Silverain Reviews: SakuraGame: Hell Girls

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: ,

Greetings and salutations over the last few years Steam either listening to its maturing user base (or simply motivated by money) has become slightly more lax in regards to more adult rated games that focus on sexual rather than violent content.
In this series of reviews I am going to be focusing on a small publisher SakuraGame (not to be confused with Winged Cloud who create the Sakura series of games), this small publisher has released a variety of cheap content of various genres ranging from simple erotica to undoubtedly a hentai game with quality wildly fluctuating between its smaller developer studios. 

Hell Girls is a R18 puzzle RPG created by SakuraGame that prioritizes match 3 strategy over speed, in a similar vein to other match 3 games such as Puzzle Quest the game is heavily focused around turn based combat by matching icons to perform certain attacks.
Coining a term from a fellow reviewer Athravan Hell Girls match system could be described more accurately as link & match in that you can make long chains of matches going in any direction with a simple premise of longer the chain, greater the effect. However simply creating a long chain is not enough each of the three available characters has a unique bonus that triggers from the special spellbooks that are created from long chains and often it is more tactical to make chain the length of the spellbook you need.
I certain agree with Athravans own comment that 'Making combos and setting up the board for something massive is genuinely entertaining', it adds a level of tactical depth to the match 3 genre that is often lacking. In addition each character is focused on a element and attack style theme with the ability to learn and equip various usable skills which add further options and variety, this also applies to the various mixture of foes who usually have 2 to 4 different methods of attack each making each monster encounter tactically varied and rather challenging when these monster types are grouped together in a string of fights in a single encounter.

Not all the mechanics are great however, the additional RPG element comes in levelling which increases your stats such as defence and damage as expect, as experience points are spent individually by each character while supporting varying ones play style it leads to a long grind for Soul and Money. It is also responsible for the sudden spikes of difficulty where certain encounters are simply impossible until the character has progressed several levels forcing you to replay levels even further.
Each level does have a series of typical challenges such as moves taken, items collected and number of enemies defeated so occasionally this does force a player back to these levels once their characters have developed to achieve a better rating. 
Further unlocks include alternative costumes mostly in the design of bikinis and other fan service outfits though each has its own powerful effect and downsides. There is no mandatory requirement to use these however and the default armour will serve quite fine.
The story in game is told sporadically and honestly rather badly if it wasn't for the steam store description I really would not know anything about it and even then it is rather vague:
Three mysterious families are blessed by the gods to give birth to girls with powers over fire, ice, and lightning every century.
Their powers are unknown to others, but they will be called by the gods to travel across Hell and Earth, slaying monsters to save the world from being swallowed by Hell’s corruption.
In game they have been referred to as angels by various NPCs or just hired as mercenaries by more eccentric ones. The little dialogue is cliché with cumbersome attempts to add sexual undertones and humour. One NPC I encounter was a budding alchemist who needed Orc 'fluids' with heavy suggestions that they fluid was semen. Given the (admittedly tame) fan service in the game I half expected one of the six images in the game to be of this 'collection'. Instead I was pleasantly relieved that after defeating the orcs she simply said thank you and taught my character a skill (though that adds all new questions of if these girls are the only ones with magic how are other teaching them magic skills).

Finally the visual in the game are quite good in all honesty, the 3d models for both the girls and the enemies are quite detailed with minimum clipping observed. The few scenes with artwork are of high quality but it is just a shame its all fan service and drives away more customers than it attracts.

  • Good quality if cliche artwork and character design, with impressive 3d model detail for its production value.
  • Enjoyable and varied mechanics with various levels of customisation.
  • Art gallery options.
  • Reasonable game length.
  • Easy to pickup and play, no punishment for failure.
  • Energetic and upbeat music.
  • Variation on the match 3 genre.
  • Publisher gives acknowledgements to those who helped with the game.
  • Steam Cards and Achievements.

  • Fan service is laughable and sadly stereotypical in design, too much and embarrassing for the average player and too little and tame for those looking for a more adult game.
  • Level grinding required.
  • Mechanics have variety but are rather shallow and many enemies are recolours with higher stats.
  • Sudden difficulty curves due to RPG elements.
  • Game occasionally forces you to play as particular characters against enemies that their playstyle is weak against.
  • Steam recommendations feed changed to focus on anime from playing this one game.

If you'd like to see more check out my video below:

If your looking for the decensor patch it can be found on the download page.


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