The battle between good and evil is at the heart of just about any video game conflict – and Hasta la Muerte (universal) is no different. A survival platformer with a very distinct visual style, la Muerte puts players in charge with the existential task of saving souls from an evil entity known only as The Scientist.
Hasta la Muerte takes place in the world of Limbo, where the souls of the eternally resting are wandering about, waiting for redemption or damnation. That decision is in the hands of the player, whose presence turns lost souls blue for a short period of time, where they can be collected for whatever the ‘good’ afterlife entails.
The goal in each level is to collect a specific number of souls before the exit will open, awarding points and a letter grade for fast, efficient runs. But things aren’t that simple, of course. la Muerte is a survival platformer, and will require some strategy by the player, because blue souls not collected in a strict time limit by the player will become ‘damned’.
The condemned then turn into little black monsters whose goal is to bring you back into the limbo that everyone else exists in. Certainly not an attractive fate, and one players will do their best to avoid through the game’s 20 plus levels, utilizing ‘Soulplet’ powers to tip the ethereal scales in their favor.
To top off its smooth gameplay, Hasta la Muerte features a quirky visual style that really captures the feel of nothingness associated with most Western beliefs of Purgatory. Everything is doodle and stick-figure based, utilizing a bleak color palette and minimalist visual details to give it a desolate hand-drawn style.
It’s a perfect example of art imitating gameplay, sparsely detailed but intricately designed to really inspire thought from the player in terms of approaching each level – including hidden shortcuts to shave precious seconds off level completion times.
With its fantastic aesthetics, great gameplay, and responsive touch controls, Hasta la Muerte (universal) is a dark – but still endearing – survival platformer, a quality title that might not appeal to the most casual of gamers, but will provide an entertaining and challenging experience for fans of stealth and platforming games.