With all the evil people in the world it was inevitable that the gates of hell would be bursting at the seams, so to thin the herd, the Devil has arranged a last-man standing event, defeat all other monsters in hell, and you’ll return to the real world.
As far as storyline goes, Doomed to Hell keeps things simple, there’s lots of other monsters down here, so shoot them, shoot them all and escape the depths of hell forever.
You start off with a pretty standard pistol, and enemies are slow and only fire a single bullet at a time, but once you start to progress a little, you’ll soon have dozens of enemies heading your way with a flurry of bullets that are hard to avoid.
The easiest way to describe Doomed to Hell, is a bullet-hell twin stick shooter, I’m sure we could pluck up a dozen games that are more bullet-hell, but you’ll definitely want to spend as much time trying to avoid incoming fire as you do dishing out the damage yourself.
Thankfully there’s quite a few tools available to you including a roll button for dodging incoming fire, various weapons, perks that last until the end of the level and permanent upgrades.
Levels are split into 5 waves each, with the option to unlock a perminant upgrade at the end of each level, keep progressing and you’ll face a boss battle, which once defeated will move you on to the next biome.
Sadly each wave is very similar, with the same set of portal placement and a relatively small selection of enemies, thankfully things are switched up a little with each biome, but with only 3 in total, there’s not much variety to go around.
I also found the game pretty easy, after 1 hour, I’d died once through a lack of practice but then managed to go through the entire game only dying again at the final boss, which felt like a kick in the dangly bits knowing I’ve got to go through the whole thing again, just for a few more perminant upgrades and enough power to take it down before his near-impossible to avoid attack patterns finish me off again.
Thankfully, while repetitive, the gameplay loop isn’t bad at all, enemies are well sized making them quite easy to hit, and once you get into the geometry wars flow of constantly moving, you soon find yourself clearing wave after wave without too much trouble.
One level, even saw the portals (that enemies spawn from) in a straight line, so I could just stand still firing across them all, knowing the knock-back would prevent the enemies form hitting me a single time. It’s never usually that easy as on most levels, enemy spawns are impossible to cover all at once, and you’ll soon end up surrounded.
Thankfully, the roll helps avoid a tight spot and power-ups such as increasing your maximum health prove worthwhile too.
At the end of each wave, you get a temporary power-iup that lasts until the end of that level, these can be useful for this run, knowing you’ll have a little extra firepower or defence, but I usually found it best to stick with getting the money boost anytime it’s an option, so you’ve got more cash for the end of level shop, where you’ll get new weapons and permanent upgrades.
It’s these upgrades that are the game changer, as they carry on between runs, making the eventual escape from hell a little easier to achieve.
There’s a simple selection of weapons, pistol, shotgun and rifle, as well as variations such as the pistol that fires grenade-like exploding skulls, or the pink machine gun that fires heatseeking bullets that will charge at the nearest enemy.
These variations of weapons change everything, and I’m sure having that skull-pistol followed by the pink rifle where two very big reasons I managed to walk through the game quite quickly, but that’s equally why I wasn’t looking forward to doing the same again to end up lumbered with a useless sword.
Graphically, Doomed to Hell isn’t bad at all, it sticks with a basic pixel-art style, that’s nearly always easy to digest, enemies and projectiles are always easy to spot, and while some of the contrasting backgrounds can be a little distracting, I can’t complain about the overall graphical performance.
Audio is a similar offering, sure it could be better, but the basic background music pings away discreetly, and incoming fire is easy to hear, I just wish enemies made a few more distinctive sounds so it was easier to detect certain threats of tougher monsters who are just off-screen.
One are that does impress is the overall value, sure, you might fall lucky and get through it in a few hours, and yes, the game is a tad repetitive, but it’s still a fun little shooter, that you can return to anytime.
At only £4.19, it’s cheap frill and a pretty easy achievement slog too, I found myself with only a few achievements left after a couple of hours, with none of them feeling too far away, meaning enduring a couple of extra repetitive runs in the long-term, will at least have some extra reward too,
There’s a few Twin-stick shooter titles that I could recommend above Doomed to Hell, Anvil: Vault Breaker is probably my favourite at the moment, but if you fancy a retro inspired shooter, with enough rogue lite and easy achievements to make those extra runs worthwhile, Doomed to Hell is a pretty good choice for only £4.19
Doomed To Hell