Heaven & Hell

a game by MadCat Interactive Software GmbH
Platform: PC
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Strategy
Heaven & Hell
Heaven & Hell
Heaven & Hell

Following on in the same vein as games such as Black & White and Populous, Heaven and Hell is a game of strategy for Microsoft PC where you literally get to play God. These types of games need to be well thought out and structured in a certain way that meets player’s reasonable expectations and holds their attention throughout. Heaven and Hell, it’s sad to say, doesn’t do a particularly great job of this.

The Plot

As the name might suggest, there’s two distinct roles you can play in this game, that of good and that of evil. On the good side, you can let crops flourish, pat your villagers on the head and smite enemy prophets or naysayers. On the bad side, you can cause natural disasters and smack your people about the place. Those are the only real differences between the two sides, however, as everything else is practically identical. The tedious thing about the game is that when you complete one mission in the good side, you have to play it through in the other. This means going through the same motions as before, only you’re delivering evil instead of goodness. This asks the question, is the game entertaining enough to make this gimmick entertaining enough to stick with to the finish?

The Positives

The answer is no. Not to be harsh, but there isn’t really a lot to sink your teeth into in this game. The main currency or power source is “mana”, which enables you to carry out all the aforementioned acts, and then some. This allows for some cool mechanics at least, like the spells you cast at night costing more when you’re behaving as good, and spells cast during the day costing more at night. This kind of system shows actual thought has been put into the making of the game, as does the surprisingly decent soundtrack. Unfortunately, that marks the end of the positive takeaways.

The Negatives

You can get a pretty good sense of how popular a game is when you take to the online multiplayer modes to see how many other players are online. With Heaven & Hell, there are none. Even the game’s AI is lacklustre - when set to the supposed “hard” setting, it still attacks the same village over and over again and repeats things like nothing has changed, as if the setting is put there just for show. This detracts even further from enjoyment or longevity of the game; if you can’t even make things more challenging, you’re even less likely to stick around. Bottom Line

So, with repetitive gameplay, a lack of strong narrative, and an AI asleep at the wheel, there’s not a lot going on for Heaven and Hell. Sure, there are some good aspects, but they’re really not enough to make up for the bad or plain boring ones. Even the inclusion of a multiplayer option is practically pointless, as most other people who have played the game reached the same conclusion as you have.

Pros

  • Some nifty game mechanics
  • The music is decent

Cons

  • No story
  • Repetitive and dull with cheap graphics
  • No multiplayer option
  • No real redeeming features
  • Little replay value

3/10

Download Heaven & Hell

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Heaven & Hell is yet another god sim pitting good vs evil in a battle to conquer the hearts and minds of the people. But unlike Populous, there's very little in this game to hold your attention or long.

ft should, in theory, be lots of fun. Starting off with a solitary prophet (complete with long white hair and obligatory beard), you send him off to villages to increase your deity's following.

There are shades of The Sims here, as preaching is just a load of 'technobabble' (imagine listening to the Smurfs on fast forward) along with some icons that have no relevance to the game. It's supposed to be set in 1500BC, so why he's talking about aeroplanes, dead fish and umbrellas is anyone's guess.

Couple this with some unfunny dialogue and you'll be reaching for the nitrous oxide before you hit the second map. "Don't get distracted by sheep on your travels," oh ha bloody ha-ha (Escape) (Quit),

If that wasn't bad enough, the game mechanics make no sense whatsoever. Standing in one part of the city preaching will have zero effect - move one pixel to the left and suddenly you have a plethora of converts. That's not fun, it's damn annoying.

The game may be pitched at gamers but, in reality, it's ideally suited for kids aged 8 to 12. Simple gameplay and even simpler jokes. This would be fine if the developers put a reasonable price on the game But they haven't - at $29.99, it seems the only true prophet in this game is the profit margin.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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