Freekscape: Escape From Hell Review
Posted by Sammy Barker
Freekscape: Escape From Hell is never particularly astounding, but the platforming action is solid and varied enough to keep you interested throughout the game's duration
Hell's not a nice place. Not even if you're a demon. Take little Freek - a friendly little demon who hates the company in Hell. He wants to chill with the nice dude's in Heaven. So, when he finds a holy trident at the start of Freekscape: Escape From Hell, there's one thing on little Freek's mind. That's right - use the holy trident to manipulate Hell's colourful creatures and get the, ahem, Hell out.
Freekscape's a two-dimensional platform. Don't let its aesthetics confuse you - the game does introduce depth to its environments by rendering the action in 3D, but this is every inch the side-scroller. With Freek's holy trident, he can spear enemies to turn his pronged staff into various different guises - like a pogo-stick or battering ram. It's a really clever mechanic, that even allows you to combine multiple creatures into a super-useful side-arm. And that's pretty much how the game plays out - you find creatures, work out the best method to manipulate them, get to the next platform, repeat. The trial-and-error means that the developer's decision to remove punishment each time you die is a positive one. You'll die lots, so frequently placed checkpoints relieve the frustration.
That's not to say there's no challenge though. Each level has a timer, encouraging you to return once you've beaten it and go for the high-score. There's not really any incentive to do that, but if you enjoy the mechanics then you might find yourself hopping through the game's 40-or-so levels a second time.
Freek can be a bit tricky to control due to the game's enforcement of the analogue nub, a strange design choice seeing as the D-pad would have been much better suited to 2D control. Here, the D-pad instead tilts the camera.
Still, if there's any real complaint regarding Freekscape it's that the levels are a bit bland. Very bland in fact. The pseudo-3D viewpoint means everything lacks personality and all the levels look the same. Simple 2D backgrounds could have provided more detail and varied environments. They might have suited Freekscape's style a little better, too.
The puzzles and platforming are what you'll come to Freekscape for though, and thankfully they're solid. If you're looking for a cute little platformer to occupy you on the go, then this is the best Minis has to offer.