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Hell Raisers / Hell Raiser / Liberators - Amiga, Atari ST (1989)

by Nick Zverloff - December 21, 2012

American Cover

This game is probably called Hell Raisers. Maybe. That's what it says on the title screen, which is a digitized still of the box, which seems to have been lifted from some movie or another. Meanwhile, the box itself calls it Hell Raiser, without the plural. Surely publishers don't need to employ people to get these things correct? The main menu, even more confusingly, calls it Liberators. This name might be the real one, because it's featured in a gigantic window during gameplay that takes up the bottom two-third of the screen. Never has a game been so proud to get its own title wrong. This second window is technically used for the second player, but it's not technically cooperative - instead, each player plays their own instance, so they never actually cross paths.

Hell Raiser/Hell Raisers/Liberators is, of course, awful, in that uniquely Amiga/Atari ST way, where the game was obviously tossed together quickly without anyone actually playing it. But, it is at least slightly ambitious.

The game is split into two types of levels, mixing action-platforming with scrolling shoot-em-ups. The action segments take place with your warrior on foot. He also takes up nearly the entire area of what little screen real estate is left, leaving only a few tiny pixels where he cannot be hit. There is no life bar, and you only get three so lives. Enemies have a habit of jumping out of the ground or firing unavoidable bullets, plus they also have nasty tendency to jump right of doors you're just about to enter. Compounded with the many long loading times when restarting the game, chances are you'll spend more time waiting for the game to load than actually playing it. It's just as well, because if it weren't so difficult, you could beat the game in ten minutes.

The shoot-em-up segments are not as aggressively awful as the on-foot segments, if mostly because that distracting logo is gone, so the playing field takes up most of the screen. They're still not good though, as there's a lot of hazardous terrain, and it still feels very cramped.

The one positive aspect is the music, composed by Wally Beben. He worked on a number of obscure Amiga releases after this one, but developer Exocet was not as lucky. This was one of their last games, thankfully.

Quick Info:

Publisher:

  • Exocet

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Themes:


Hell Raisers

Hell Raisers

Hell Raisers


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