imagery, all while having your ears bombarded by MIDI rock tunes.

That being said, the game’s presentation is very cheap. In fact, Hell Pages as a whole feels very cheap, but I’ll get to that in a bit. Its visuals, while appealing to our inner revolted fourteen year old selves, look like something you would expect from a cheap Flash game hosted on Newgrounds. The game oozes that whole “cardboard cutout” aesthetics that are present in pretty much every single Flash game ever made. Its soundtrack is, without a doubt, the best thing included in here, sounding pretty much like old-school Doom, but it does suffer from poor mixing and instrumentation.

Hell Pages

The annoying flying heads from Doom became even more annoying.

Gameplay-wise, well, take a guess. This is a pretty easy, simplistic, and uneventful shoot ’em up, with exploitable enemy AI and little to no gimmicks present to spice things up. Besides the occasional shop in between levels, which allow you to buy some boring upgrades or an always welcoming extra life, Hell Pages is exactly what you would expect from a game like this. It has simple side-scrolling shooting sections with dumb and uneventful enemies, as well as a boss battle at the end of each level. These sections are a bit better than the rest of the game. Not only because they actually pose a threat, but also because the boss designs are so edgy, they will remind you of the drawings you would doodle in your notebook in 8th grade.

That boss on the right would be a perfect mascot for a C-tier death metal band with a gross gory name.

Hell Pages is a very mediocre take on the ultra-saturated shoot ’em up genre, with little going on besides its edgelord themes and art style. If you’re a massive fan of classic Doom and pretty much any piece of media that tries to emulate its visuals and soundtrack, then I’d say you could give this game a try and have a few minutes of fun with it. Anyone else, including even the biggest of bullet-hell fans, won’t find anything redeemable in Hell Pages. Better just ignore this one.

 

Graphics: 3.0

This is no exaggeration: despite the interesting artistic decisions, Hell Pages looks like a cheap Flash game you would find on Newgrounds.

Gameplay: 5.5

The most basic shoot ’em up control scheme you can imagine. However, you can easily exploit the enemy’s AI given how dim-witted every single foe is.

Sound: 6.5

Easily the best thing the game has to offer. A soundtrack clearly inspired by the classic Doom games, albeit with poor mixing and production values.

Fun Factor: 4.0

You might have a few minutes of fun with Hell Pages if you’re really into anything that remotely resembles old-school Doom. But all in all, this is a very simplistic and forgettable shoot ’em up.

Final Verdict: 4.5

Hell Pages is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Hell Pages was provided by the publisher.