Unholy Heights (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 07.09.2016

Review for Unholy Heights on Nintendo 3DS

It's said that the devil works in mysterious ways, but Unholy Heights' premise may be his strangest yet. This eShop title opens with him spending his life savings on a small apartment complex in the projects, in the hope of attaining world domination with an army of resident demons. It lays the groundwork to an unexpected marriage of two genres: tower defence and hotel management, but does it succeed? The devil's in the detail…

The gameplay is split rather cleanly into its two constituent parts. It functions as a standard simulation game for the most part, with accepting tenants, managing rent, buying furniture, and generally keeping everyone happy being the order of the day. Of course, simply keeping a bunch of satisfied residents is no way of taking over the world, making the Quest Board necessary for making progress. Accepting quests listed on the Quest Board causes monsters to arrive at the complex and try and make their way to the top in order to slay the devil.

This is where the tower defence elements come into play. It's up to the player to send residents out to defeat these monsters, with each one having a different method of attacking, with some opting for melee combat, and others attacking from further away, creating an element of strategy in the order in which they are sent out of their rooms. It's not remarkably complicated, but still requires a degree of concentration and diligence, and some difficult decisions often have to be made. Send a resident back to their room to recover, or leave them out to fight at the risk of their death?

Screenshot for Unholy Heights on Nintendo 3DS

While the combat may be rather shallow, the management section is thankfully a lot more interesting, with a large range of events and complications to prevent the gameplay from becoming too monotonous. Residents can get jobs, meaning their rent can be increased, but may also fall into debt and leave one with a shortfall. They may also take a lover, doubling their attack power but also their needs - and with the right amount of coaxing, they may even have a demon child to join the ranks.

However, this extra depth isn't quite enough to make Unholy Heights perfect. Progress often feels remarkably slow, especially to begin with. Quests don't advance quite as quickly as one might hope, and rent trickles in at an incredibly leisurely pace - and, even with an option to speed up the in-game world, there are many occasions where this all feels just plain boring.

There's still a lot to love for those willing to take the time to delve further in. The artwork is delightfully quirky when viewed close up (even if it's somewhat jagged and ugly in the standard 50% view), and the music is surprisingly pleasant, even after several hours of repetitive gameplay. There's also a wide variety of monsters to find and recruit, so filling up the in-game bestiary is a genuine joy - for those willing to put in the hours.

Screenshot for Unholy Heights on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Unholy Heights, though well-crafted and humorous, is far from perfect. The combination of the two genres may seem like a fantastic idea on paper (and it does indeed lead to some enjoyable moments of gameplay), but there's far too much empty space for extended play sessions to be consistently fun. That said, it fills a hole left open for two of the most starved genres on the eShop, and fans of either tower defence or simulation could do far worse than to spend a few hours in the devil's shoes.

Developer

Petit Depotto

Publisher

Bergsala Lightweight

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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