Hell Pie Review - Devilishly Delicious Platforming

One hell of an adventure awaits Nate and Nugget in the obscene 3D platformer that's definitely not for kids.

July 24, 2022

Hell Pie bills itself as a “filthy 3D platformer” that takes bad taste as far as it can. That’s not entirely true, though, because it’s actually a lot more than that. Sure, it presents itself as a rude, adults-only game with dick jokes (and literal mushroom-headed enemies…) but underneath the veneer of crude humour lies a really good, competent 3D platformer. It’s just a shame that it’s cutting off a potentially larger player base with its hit-and-miss humour and over-the-top cartoony gore.

Our Score: 7/10 – Very Good
The Good: Solid platforming with a truly brilliant swinging/grapple mechanic
The Bad: Humour misses more than it hits and a lack of voice acting doesn’t help with the delivery
Release Date: July 21st, 2022
Developed by: Sluggerfly
Available On: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Reviewed On: PS5

Nate, an employee in the surprisingly well-organized depths of Hell, is tasked with putting together the Devil’s birthday cake. Or pie, as per the name of the game – VID Only – but I’m British, so it’s cake – anyway. Poor Nate is given the ungodly task by way of mistaken identity but with the help of his chubby cherub friend/slave, Nugget, he’s got a helluva adventure ahead of him. That’s the story. Nate goes places, collects yucky ingredients for the pie, and then goes to the next location to get more revolting ingredients. It’s simple and there’s no overarching narrative to follow – all you need to know is that if the Devil doesn’t get his dish, Nate’s probably going to be turned inside out.

As the old saying goes, it’s the journey, not the destination, and that couldn’t be truer in the case of Hell Pie. Each themed hub world houses a handful of levels where Nate and Nugget need to navigate nasty baddies, boss battles, and more than a few naughty jokes. How naughty? How about a fascist poo army? That’s the humour Hell Pie is gunning for, with mixed success.

It’s good fun, for the most part, with the satisfying platforming taking centre stage thanks to the Nate and Nugget duo. See, Nugget is chained to Nate’s horns so he can’t escape his life of servitude, but this enslavement also serves to let Nate swing poor Nugget around in combat and use him as a swing anywhere grapple. Again, it’s a case of something really clever being dolled up by something really silly, but it works and after a few upgrades, I was making short work of some of the trickier platforming sections.

While Nugget is a great help, he is also an unfortunate hindrance at times. Hell Pie relies on on-screen text for all of its dialogue, which for me is a no-go and really killed a lot of the humour dead. It also brought about an unfortunate annoyance when Nugget would chime in with his tips. One level had me high above a restaurant with some precision platforming and Nugget’s tips would obstruct my view as I tried to make what should have been a simple hop across platforms. I tried to find an option to turn these off or maybe move them to the bottom of the screen where they would be less intrusive, but I couldn’t find such an option, not even as a fiendishly meta upgrade for the chubby bugger.

Speaking of, because every game needs upgrades these days, Hell Pie lets you upgrade your chained cherub with new abilities, and this rides nicely into the game’s collectables. Each level has a number of collectables to hunt down, ranging from food cans to Nugget and his upgrades, to baby goats with unicorn horns. These poor souls are used to upgrade Nate’s horns; once enough have been collected, take Nate to an alter and he’ll sacrifice them by pulling their horns out of their heads. Ouch.

Nate’s upgrades felt a little bit wasted, to be honest. His regular horns can be changed out on-the-fly for horns with different abilities, such as running super fast or being able to smash through weak walls. Aside from a handful of moments where they were crucial to progression, I didn’t pay much attention to them and the idea probably could have been dropped altogether without the game suffering.

The upgrades that I enjoyed the most aren’t really upgrades at all – they’re costumes that you can buy for the devilish duo, and they range from a kinky BDSM attire for Nate to mankini for Nugget. There are loads of outfits to deck the lads out in, and they give purpose to the collectable purple gems.

The comedy, sadly, fell flat for me. Not having the characters voiced left a lot of the humour on the screen when it really needed to be tickling my eardrums to get a giggle out of me. Some of the visual gags did get a little chuckle every now and again, but I’m sorry to say that the humour just didn’t get me in the way I expect it to. I think I have maybe, just maybe, finally matured. Bloody hell…

Hell Pie isn’t the funniest game around but it really doesn’t need to be, because its solid gameplay and fantastically disgusting world is more than enough to carry its not-so-lovable hero through the duration of this not-so-family-friendly adventure.

Chris Harding

British fella who lives off of tea and coffee. Fanatical about anything gaming, even partial to a bit Snakes 'n' Ladders, a game which he takes much more seriously than anybody else does.

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