Thanks to Bergsala Lightweight for the review code
Title: Unholy Heights
System: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: 06/23/2016
Taking control of Satan (who looks like an elderly man in this game) you must use your management skills in order to defend the apartment from powerful heroes out to stop the king of darkness! A very weird concept to say the least.
Thanks to the dual screens of the 3DS, Unholy Heights manages to split the action onto both screens, with a status menu on the top and a look at the apartment complex on the bottom. It doesn’t look sharp as it does on other platforms due to the visual downgrades, but it’s still fairly easy to read the instructions, though the characters on the bottom screen are rather hard to identify. (even when playing on the New 3DS XL)
The main goal of the game is to move monsters into your apartment complex, doing whatever you can to satisfy them so that way they’ll stick around to fight off intruders that come to attack. While there’s little you can do to force a specific monster to move in, you can help make them stay by giving them certain items they request, making the rent price just right, and so forth. Once you have monsters ready to go, then it’s time to take on a quest from the request board, which can change the pacing a bit depending on the objective, such as one mission which will spawn a lot of random enemies trying to attack the complex while another mission may only focus on one kind of enemy.
Combat can get frantic, but since you can pretty much control the timing in which it happens by taking on quests only when you’re ready (enemies rarely appear when you aren’t taking on a quest) it allows for some flexibility to train your tenants. Defeating enemies and charging rent for your tenants will increase your gold which can either be used to upgrade the apartment complex itself once certain conditions are met or buy the furniture requested by the monsters you hire. Despite the fact that there is some sense of progression, (completing quests will unlock newer ones until an ultimate end goal is eventually reached) the game became really repetitive in almost no time at all, causing me to lose interest quickly.
To be brutally honest, I had no knowledge or interest in this game before I was given a review copy of the game from the publisher without me asking. Not being the type of person to reject new experiences in gaming, total surprises can be like Christmas presents in a way; you’ll either get hooked on them and be grateful someone opened your eyes to a weird experience you wouldn’t have looked at otherwise, or it can be something you wish you didn’t spent much time with. For Unholy Heights, I was in the middle, as I could see the foundations of a decent strategy game here with the focus on making sure your tenants are both battle ready and satisfied with your apartment, but I was also feeling a bit bored and confused wanting things to happen a lot quicker. The music never once remained in my head or became memorable, (despite the little bit customization in the sound test, this alone was the reason I skipped over the sound section for this review) and overall after spending two hours with the game it just didn’t click. I can easily see the good parts of this game shining through if you stuck around long enough, but for me this was simply a surprise that wasn’t really engaging. I give Unholy Heights a 4 out of 10.