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Game Info:

Unholy Heights
Developed by: Petit Depotto, Mebius
Published by: Bergsala Lightweight
Release date: June 23, 2016 (3DS)
Available on: 3DS, Windows
Genre: Tower Defense, Apartment Simulation
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Price: $6.00

Thank you Bergsala Lightweight for sending the game to review.

Unholy Heights may have one of the most unlikely plots you may come across in a video game. You play as Satan - the manual refers to him as just a devil - as he starts a new business venture as an apartment landlord for all kinds of ghouls and ghosts.

Unholy Heights is a basic 2D tower defense game combined with a moderately deep apartment simulation. In the beginning, the apartment complex will only be one-story high with four rooms. Each room can house three residents, but this is only for a lover and a potential child. The apartment rooms themselves will be barren, and it's the devil's job to buy new furniture and decorations for tenants in order to raise their satisfaction. Keeping the tenants happy will allow the devil to charge them more in rent. As time passes, adventurers will appear and march towards the devil's room where he hides his gold. Knocking on the door of a resident will bring them outside and they'll start to attack the closest enemy.

There's a huge variety in the types of monsters that come looking for a room. From typical skeletons and zombies to little chickens and even fish headed beings. Each monster type starts off not trusting Satan very much. Increasing their affinity towards him ranges from how well other residents like him, to how often battles are won or lost. Monsters themselves may not like a different type of creature staying in the apartment. For instance, Demi-Humans don't like Demons, and both will lose happiness as long as the other is around. Maintaining trust and happiness is the key to success. Occasionally a monster will become interested in a tenant and will move in with them. Buying certain items and furniture increases the odds of them producing a single offspring. Essentially this is the most effective way of increasing your numbers in battle.

Unholy Heights
Highlights:

Strong Points: Simple gameplay mechanics; Cute character designs; Dozens of hours of content.
Weak Points: Gets repetitive rather quickly; Inconsistent difficulty for some quests; Graphics look dated.
Moral Warnings: It's heavily implied the monsters are having sex; You play as Satan; Abyssal class monsters pray to the devil at altars; Cartoon violence.

The other half of Unholy Heights is the tower defense mechanic. Adventurers appear from the left side of the screen and proceed to the devil's room. Knocking on the door of a resident will have all current occupants walk out and initiate combat. Monsters have unique attack and defense traits. Skeletons have a decent attack, but lower defense than others. Demons have high magical attack and defense stats, but lower physical defense. Elementals all have ranged attacks, making them ideal to have behind your stronger physical attackers. This makes it so it's nearly impossible to win with only one type of monster, and encourages using different creatures together in battle. Buying workout equipment for a monster's room is the only way to increase their stats. Unfortunately for me, my monsters usually died after a few battles so I never quite saw the full benefits. 

There's a decent amount of quests that can be taken on. Some will only be one round in which a big monster must be defeated, while some are up to four rounds long that end in a boss-like fight. Maintaining your makeshift army is rather difficult as you may only have creatures that deal magical damage and an entire army of high magical defense enemies will wander in and kill everyone. It wasn't an uncommon sight to see all my tenants wiped out while at the same time losing tons of gold. Thankfully there's always a constant flow of potential renters waiting to move in.

Visually, the game isn't going to blow anyone away. As the touch screen was chosen as the primary screen, there's no 3D. The game plays out in a somewhat flat world with very little going on, aside from the continuous stream of ghoulish fiends looking for a room. From the moment you start the game, all the way to the very end, you only see one screen. The apartment eventually does grow in size, but those that play that far may find themselves bored  by then. This is not to say the game isn't fun or engaging, just that things get stale a bit too fast.

Unholy Heights
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 70%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Unholy Heights has 10 music tracks in total and they are all upbeat and pleasant to listen to. Surprisingly, I never found myself annoyed by the endless loops that would play as hours passed by. One of my favorite features of the game can be found in the game's Sound Mode. There are four stereos that can be bought for tenants in-game, and these actually output the quality of the music differently in the Sound Mode. The cheaper radio sounds very tinny, whereas the most expensive stereo sounds really crisp and has bass. This was a nice touch and definitely an unexpected addition.

Morally there are a few issues here for an E rated game. First off, it's heavily implied when the monsters are having sex as a loud annoying beep rings out and the description of the creatures becomes "engaging in pillow talk." Most of the time this results in a child being born. That then results in a room being filled with occupants so pillow talk just becomes everyday sex that the player must wait through. Imagine the joy of 10 rooms all beeping at once. Another issue is with the Abyssal monsters. These guys require special altars for their rooms. Each altar serves a different function, but they all are basically used to pray to the devil. This game definitely should have been rated E10+, possibly even a Teen rating.

Overall, Unholy Heights is an entertaining experience. It's not the deepest or the most complex tower defense game, but it's unlike any other game I've played. There are a few flaws, like text running outside of text boxes and the random difficulty spikes, but those are really the only problems. Gamers looking for a charming and silly strategy game will most likely enjoy Unholy Heights. It makes some rather questionable gameplay choices, but if you're not offended by fictitious monsters worshipping the devil and having sex constantly, there's a good game here.

-Kyuremu

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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