Candy. I doubt many would argue that it’s pretty… sweet. Unless it’s responsible for the death of everyone in the village. Everyone except for you. Somehow, you survived the onslaught in Hell Candy, and you know what this means: REVENGE! Time to make every last sugary monster pay. With their lives.
That is, of course, unless you die trying. Which happened to me. Repeatedly. See, while the game supposedly contains a meager three levels, Hell Candy is very much a wave-based shooter, meaning enemies are going to spawn in at specific intervals, big troublesome ones mixed in with easily disposable tiny foes. Your arsenal? Oh, it consists of three weapons: a fully automatic rifle, a shotgun, and what can best be described as a pea shooter. The last one, unsurprisingly, comes with infinite ammunition.
On paper, it’s most certainly a pretty solid setup: run around, (double) jump, do fancy mid-air dashing, and gun down everything that moves with the odd grenade and melee attack for good measure. Like any proper shooter of this sort, ammunition is scattered throughout each arena, although thankfully, grenades – much like the melee attack – simply trigger a cooldown on use. No need to replenish the explosive goodness. So yeah, on paper, this does sound like a good time. For the most part, it actually is, but a few things do hold it back somewhat.
For starters, thanks to the relentless nature of enemies and somewhat fragile nature of the player, spatial awareness – for lack of a better term – felt like an issue that might not have been with the inclusion of, say, a minimap or a radar of sorts highlighting enemy locations. Too often I found myself surrounded, pushed into a corner even, and that was pretty much it. Sure, mashing jump and dash in a panicked frenzy did save my bacon a few of those times, but let’s face it, such were not skill. They were instances of pure luck and randomness, meaning for all intents and purposes, I should have perished every time, no exception.
Annihilate waves of monsters, complete the levels and strike down the final boss.
Final boss? Ha! Much as it pains me (not really) to admit, even though I will forever claim that it was not entirely my fault, progressing past the first – of three, according to the trailer below – levels… never happened during my time in Hell Candy. Still had fun, and darn if the music wasn’t instrumetal (totally a word!) of the most glorious variety. Why anyone would want to mute is it beyond me, and yet the game does have a key bound to do just that. Peculiar. Are they not aware of how you can’t kill the metal?
You can, however, kill those pesky candy monsters – with enough practice, perhaps even reach the finale. Then it’s simply a matter of ending Mufflazer’s reign of terror in this student project, and… that’ll be all
she they wrote.
Hell Candy is available on itch.io, for free.