Game Reviews

Drag your exposed spinal cord through hordes of demons in Hellmut: Badass from Hell

First-time publisher Grindstone has knocked one out of the park with Hellmut.

Blasting demons while your dripping spinal cord flops around? That’s no way to win a battle! And yet here I am, a floating skull dragging my spine and tearing through endless, gorgeous hordes of pixel demons, beasts and bosses. This is Hellmut: Badass From Hell and I was fortunate enough to receive a review key from the developers.

Hellmut: Badass From Hell will kick your ass.

Currently available on Steam and coming soon to Switch (and maybe others), Hellmut is the first release by publisher, Grindstone, and they have done an outstanding job of offering a solid title that keeps me wanting more. But this game is not for the squeamish. It’s a challenging mix of roguelike dungeon crawling and bullet hell, twin-stick action. I prefer to play with mouse and keyboard, which works just as well. Either way, the controls are tight and responsive.

Apparently there’s a plot, too. Hellmut raises a demon or something and asks for eternal life. He’s killed, but gains the ability to mutate into different monsters. In his regular form he’s just a floating skull and spine. But once you start unlocking new mutations you can take the form of different kinds of creative monsters. I like the werewolf guy myself, but there’s also a self-repairing robot, a giant monster made of stitched-together dead stuff and I assume a lot more, but I’m still working on those.

Guard your brain and spinal cord, please.

When the mutated Hellmut takes too much damage, he reverts back to his skull-self which is fast but relatively weak. Think of it as getting your armor blasted away. Once your skull and spine are exposed to enemies, you know you’re in trouble and you become desparate. Once the skull-Hellmut is dead: he’s dead.

At its heart, Hellmut: Badass from Hell is a dungeon crawler. There are breakable barrels with gold coins and exploding poison barrels and it’s all very familiar. But at the same time, the ability to mutate into new beasts with new abilities in mid-action is very enjoyable. Especially with the beautiful pixel graphics. Delicious!

The action is as fast and frantic as any bullet hell, and you’ll find yourself dividing your time between dodging, retreating and charging in. There are tons of weapons to pick up as well as the ability to throw exploding barrels. There is a shop that appears semi-randomly where you can recharge your life and upgrade weapons.

This is worth picking up.

This is a style of game that many developers attempt and hardly ever get right. But Hellmut: The Badass From hell succeeds where so many fail by offering adrenaline-pumping action, skin-tight controls, beautiful pixel graphics and a variety of weapons, mutations and enemies.

Check it out!


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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.

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