Jupiter Hell – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based, Roguelike
Developer: ChaosForge
Publishers: ChaosForge, Hyperstrange
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Jupiter Hell – Review

Site Score
7.3
Good: Good gameplay
Bad: Repetitive visuals
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Doom is a very popular franchise that has influenced plenty of different games since it first appeared, even giving birth to the term “Doom clone”. While Jupiter Hell is not one of such clones due to its spin on the genre and gameplay, it certainly wears the influence of said franchise on its sleeve. We’ll do our best to further explain this statement in the following review.

Story

As is commonplace for roguelikes, Jupiter Hell’s story is little more than a setup for the action. Said story follows Mark Taggart, a space marine stuck on a space station filled with zombies and demons after the automated defense system crashed his spaceship. Forced to fight for his life, Mark will have to explore the station in order to find a ship with which to escape, uncovering the events that led to the current situation.

Graphics

Jupiter Hell’s graphics are rather nicely made, with a particularly impressive lighting system in place. Despite this, the quality of the graphics is done a disservice by the sameyness of the environments and enemies.

Throughout all runs, players will continuously find themselves in identical metallic corridors fighting minuscule enemies barely distinguishable from each other. Although there certainly are some exceptions to this, such as a few cave levels or the more unique mech enemies, the visual differences between areas and even runs are negligible.

Sound

The game’s sound design also presents a pretty decent quality metal soundtrack as well as proper sound effects. Alongside this, Jupiter Hell also features voice acting for all of Mark’s lines, including the occasional quips during combat.

Similar to the graphics department, the sound design encounters the pitfall of repetitiveness. Most of the sound effects consist of pain groans, gunshots and explosions, repeated over and over to the point they become irrelevant.

Gameplay

As a turn-based roguelike, Jupiter Hell’s gameplay consists of going through the different levels of the space station while mowing down hordes of enemies with different weapons. Throughout each run, players will obtain different pieces of equipment and skills when leveling up, becoming stronger as the difficulty increases.

Before starting each run, players will be offered a selection of different classes, each offering unique skills and loadouts. Each of the classes also has special active abilities, alongside a resource utilized to activate them, providing effects such as healing or invisibility. Each class can also obtain a different set of abilities upon leveling up, further separating them from each other.

The different weapons in the game can be separated into two main types: Melee and Ranged. More often than not, players will find ranged weapons, instead of melee ones. Inside the ranged class of weapons, several other sub-types exist depending on the rate of fire and other stats. In order to use a ranged weapon, players will also need to possess the appropriate type of ammo for them, which can be obtained by killing enemies using the same weapon type or via ammo chests.

Although finding ammo is certainly not hard, finding the appropriate type for the carried weapons is. More often than not, players will end up with their inventory filled to the brim with stacks of different types of ammo, forcing them to drop some to pick up a stimpack, grenade, or any other item they might want.

Throughout the levels, it is also possible to encounter upgrade stations and packs, capable of adding special passive effects to equipment. Besides this, enemies and chests also have a chance to drop rare types of equipment with better stats and random effects. Other than weapons, equipment may come in the shape of head and body armor, utility chips, and relics, each with special effects or stat improvements.

Outside of upgrade stations and chests, several other structures can be found in the space station, including terminals and healing stations. While the latter is straightforward enough, terminals are more unique, presenting the player with emails sent between members of the station before their untimely demise. These emails often contain important information about the plot, intel about powerful items scattered throughout the levels, or instructions on how to enter hidden areas. From time to time terminals with special scripts will appear, allowing players to do things such as disable all mech enemies or open elevators.

The game also features a unique cover system which players will need to learn as quickly as possible. By hiding behind a structure or corner, both players and enemies will receive an increase to their dodge chance. Should a player wait for a turn behind cover, they’ll also receive an additional buff. Curiously enough, Jupiter Hell seems to run into a problem with this due to the enemy AI.

Upon firing a round into an enemy, players will more often than not be swarmed by every single enemy in the area. Even though this sounds bad, when a player has enough ammo, hiding behind a corner and mowing down everything ends up becoming the run-of-the-mill reaction. It is rather surprising how easily enemies bottleneck themselves in corridors, reducing survival mostly to the amount of ammo vs enemies left.

Additionally, besides the default mode which includes several difficulty options, the game features two additional modes: Trials and Challenges. Each of these presents the player with a unique set of conditions and modifiers applied to the world in order to spice up their runs. This can include items such as only allowing one type of weapon or disabling special terminals. At the end of each run, players will also be presented with a leaderboard where they may compare their scores between runs.

Conclusion

Jupiter Hell is a rather enjoyable turn-based roguelike that would benefit from more variation in its design and some improvements to its AI. That said, players who enjoy a hard game, and this specific genre, will find just their thing here. Sold at a price of £19.49/20,99€/$24.99, it is recommendable to hold on for a sale if you’re still on the fence.

Personal Opinion

“As someone who very much enjoys turn-based roguelikes, I had a good amount of fun with Jupiter Hell. That said, as mentioned in the review, the environments could definitely be improved in terms of variety. The same also goes for the weapons in earlier levels, to be honest. You’ll always get the same set of five weapons. Other than that, the game doesn’t have many noteworthy qualities, besides the cover system. You run around, shoot stuff, and (hopefully) that stuff dies. In my opinion, that makes Jupiter Hell a pretty comfortable game to play while watching a series or something on the side.”

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Jupiter Hell - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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