Helheim Hassle – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Perfectly Paranormal
Publisher: Perfectly Paranormal
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PC

Helheim Hassle – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Great characters and voice acting, good puzzle design
Bad: Repetitive jokes and puzzles later on
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Manual Samuel was a pretty fun and unique game by Perfectly Paranormal, with a lot of quirky mechanics and characters. Helheim Hassle, their newest game, follows in its footsteps with many more zany puzzles.  

Story

Helheim Hassle’s story revolves around BjØrn (who will be referred to as Bjorn for the rest of the review), a Viking with a complete disinterest for battle. After running away from a battle against the giants, Bjorn falls to his death when a bridge collapses. Once he’s done putting his mangled corpse back together, he tries to enter Helheim, a.k.a Norse hell, but Is taken to Valhalla on a technicality.

Years later, Pesto, one of Satan’s underlings, is sent to Helheim to collect her boss’ new sword. Being unable to read Norse and thus unable open the gates of Hel, Pesto stumbles upon Bjorn’s corpse, who she revives as a translator. Being Pesto’s first time resurrecting someone, the spell leaves undesirable side-effects on Bjorn, whose head pops off and can work without his body. Once the pair manages to open the gate to Helheim, they find that the realm of death is undergoing renovations, meaning everything is littered with puzzles. After some discussion, Bjorn, who hates Valhalla and the constant fighting, manages to convince Pesto to let him help in exchange for staying in Helheim once the ordeal is over.

All of the game’s dialogues are filled with quips and jokes, only made better by the fantastic character interactions. Every new introduction to the cast, recurring or not, brings along a new set of dialogues, ready to crack up the players. While the particular set of humor may not be the smartest, it is nonetheless lighthearted and entertaining for anyone but the grumpiest players.That said, it should be mentioned that all characters have a shtick, with a few common to all of them. For example, Pesto is unable to pronounce Viking words and makes them up, everyone says belawng instead of belong, etc . These gimmicks are fun for a while, but after the six hours the game offers, they can get a tad tedious.

Graphics

The game’s graphics have a very nice hand-painted style, with pleasant pastel colors that stay constant through the whole adventure. Characters also have very unique designs, even those that belong to a same race or type; it is clear the developers took their time to differentiate every one of them. There are some cameos from Manual Samuel as well, which was made with the same general style.

Sound

Sound is also pretty well covered in the game, with a good soundtrack and full voice acting. Said voice acting is really good, with even background characters having their own voice and a great delivery. The soundtrack and SFX, despite overall quality, are pretty quiet though, often getting overshadowed by everything else going on and becoming mostly irrelevant.

Gameplay

As one may guess from the introduction, Helheim Hassle is a puzzle game with a core mechanic that could be described as “a very morbid LEGO”. Due to the reasons mentioned in the Story segment, Bjorn is able to detach all of his limbs and control them at will. These detached limbs can also be combined with each other; a leg and an arm allow for huge jumps while grabbing ledges or stairs, two arms climb faster, a headless body jumps higher, etc. Individual limbs can also be tossed away, as long as one arm is still present, allowing for extra long reach.

The puzzles themselves start simple enough, accessing a small or high up zone to press a button or pull a lever; but as the game progresses, they start becoming more convoluted. These harder puzzles require specific body parts to activate, be it a head to talk or an arm to tickle. This is even expanded upon with the introduction of specific limb requirements on certain buttons

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Sadly the length of the base game doesn’t allow for that much puzzle variety. After the introduction of limb specific triggers, the game doesn’t develop, instead, it just continues using the existing mechanics. While it is understandable, it still makes the later part of the game become somewhat repetitive.

Besides the main mechanics of the game, there are also side quests and hidden collectibles. These collectibles come in various shapes, from berries to letters. There are even cosmetics Bjorn can wear or souvenirs to decorate Bjorn’s house with. The game entices going back to previously visited areas in order to unlock new things and provides the mechanics to make it fun. What’s even more, once the main game is over, the player is prompted to go back and finish everything for new rewards.

Conclusion

Helheim Hassle is both a fun and funny game with a lot of imaginative puzzles to offer. While these might not be the hardest, they are still challenging and require some thought without going too far. Despite currently being unreleased at the time of writing this review and thus having no price, it wouldn’t be a long stretch to say it’ll be a worthy purchase.

Personal Opinion

“I’ve had a blast through and through with this game. Every minute of it was entertaining and it kept me laughing for most of it. It also feels good to be rewarded for exploring and finding new areas, which is made even easier thanks to the fast travel. As a recommendation, I wouldn’t say trying to beat it in a single sitting is a good idea, there’s only so much you can laugh at once. Don’t take this as an indirect way of saying the puzzles become repetitive, because it’s not. All of them are different enough that I could keep doing them for ages, but the game is much more than that.”

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Helheim Hassle - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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