reviews\ Oct 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Unholy Heights Review: Running a monster apartment has never felt so satisfying

Aparment defending

You're the Devil. Presumably unsatisfied with your devious ways, you decide to buy a housing complex, and rent out rooms to the various monsters and beasts occupying the land. Of course, owning an apartment building filled with creatures will attract attention of humans, who are more than willing to prepare their lynch mobs and try to overthrow your humble establishment. Welcome to Unholy Heights.

Unholy Heights is a pseudo-tower defense game combined with a hotel management sim. Simply treating it as one or the other will quickly show how you unprepared you are. You see, in order to succeed, you'll have to consider both elements, and be mindful not only that your Skeleton tenant is a great melee fighter, but also that he requires a few extra amenities in his room to make his stay much more comfortable.

You start out with a measly four-room hotel. Don't worry, the rooms fill up quickly. Once you have your tenants, you'll soon find that they have various wants and needs that you'll need to satisfy if you hope to keep them around and make sure their rent is paid on time. For example, you'll find that some of the tenants are too hot or too cold, or they might require a desk or a computer. You'll need to invest your earnings to buy each room something specific that the monster wants. By upgrading rooms with various amenities, you'll be able to charge more money for rent, which is a great trade-off.

Unholy Heights

Learning about each tenant is an absolute must. For instance, knowing where they work is important since it helps you determine whether they can afford a higher rent. Placing a male and female monster of the same species in your hotel could result in them two moving in together, and even spawning offspring that will eventually grow up and be able to fight in battle. Not all monsters like each other, however. Demons don't really like living in the same space as Demi-humans, so it'll be up to you whether you want to allow one or the other, or both. Obviously, living in not likeable conditions could result in one monster or both not wanting to pay you rent.

Aiding you in money growth is the Job Board. You'll be referring to it a lot as you take on various quests. Each one will provide you with a nice sum of gold as a reward, and will also advance the plot forward. Since your hotel is never safe from attack, careful placement of rooms is a requirement. Skeletons are melee fighters, while Water Elementals shoot projectile damage. Putting the melee fighters in the front lines while the projectile monsters in the back is a healthy strategy that usually warrants success. '

When your humble hotel is attacked, you'll need to knock on each monster's door to summon them outside and help you defend your stash of money. It's important to keep an eye on each of your monster's health, and send them back into their room when it drops to dangerous levels. Losing a monster isn't really that big of a deal, since new tenants are always looking for a room, but you'll find that once you've learned so much about Mozli the Skeleton, who works as a Carnival repairman, has no family and enjoys browsing the internet in his spare time, you'll be sad to see him go.

Unholy Heights

There is one big downside to battles, which largely depends on your luck. Since your tenants come and go as they please, either for their leisure or to go to work, there's a good chance that not all of them might be home when you're attacked. This can especially be problematic when taking part in a difficult quest.

That brings me to saving. You need to do it, and do it often. You should be saving your game after pretty much after every major milestone and battle. For this reason alone, it's a shame that there's not a quicksave key to make this process a bit easier.

Unholy Heights certainly isn't a pretty game by any means. The backgrounds from what I can tell could have easily been done in MS Paint. The characters themselves look better. But then again, the game is only asking for a mere $3.99 and for that price, the addicting gameplay outweighs the lack in graphics.

I didn't expect Unholy Heights to be filled with so much depth, but I was pleasantly surprised. It has a bit of a steep learning curve (I restarted my entire game about three times before I finally understood it) but once you grasp the ins and outs of managing your very own monster hotel, you'll come out feeling accomplished.


About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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