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Hel

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Explore the shifting and spectral city of Helheim, in this procedurally generated Norse afterlife.

Hel can be played as an atmospheric walking sim set in a grim and eerie underworld, or you can try to discover the mysteries of Helheim and find a secret mechanic to escape to a better afterlife. The question is, does a better fate make you a better person?

Hel is free on itcho.io.

In Norse mythology, Hel was the name of both the goddess and the place that she ruled over. When a human died, they could end up in one of three places to dwell until the end of the world. People who had a noble death, either went to Valhalla or to Fólkvangr. Those whose lives and deaths were dishonourable, pitiful, or even just unremarkable, travelled to Helheim. Thus Hel was the afterlife for people who died of disease or frailty. In other words, it was for the wives and mothers, the elderly, infants and disabled people, just as much as it was for cravens and criminals. Was that fair? Maybe not, but the afterlife is what you make of it.

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After I changed the resolution to 1080p, the game froze.

Unfortunately not much of a fan of the game.

  • It’s just like… a maze. An immediate turn off for me since I don’t really like that
  • The key system is irritating. Don’t have the right key? Need to somehow backtrack to where one of the key changers is. And in a maze, this is maddening
  • The lighting is often way too dark. I passed so many of one type of building/structure (where what I assume are ghosts/spirits) are held behind the doors before realizing there was a small tunnel hidden in the wall that leads up
  • No clear indication of progress, so far as I can tell. I opened 3 or 4 doors and then stopped playing

Maybe something to think about in the future or if you plan to continue working on this game.

Just some more thoughts:
Well the font is a little hard to read sometime.

It would be simple enough to add subtle lighting around key locations (like the tunnels). And also given the maze-like nature a map would make this actually more worth playing for me, at least. I could see where I’ve been and where I need to go and could potentially plan which key to bring around to which places I haven’t been (assuming I scouted the whole area first). As it is, with so many key locations I don’t think a maze is the best suited for this.

Hope this helps!