HELLMUT: THE BADASS FROM HELL / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: 2TAINMENT / PLATFORM: PC, SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When a scientist opens a portal to hell, the devil is quite understandably a little bit miffed. You wouldn't like it if someone from another realm barged into your house, would you? Satan being Satan, he tears off the scientist's head and sends an army of demons into the portal to get revenge. What follows is a brief but enjoyable Enter the Gungeon-style adventure in which the scientist (reanimated by the mysterious Eye of Ka-Ra) transforms into a variety of monsters and attempts to banish the monsters from his castle.
Hellmut takes so many cues from Gungeon that you could be forgiven for thinking it's some kind of homage to a greater being. Randomly generated rooms, travelling between floors, bosses appearing every couple of levels (plus the occasional mini-boss if you're unlucky enough to encounter one), plenty of different weapons, and a bunch of different unlockable characters to play as. It's all very familiar, and largely not quite as polished as some of the more well-known roguelikes. It also feels like there's not quite as much content as you might want, with only a handful of floors and a relatively small amount of weapons when compared to other similar games.
The additional characters go some way to setting Hellmut apart from its competition, as it's a pretty unique mechanic. Beating bosses permanently unlocks a new transformation, allowing the use of these characters in future runs through the game. There are also challenge sections on each floor that add a new transformation to your arsenal, but these are only temporary for one run only. If your current character dies (or is about to), it's possible to transform into another form to keep on playing - but if you die in your basic skull and spine form, it's game over. It's a nice way of adding some extra lives and making the game a little more manageable, but switching between forms is a little more cumbersome than it should be, and you may find yourself inadvertently dying due to the fiddly transformation controls holding you back.
Hellmut's astonishingly high price point (for the Switch edition, at least) makes this difficult to recommend, especially considering the amount of quality titles available at the moment. If you're craving a roguelike dungeon-crawler, it's definitely not the worst, but a little more content and a few quid off the asking price would make this a much more enticing propect.