Hellraid: The Escape
Techland has crafted an excellent mobile puzzler.
The companion to Techland's fantasy co-op title Hellraid debuted via iOS, and it's a much different departure. Hellraid: The Escape is actually a first-person puzzle game with some elements from the PC original, but despite its differences from the source material, it's an all-around impressive experience that puzzle fans and those looking for something a little different will be able to appreciate.
As a prisoner trapped by an evil sorcerer, it's your job to escape your captor and earn your freedom. There's just one catch: you have no real memories of who you are. This lays the groundwork for a narrative that sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go. From the beginning up until the bitter end, you've got a reason to keep pushing to discover a resolution, and arriving there is addictive.
The visually-impressive adventure is divided up into chambers, which require players to solve a variety of puzzles before moving on to the next area. You might need to find specific items, take out enemies, or simply open up doors to make progress. You can collect crystals on the side, but puzzle-solving is what you'll spend the most time on. Fortunately, there's even an in-game hint system on the off chance if you get stuck, but you likely won't ever need to use one at all, and that speaks volumes on the quality of the game's construction.
It's also absolutely gorgeous, but that's no surprise given its usage of the Unreal engine as a base. The framerate is quite solid as well -- this is one of the better-looking puzzlers on iOS for sure. The ambiance is right as well, with spooky areas and decor that really set the tone.
Hellraid: The Escape excels when it comes to first-person exploration and puzzle-solving, but falters when you're forced to do anything related to platforming at all. It's also extremely short, with only around eight chambers to conquer before you abandon ship and more onto something else. And there's little to no replay value, unless you just really want to go back and experience specific sections again. Once you've completed the game once, there's little reason to return and do it all again.
Hellraid: The Escape is a competent, atmospheric, and polished puzzler that acts as a great companion to the PC game -- even though it's a bit short-lived, it's still worth the entry price to experience.