It is hard being a devil with all the fire and brimstone all around. It gets hot, and most devils would rather just relax playing games, eating snacks and hitting on girls. But in hell the only game console is the first generation N-Gage, snacks are made of crunchy bones and the girls are winged skeletons. Needless to say Devil wants out. He wants to become a human, and to get there he has to collect souls to fulfil his dream. A life in hell is never easy, and what should be a simple task isn’t. The souls have to be collected running at full speed jumping over deadly burning ravines.
HELLKID is a mixture of Canabalt and Hook Champ where you constantly run forwards. Tapping the screen makes Devil jump. If there is a hook point above Devil will hook to it if you touch the screen. Release to see an acrobatic move before the running continues. The controls work really well, but there is no variation to the jumps no matter if you hold after tapping or not. Devil has a set height, length of all jumps.
Despite being basically Canabalt set in another setting the addition of the hook alters gameplay quite a lot. In Canabalt survival is all you need to focus on but in HELLKID you also get the objective to collect souls. The souls are laid out in different patterns, and it is quite challenging getting all the golden and blue souls. It doesn’t matter if you miss picking some of them up other than a lower high score. You get one life, and then the souls are tallied.
The graphics in HELLKID are quite good with burning lava backgrounds and the somewhat cartoony Devil jumping about. Some of the textures are repeated a bit too often without variation. For example all the bone pillars with hook points look the same. Menus all go in a bone and hell style, and the developer has put a lot of effort into making the entire experience coherent.
The music of the game is not too inspiring, but rather sounds like a base track for tempo when making music. Sound effects are ok, but after a while all the sound of collecting souls becomes really repetitive. You can play your own music, which is always appreciated.
HELLKID comes with global leaderboards and a lot of different achievements(38). There are both level progression, and an extreme endless level mode. Collecting souls lets you unlock a new character and an extra level. This is more of an extra when playing than a goal by itself as it takes a lot of souls to get the bonus material.
HELLKID is a cool mix of survival jumping and soul collecting. Learning the different variations souls can be laid out in takes some time, and even if you recognise the pattern it is hard to actually get them all. It is definitely worth the price asked, but playing HELLKID hasn’t been as addictive as other games of the genre. Perhaps because the collecting becomes more important than survival, and this makes the game less intense. If you have room for another running like a devil out of hell game in your life definitely give HELLKID a try.