Developer: Petit Depotto
Release Date: August 16th, 2013 (PC), September 23rd, 2013 (360)
Available On: PC, Xbox 360
Reviewer’s Note: I played the PC version of this game. There may be differences between versions.
Here’s two genres that you probably wouldn’t expect to see combined: apartment management and tower defense. Yet Unholy Heights does exactly that. Having you manage your tenets while fending off hoards of enemies, Unholy Heights is a unique, if not all that great, game.
Unholy Heights puts you in the role of the devil as he tries to manage a new apartment building complex he set up. You need to cater to various monsters so they’ll move in while using these monsters to fight enemies. Each of the seven races have a broad generalization that they like and dislike, then the four classes in each race have more specific things. For example the whole Chimera race will only start taking rooms if the other renters are highly satisfied, but then the wolfboy/girl class will only take rooms with exercise equipment. Sometimes you’ll have to ignore one race to cater to another (Demi-Humans and Demons hate each other, for example) so you have to be prepared ahead of time with the species you want to bring in.
Each monster has a job and life outside of the hotel. While you don’t have any control over what they do, they may ask for things and you have to decide if their happiness is worth the money. The happier a monster is then the higher their stats are when it comes to combat and the more likely it’s going to pay the rent. Monsters also can fall in love and begin to live with someone, giving you the advantage of having two monsters in a single room. They can also have a child for a third monster. You can’t control any of these things so it’s all up to chance. This does serve as a problem sometimes, when monsters suddenly decide to go outside and play right before there’s an attack.
The attacks are at least less random. There’s only a small chance you’ll be attacked randomly. Instead you’ll accept quests that will cause adventurers to come to you. Fighting consists of little more than knocking on the door to your monster’s rooms so they come out when enemies show up. You can’t control them directly in anyway, the most you can do is ask them to run away if their health gets low. If a monster dies you can’t bring them back, so you have to be careful with how you send them out. The amount of gold you get from completing quests is far greater than the money you get from rent, so I actually got to a point where I started to feel rent was useless. Maybe I kept it to low, but I never really needed the money rent got me.
The inability to tell your monsters what to do begins to become a problem during and after attacks. Monsters only recover health while sleeping, but you can’t force them to sleep so they may end up sticking around with half health for a really long time. Likewise there’s some actions monsters can take out side of combat, like having sex and lifting weights, that actually cause them to lose health. Because of this you could end up sending wounded monsters into combat despite there not having been combat in a while. This also leaks into the management aspect as well. If a monster loses a job there’s no way instruct them to look for a new one. Sometimes monsters will also just randomly leave the apartments with no given reason why. It begins to get frustrating when it feels like how prepared you are is up to little other than luck.
Also the game begins to feel like a grind after a bit. It doesn’t take long to see everything in the game and nothing ever really changes up. While it’s fun for a little while, Unholy Heights begins to get boring fast. The game feels like it’s best played in very short bursts. In fact, it almost feels like it was supposed to be a mobile game at some point. If that’s what you’re looking for then Unholy Heights can scratch that itch. Just don’t expect it to be much more.