REVIEW: Hellhounds

Hellhounds ($1.00) is less Rendercode Games’ second attempt at a Slender-like (see The Monastery for that) and more their first outing attempting to pair Slender’s slow-moving scares with your average first-person shooter. The resulting birth is about what you’d think it’d be, a mashed-together schizophrenia that puts it foot in the door of both genres, but is unsure which room it ultimately wants to reside in.

Hellhounds - Screen

Returning is the same idea of collecting a set number of objects, though the tension of being ‘chased’ and unarmed while doing so is no longer a factor, replaced with some disturbing-looking hellhounds and a sampling of your typical FPS guns (handgun, automatics, shotgun). Your exact loadout changes at the start of each new stage (total of 10), as does the amount of skulls you need to acquire before that level ends.

Darkness naturally plays a big role in setting up the mood (you’re lugging around that flashlight for a reason, you know), but don’t expect much variety in your scampering, as the same few room layouts are reused throughout. Visually, large parts of the game seem to be re-purposed from The Monastery, and there’s even a statue of that game’s villain on display if you look carefully enough.

All of this doesn’t necessarily equate to scary. Even with those horror staples in full effect, you can see the enemy dogs coming. They typically hide around corners or come at you straight on in narrow hallways, which turns the game into a predictable shooting gallery once you‘ve ‘baited’ them into attacking. So long as you keep your preferred weapon (the handgun works consistently on its own) fully loaded, you won’t need to switch up your tactics at all.

Hellhounds - Screen2

To dilute the fun further, you walk incredibly slow, to the point that backtracking (rooms and hallways containing skulls often branch off of the main path) is made all the more painful when you’re missing one lousy collectible. If you do happen to be caught off guard by a pack of enemies and die late in the round, the molasses-like drudgery to get back to that point can be incredibly frustrating.

Outside of a global leaderboard and your own persistence, though, there’s no reason to bother with it. You have to appreciate developers trying to continually evolve an existing idea or concept, but Hellhounds takes far too many steps backwards to consider it anything other than a mash-up that just doesn’t work.

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17 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hellhounds”

  1. So that’s why this game was created? As a Slender clone? I playtested this game and I suggested to add a story to flesh it out a bit. Had I known it was a Slender-like, I would’ve never played it.

    1. The ‘collection’ part and the slow movement speed would suggest Slender, which was what the previous game by the developer was. This one wants to add the FPS style to give it more appeal, I guess, but you really can’t combine the two without sacrificing something. In this case, it’s fun that gets the boot.

      The two genres could be combined to make it work, it would just take a little more polish and effort to do so, and Hellhounds doesn’t have it.

  2. Looks interesting. At least you can fight the monsters, great revenge after all those slender rips.

    Say, you think any indie games based on giant monster or dinos will come out soon? The new GODZILLA is gonna have its trailer come out on tuesdey.

    1. LOOKS and SOUNDS interesting on paper, but the execution is not.

      I don’t know of any in the pipeline at all, so far as dinosaurs or monsters go. If you haven’t, you need to play Shadow of the Colossus. That’ll give you your ‘big monster’ fix, and some of the Colossi -DO- look like dinosaurs. Find yourself a Playstation 2 or 3 and get on it!

    2. Already playing SOTC on the PS3.
      Have you tried Earth Defense Insect Armageddon? The reviews are alright and it has giant robots and bugs and robot bugs. Just want to hear some player imps.

    3. I have not. None of those games have really got me interested in trying them. Strange, too, considering blasting a bunch of overgrown bugs would seem to hold tons of appeal, but it just hasn’t done it for me.

    4. What?! You’ve never played Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon? Why, my good sir! You don’t know what you’re missing! There is very little more satisfying than grabbing a friend and killing giant spiders in the mech suit from Aliens!

    5. Nah, I’m an Xbox Gal, always was! And sure, it’s worth twenty bucks, assuming you’ve always wanted to shoot a giant praying mantis with heat-seeking incendiary shotgun flechettes!

      (Wait, I’m not a gal.)
      (What is even going on.)

    6. He’s not a gal, but he plays one on Omegle!

      I think my reason for not playing it rests in bad childhood memories. My parents used to drag me to their cult meetings as a child, and one of the things they did at meetings was dress up like giant bugs. There was chanting, weird dancing, really bad fruit punch…. I don’t like to talk about it.

    7. Okay.
      EDF 2025 is arriving in feb but I’m not sure. I watched gameplay and it seems to be full of literal gameplay bugs.
      Maybe it’ll be added later.
      Or even a sequel to Insect armageddon fearuring dinosaur.

    8. Everyone prefers their own cup of tea, I guess. I do like that these games are typically budget-priced. They don’t seem like they’d sell at a full $60.

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