Unholy Heights is a pretty fun real estate, simulation game but an unforgiving tower defense one. Not that the title isn’t fun but in effort to spread out the relatively short story there were heavy difficulty spikes between the handful of missions available. Which in turn made the simulation aspects monotonous at times. Still turning figurative knobs and dials to adjust the many variables within Unholy Heights was something to enjoy.
You play as the Devil himself who starts up an apartment complex. Your goal is to house monsters of all sorts, defend your building and tenants from humans, and take over the world. It’s pretty simple and straightforward actually. Your building starts out as one story but when certain story objectives are completed, you can add a few more floors. This of course means more minions in your “army” and more rent money coming your way.
The money you earn is in turn put back into your apartments and their residents. This is where the simulation half of the game comes in to play. You decide how much each room goes for and the amenities they include. However, things like furniture, appliances, and hobbies will mostly be bought dependent on your minion’s desires. Doing so will make them more satisfied and stronger. Due to the game’s economy you won’t be able to buy everything your tenants want. That’s why it’s up to you to decide rent prices and who gets what and when. Like most simulators there’s a balance that should be followed.
Treat your monsters right and they’ll be willing to shovel out more money, find a spouse, and even mate. Although I found it kind of messed up that you could forcibly name the children whatever you wanted. Eventually the kids would grow up and be apart of the monster mission of taking over the planet. That is if you can keep them and their parents alive. In fact, most of the time my creature family perished were due to fast forwarding the game world and being victim to Unholy Height’s many difficulty spikes.
As mentioned before the other half of this simulation game is tower defense. Your complex will be attacked by humans randomly or through quests and missions. They’ll walk from off-screen and try to make their way to the top of the building. Or in other words try to reach the Devil’s area and steal some of your hard-earned money. To prevent this you choose which monsters come out and attack the pesky homosapians. There’s a variety of monsters and human characters but most are either close combat, magic wielders, or ranged classes based on medieval lore. The tenant roles and the order in which they’re brought to the battle can effect the outcome of every fight.
Sadly, this is where Unholy Heights falls apart. There’s not much story content or missions to last more than a few hours. This problem is combated by escalating the difficulty quite a bit with each mission completed. Even if it was something as simple as a one star difficulty, side mission. The human enemies would be stronger and have a lot more health. It didn’t matter what you did with your monsters or in what order they appeared in battle. They would die and you’d either have to reload or continue on and look for brand new minions.
It’s disappointing because the way you fix this is by acquiring new monsters and satisfying them enough that they’re stats are mostly maxed out. Which if you’ve been paying attention is exactly the apartment simulation experience this title brings to the table. However, adjusting rent prices, buying amenities, checking in on resident’s satisfaction, and watching them come and go gets boring after a while. Things get dryer than a typical RPG grinding session. Even by doing all of this you still may not be strong enough to complete the next quest. Although I won’t lie and say it was rewarding every time rent money came in.
The art to Unholy Heights is nice and feels very homey if you will. Like something you’d see on a little child’s cartoon show including the character design, background, sun and moon faces, etc. Additionally the activities that the monster residents can be seen doing are quite entertaining. They could be doing something as simple as working out or playing on a graphing calculator to reading an erotic novel or watching a television set with no cable. The atmosphere of the entire game had a nice whimsical feel to it. When I wasn’t getting fed up with the difficulty spikes, I was enjoying the simplicity of apartment living.
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