Who doesn’t like a bit of old-fashioned platforming? One of the first things we learned in our early gaming lives, at least after shooting space invaders and eating dots while being chased by ghosts, is to jump. From Donkey Kong to Manic Miner to Super Mario Bros, jumping has become our go-to ability in the world of video games. Split-second timing is required, a quick adaptation of the game’s physics, and nerves of steel as you keep trying even when you die over and over again.
Evasion From Hell is another game from the prolific EpiXR Games team, as they take you on a journey through hell. Let’s jump in.
Evasion from Hell could well be seen as a sequel to EpiXR’s latest games in this genre – From Earth to Heaven and From Heaven to Earth. In this game though, you start your journey in the lowest circle of hell and your goal is to slowly rise through the other nine circles and gain access back to the living world. What happens next is an interesting and atmospheric journey through some amazing landscapes. It’s a great visual story that works well throughout. But unlike the other games in their library – like the Aery series – this game is all about the gameplay.
It’s a platformer, or should I say a parkour adventure playground. You start the game at each level where you have five different paths to choose from and five different gems to collect at the end. When all five objects are collected then you can progress to the next circle of hell. You can tackle those different paths in any order you like and they present a number of different parkour challenges ahead.
The game is played in the first person, which personally I always have trouble with in terms of jumping, more so, the accuracy in the landing. It’s this which makes the game tricky right from the beginning, as it provides a decent enough challenge for any level of gamer. Some pathways provide moving objects for you to jump across, others are static, but they might disappear or crack. If you die by falling off the platforms, you will straight away be placed back at the start of the level. But don’t worry, as the gems you’ve collected will still count, acting like a little checkpoint. Dare to restart the game and you have to take in the level again; something which is a bit of pain if I’m honest.
When you are jumping over obstacles you can also jump through a token that gives you access to a one-shot double jump. This is a clever use of platforming gameplay so when you traverse the levels you might have to jump through several tokens, use the reward to jump to the next one, and so forth. I did say it is tricky, didn’t I? Because that’s exactly what it is as you progress upwards through the circles of hell; it gets a whole lot tougher, believe me.
The environments you get to spend some time in are fantastic, whisking you through the nine circles of hell. Each one is varied and even though it’s meant to be hell all are very relaxing places to hang out in. There is the odd glitch here and there in terms of the visuals, but nothing major and certainly nothing that breaks the game. The colour scheme is cool as well and the menus are well designed. You will however want to change up the speed of your turn rate through the settings though, because the default setting is way too fast. Further to that, the soundtrack is nicely relaxing too, but as it is with these games due to the repeat and die nature you might want to have your own playlist ready to rescue your sanity.
EpiXR Games have seemingly stumbled upon a formula that seems to work. They make short gaming experiences across many different franchises – all are cheap, full of easy achievements, and gamers seem to lap them up. But rather than the more simple experience of an Aery or Life of Fly game, Evasion from Hell is a much more difficult affair.
It’s a platformer with teeth, and if you want a challenge then Evasion From Hell could be for you.
Evasion from Hell is available from the Xbox Store