Parents' Guide to

Jupiter Hell

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Brutal sci-fi strategic shooter is both fun and frustrating.

Game Linux , Mac , Windows 2021
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Sometimes you can look at the pieces of something and think there's no possible way it should be able to fit together, much less work. Jupiter Hell borrows liberally from the Doom series' "hell in space" plot, over-the-top violence, and fast shooting action, and mixes it with the XCOM series' turn-based tactical gameplay, steep difficulty, and grueling permadeath. These two completely different styles of design and gameplay are seemingly tossed into an industrial blender, then mashed together with a quirky look and awkward controls. And yet somehow, defying all sense of logic, the end result winds up being a lot of fun (and more than a little frustrating) to play.

After choosing between three classes of soldiers, each with their own special abilities, players jump right into the action, descending into the infested bases. The game uses a grid-based system, restricting movement to up, down, left, and right directions. Every time the player moves or takes an action, enemies simultaneously do the same. Stats in the upper corner of the screen highlight enemy details, chance to hit, and more. Since facing makes no difference, it's a bit odd to be facing away from foes and yet still unload a shotgun blast from behind like some Old West sharpshooter. Because of the lack of true diagonal angles, there are also lots of instances of characters seeming to be behind the cover of walls or such, but still getting hit by fire. Finally, Jupiter Hell is not a game for the faint of heart. That's not due to its over-the-top violence and gore, but rather its equally over-the-top difficulty. Coupled with permanent death forcing players to lose all progress and restart on a regular basis, it can get frustrating for many non-hardcore gamers. But for players willing to put up with the quirks and the challenge, this is an entertaining space strategy game.

Game Details

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