Hellbent (Novagen) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Novagen Software Ltd
Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #47


Drak Hellbent was a storyteller. He went around bragging about his exploits, especially the one when he 'totally annihilated the Kraellian usurpers throughout Aldonicha'.

'Ooh, there was millions of 'em, son,' he would groan. 'Comin' at me from all directions. But I showed 'em who was boss! Oh yes sirree!'

He would burble on in this vein for quite a while, until someone had the idea of recreating his adventures on a computer. Eventually the simulation was ready, taken from the pieces of information gleaned from Drak's stories. Unfortunately in each version of the story, everything would look different, so the programmers included them all on separate planes. The time came for the testing - and who better than Drak Hellbent to carry it out?

'I'll show you how it's done', he bellowed, only for his ship to explode on screen within a few seconds. When last seen he was walking away, shaking and muttering 'Hot, sweet tea' over and over again. The children began to have doubts...


I think the graphics in Hellbent are brilliant. I also think the sound's brilliant. I think the gameplay's brilliant, and I think I'm lying.

We have come to expect more than this from Novagen, especially with games like Backlash and Mercenary to their credit, but Hellbent appears as a very dark blot on their copy-book.

Graphics are mediocre, sound is terrible and gameplay is... frustrating. £20 to spare? Buy something else.


Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for a shoot-'em-up. Boom-blast-bang and I'm happy.

However, I've got to draw the line somewhere, and Hellbent appears well below that line. The graphics are OK, everything else is terrible.

The sound is extremely frustrating, going bleepity-beep-beep for ages (I even heard a few samples from a C64 for godsake!) and the gameplay is as much fun as wading through treacle.

One of the worst shoot-'em-ups I've seen for a long time.


Presentation 31%
A high score table and a title screen and that's yer lot.

Graphics 60%
A nice metallic look on some of the building shading and some interesting use of colour.

Sound 11%
It's in tune - barely.

Hookability 29%
When we first played it we thought "What the hell's this?"

Lastability 13%
Most of us never played it again!

Overall 20%
A perfect example of how not to produce a shoot-'em-up.