Hell is a turn-based tactical skirmish strategy game developed by award winning developer Hunted Cow in partnership with Slitherine.
User reviews:
Mixed (26 reviews) - 69% of the 26 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 13, 2014

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About This Game

Hell is a turn-based tactical skirmish strategy game developed by award winning developer Hunted Cow in partnership with Slitherine.

Set in the mythical fantasy land of Gilrand, you take control of either the ‘Order of Radiance’ or the ‘Demons of Hell’ and battle for supremacy across many different battlefields and environments. The game features stunning visuals and is aimed at both PC and iOS release with cross platform multiplayer functionality. Each unit has been carefully designed to have a specific role in the battle, with various strengths and weaknesses determined from an array of unique abilities and traits.

With an epic single player campaign traversing 20 unique levels, do you have what it takes to vanquish the forces of ‘Hell’?


  • Explore vibrant fantasy realms, play through gorgeous vistas from lush forests, swamps and the blasted landscape of hell.
  • Get into the action with intense skirmish combat, and use your tactics to outsmart your opponent.
  • Myriad layers of strategic features including, terrain characteristics, support units, zone of control, level up bonuses and special abilities!
  • Control a vast range of units from powerful Paladins and flying Gryphon Riders to Demonic Hellions and Hellhounds from the very depths of Hell.
  • With movement types, unit types and traits there are many factors to consider when maneuvering your troops on the battlefield.
  • Your troops gain experience from successful attack and defend actions, which then allows them to gain levels and improve their core characteristics.
  • Take Command as both factions in an exciting story driven campaign that features two epic campaigns, take command of the 'Order of Radiance' as you battle to defend the Kingdom of men from the invading demonic forces. Then take control of the forces of Hell to deal with the Order's retaliation.
  • Varying mission objectives require a range of strategic skills, protect bases from being overrun, capture and control key points or simply wipe out the enemy forces.
  • Online Multiplayer or hosteat mode: play against your friends or strangers in a large selection of multiplayer maps.
  • Quick to learn but an eternity to master, the depth and richness of the game contributes to a lasting appeal.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics: 256MB DirectX card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
Customer reviews
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Mixed (26 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
113 of 140 people (81%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
It's still early days but after playing the first mission (A Dark Omen) in the Defenders of Gilrand campaign, I have to say that I'm very impressed with the game. Playing on the default Hard level, I found it to be extremely well balanced, not too difficult, not too easy.

Based on the Battle Academy engine I had a good idea what to expect before I began playing, namely that it would be good, and I wasn't disappointed. It's not a reskinned clone of Battle Academy though, there are quite a few new game mechanics that enhance it.

In particular I was impressed by the in-depth zone of control (ZOC)and support/flanking system, which requires considerable thought as to how best to arrange your troops to support one another, and in which order to make your attacks. Without even considering the detailed unit stats and abilities, this ZOC/support system puts this game in another league when it comes to tactics. There are also many abilities that various units possess that help to differentiate them and make the tactics even more interesting, like for example the spearmen's "lance" ability which allows them to strike enemy units behind the target square.

The 30 page manual is colourful and comprehensive, detailing the key game mechanics and listing all the unit stats, making it a very helpful reference. Although the game can be played without reading this, it would be far more beneficial to do so, in order to fully understand how these game mechanics work. There's only about 8 pages on the mechanics and it's an easy read.

Although this is not usually important to wargamers, the graphics are pretty good by wargame standards, very pleasant and colourful to look at. However, I did find when fighting in amongst forests that I couldn't always see my units very clearly. The red colour of the autumn leaves on some trees was easily confused with the red colour of the enemy units.

View options are good. The standard view is 3D where you can zoom in and out and and rotate the map. There's also a good map view option (press M) which gives you a top down 2D view of the battlefield which can make it easier to plan your tactics. Finally there's also an Action Camera view (shift-3) which gives you a close up view of the action, which looks a lot more exciting but isn't so practical for general movement and planning.

I still haven't mastered all the game mechanics yet, and will need to re-read the manual to get them all clear in my mind, but there's obviously a great tactical challenge to be had in this game. I'm looking forward to encountering more advanced units as I progress through the scenarios.

Multi-player maps have been included, which will be more challenging against other humans, but they are play-by-email style battles where you finish your turn, send it off to the other player, then get a notification when they send it back to you. It's a simple, effective system, but you can't watch the other player as they take their turn. There is a hot-seat mode so that you can play against a friend on the same computer.

So far, there's no Skirmish mode for creating random battles, but this has been promised, along with the ability to play scenarios co-op (not sure how that will be implemented). There is a map editor included though, which creates the possibility for lots of fan-created scenarios, which will extend the life of this game considerably. More campaigns are promised to be added in the future too, as DLCs.

Update: Skirmish mode has now been added and it expands the gameplay considerably, with many options available for customing random battles. You can choose from a variety of map sizes, different terrains and different points available for purchasing units and customising your forces. A very good addition to the game and ideal for online play.

To sum up, if you're a fan of serious wargames, like Battle Academy, this is a no brainer, buy it now! For non-wargamers it may be a more difficult decision. The fantasy theme will no doubt appeal to many people, but be warned, this is not an RPG. If you like turn based games of any kind this is an excellent choice and is well worth looking at.
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81 of 103 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Just finished playing my first game and its amazing how much of a classical wargame feel HELL has. Reminds me of those old fantasy war games from the 1970s with the stat and rules depth of a Avalon HILL NAPOLEON AT WATERLOO etc. Sound effects are also nice with plenty of light hearted dialogue while not distracting from all the grim killing.

Love the huge amounts of stats and modifiers delievered in a non-intrusive manner feeling very natural. Zone Of Control alone adds a huge amount of strategy to battles along with many other battlefield conditions. The Combat Log in the advanced options menu is a real treat displaying modifiers and battle outcomes on the fly for those who love the old style feel of rolling dice would give after doing all the mental math of modifiers for terrain, range, weapon type etc etc :D

Graphics are typical SLITHERINE affair with a board game feel to them which is plenty for strategy gamers who have been playing war games since the days of board games.

Detailed intuitive gameplay mechanics which draw me into the scenario and dont let go. Before i know it an hour has passed and am high with gaming euphoria whether i win or lose. Plenty of battlefield carnage with bodies littered all over the ground by the end of the mission. Audio brings out the evil scheming diabolical nature of the demons as human soldiers groan and moan in agony falling to the demonic hordes death touch.

Music is inspiring and never tiring acting like a battle tonic to keep me playing. Reminds me of the retro orchestral masterpieces of the 1990s WARHAMMER 40k FINAL LIBERATION and WARLORDS BATTLECRY III.

Stunning war game in a fantasy setting well worth your coin.
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53 of 65 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2015
After a promising start you will soon realise that Hell lacks polish. The game mechanics are pretty good with an interesting mix of different unit skills, individual level up, and tactics based around flanking, support, and elevation. The storyline is a typical overlay that doesn't lend much to the actual gameplay which consists of a series of progressively more difficult skirmishes - at least that's what one would presume; following the tutorial you are instantly thrown into a battle where you are wildly outnumbered by units that have better skills than your own. To make things worse there is an arbitrary turn limit placed on encounters so even should you find yourself beating the odds the chances are that you will run out of time and lose anyway. It's a shame that a game with such obvious potential will be consigned to anonymity simply due to a lack of polish and balancing - but there you have it.
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80 of 116 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
I made a video, kinda long at 40min. http://www.twitch.tv/alienpickle/c/5504760
Skip to 10:00 where I start actually playing it. We cover multiplayer and the editor first.

Have you played any other games that were made using the Battle Academy engine? If so, all the mechanics here are immediately familiar. There are 2 campaigns of 10 scenarios each. Essentially the game is "army of devils vs army of paladins". There's no strategic campaign map that ties it together, and you can play any of the 20 scenarios at any time. Multiplayer is via Slitherine's online "assisted PBEM" system. I don't like that you can't do anything but sit and stare at a menu while your opponent takes their turn but such is the nature of PBEM. I would *much* rather that players could watch each other or review the last turn's replay. But it does allow for asynchronous gameplay, and conducting multiple games at once with other players.

Units break morale, get knocked back, and there is an interesting and quite powerful "support" mechanic here where all units in contact with an enemy lend their attacks to each other. Also, units in contact with other friendly units get bonuses for having nearby allies. This makes the game have a lot more tactical depth than just slugging it out 1v1 with the enemies. Placement and grouping matters considerably.

If you already know you like this sort of game, and you like D&D style fantasy settings, this is pretty much a no-brainer. Especially if you have a friend to play with as well. Suggestion: Download the PDF of the manual and give it a looking over. You'll know right away if this is your sort of game or not.
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37 of 52 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 8, 2015
There is one major flaw I can't believe exists in a game released in 2014 and this is that some of the graphics in the game are stretched if you use any screen resolution that is not of a ratio of 4:3. These graphics include for example all unit information screens, shown when you move the mouse cursor over a unit or ctrl-click on a unit, some icons as well as all menue graphics and campaign description background graphics.

Another flaw is the haze visible when using a zoomed out view. The bad thing is it can't be disabled and makes it difficult to see everything clear and besides that just lets the world look crappy. The screenshots shown on steam do not show how crappy it looks in reality if you for example use a resolution of 1920x1080.
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35 of 58 people (60%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
Broke the AI within about 15 minutes of playing the game; was on the second tutorial level.
Couldn't even end the game or surrender, had to force quit.
Talk about immersion; this ♥♥♥♥ing game managed to put me, the player, into hell without even actually playing any real levels.
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25 of 40 people (63%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2015
Hell Review

Published by Slitherine, its no surprise that Hell is a highly addictive turn-based strategy game that offers challenging gameplay for even the most battle-tested tacticians among us. Still, the game manages to offer an inviting platform for beginners, complete with a helpful tutorial and an in-depth game manual. Moreover, it is a "skirmish" style of strategic warfare, meaning that the game skips the often tedious and mind-boggling affairs found in grand strategy games and thrusts players right into the action. By doing so, the game is easier for newcomers to the genre to catch on and since combat is the central focal point, more effort and development has been put into the tactical aspect of it and the results are impressive.

So what exactly can players expect? For starters, the maps are much smaller, which keeps the speed and intensity of each battle moving at a fast, steady pace. While the maps (and the graphics in general) are amazingly rich and lustrious for this type of game, they are so much more. Players must utilize the various terrains and vantage points craftily in order to gain the upper hand on the battlefield. The use of higher ground, hidden units in a treeline, obstructed fields of vision, slower paths of travel, and choke points are some of the things to be considered with each turn. Additionally, combat tactics include using unit support, flanking, and other maneuvers as well. These things must all be considered both offensively and defensively in order to be successful.

There are a variety of units in the game with their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses to be considered. Units gain experience on the battlefield which increase their strength as they level up. This is all done automatically, much like everything else non-combat related in order to keep the micromanagement aspects out of the game.

The game offers a solid storyline that plays out over two full-length campaigns, one having players defend the mystical realm using the armies of "The Order of Radiance" and the other commanding hordes of the "Demons of Hell" to prevent being vanquished from the lands. These campaigns are broken down into individual missions, or skirmishes, and offer individual battle achievements for each map to further challenge players. Unfortunately, these are not in the form of Steam Achievements and as far as I can tell, attaining these offer no additional benefits other than personal glory.

Some of the other nice features about this game include good background music and sound effects, attractive graphics including battle animations (for this type of game), a cross-platform multiplayer feature, a skirmish mode, a rotating camera with smooth controls to enable better views of the battlefield, and an editting tool to create custom maps and campaigns.

Honestly, there isn't much to not like about this game. The one thing I personally would like to see added to this game is a way to reverse, or undo, a unit's movement before performing an action in combat. Several times I accidentally clicked a spot on the map not realizing I had the wrong unit highlighted or without knowing support units would not be able to reach the location in time. The results are perilous and for a game that has done so well in removing the micromanagement aspects of strategy in order to keep from distracting players from the battle, I found it a bit disappointing that managing my mouse is a determining factor in overall success. Another area that could use some work is the AI. Its not bad and it does offer a good challenge to players, but since this is a skirmish game whose focus is on the combat, the AI should be superb. It feels a bit random at times and often unpredictable for no apparent reason. Enemy units sometimes back off when they clearly have the upper hand or fail to capitalize on a player's mistake. The lack of intuitive thinking is more obvious at some times and less at others, but it is clearly visible for true veterans of the genre. Overall, its still not bad and can be challenging on higher difficulty settings.

The Good:
+ Superb graphics
+ Quality sound/audio
+ Variety of unit types
+ Two full campaigns with a solid storyline
+ Skirmish mode (replay value)
+ Multiplayer
+ Editting tool for custom campaigns
+ Rotating camera with smooth controls
+ Helpful tutorial for beginners

The Bad:
- Lack of "undo" movement button
- Ranged units can only fire before movement
- AI is average and feels random
- Achievements do not register on Steam

Final Thoughts:
Overall, Hell is a solid turn-based tactical game that offers plenty of challenge for beginners and veterans alike. Being a skirmish strategy game makes it a great alternative to fire up when you don't have time to fully engage in a grand strategy since you can jump straight into the action. For all strategy fans and for players looking for a new type of challenge I encourage you to pick up a copy of Hell. Its devilishly fun.

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21 of 33 people (64%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2015
Nice and very challenging strategy game with good graphics. Play on the lowest difficulty unless you're a true wargame grognard!

- Deep gameplay: Zones of Control, flanking and mutual unit support; special abilities for all units; terrain elevation and cover matters; morale system. This is not your average Advance Wars clone, it's closer to a real wargame.
- Easy to play despite the deep rules (but reading the manual helps to understand all the details)
- Nice graphics, adequate art style
- Mission and campaign editor, interestingly while units don't carry over from scenario to scenario in the current campaigns you can enable that feature in the editor. So you could make the current campaign a lot easier, or create a new balanced campaign around that feature.
- Full campaign for both sides of the conflict.
- You can save your game at any time and play any campaign scenario whenever you want.

- Atrocious learning curve, the first campaign scenario is very difficult and does not ease you into playing. (DEVS: Wanna fix this easily? Extend the tutorial campaign to be more like the one in Panzer Corps, actual scenarios where you have to take decisions but where the odds are initially heavily stacked in your favor and get harder as you progress.)
- Scenarios like to spawn enemy reinforcements right on top of you, and they can move on the same turn they appear. That sucks, so be wary of map edges.
- Interface is functional but slightly clumsy, and it should have included some information that is only found in the manual. It lacks keyboard shortcuts for some things such as closing dialogs, and betrays its iPad cross-platformness (yup I did just invent that word) by inefficient use of space and by looking stretched (or just badly skinned?) in widescreen.
- Generic universe and story that does the job but isn't captivating.

Overall despite the flaws there's a lot of fun to be had if you go in expecting a good challenge, not a walk in the park. Units don't carry over with their XP from scenario to scenario (contrary to, say, Battle for Wesnoth), so unlike other games where losing one or two major units means reload, here you can definitely win despite some heavy losses. Some players are complaining about this lack of campaign continuity, but I find it different and refreshing. Fight to the death instead of XP farming! Another misguided player complaint is the turn limit in every scenario: every serious wargame has it (notably the amazing Panzer Corps), a time constraint is part of the challenge and gives a realistic element to any battle. In war you're always under pressure from something, be it dwindling supplies, attrition, the coming of winter or incoming enemy reinforcements. And war, war never changes.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 25
On the surface, Hell is a casual, light hearted cartoonish affair. It doesn't take itself seriously at all, and instead plays off the fantasy cliches for comedic effect. The maps and models are simple and beautiful, making the overall aesthetic colorful and easy on the eyes. Some tactical turn based fans might be turned off by the cartoon comedy feel of this game, but it works as intended.

Beneath the surface is a surprising amount of tactical depth. You get a good mix of units. Melee, short and long ranged missile, cavalry, scouts, magic; everything you'd expect from the genre. Units level up through combat experience, and have unique abilities that can turn the tide when used correctly. Units gain support bonuses from adjacent allies, and flanking bonuses for attacking the enemy from the rear. You get terrain bonuses and penalties, and the maps lend them well to strategic gameplay.

I'm running the game on a crappy laptop with no crashes or technical issues. The price point is prohibitive, but on sale I recommend it highly.
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27 of 45 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
Update.. They have indeed added a skirmish mode to the game. Also, if you haven't tried Slitherines PBEM (play by email) multiplayer yet, do so! Take your turn at your pace, click end, and when your opponent takes their turn, whether 5 minutes or a day later, you get an email. Log into the game and go!
`First review of the game. Who knows, it may change. This is a set scenario tactical turn based war game. If you found it, you likely know that or play strategy games already. There is a base "story" that the scenario goes thru. The rule set is very good. The "zones of control" that limit movement around enemy lines really change tactics up. I am only on the beginning few scenarios of the "good" side, but so far,the unit choices are normal. People complain that they arent varied enough, but most other games don't have many more options, unless they are reskins of similar units. Far ranged longbowmen, mid range crossbowmen, knights, calvalry, grunts (men at arms), heavy infantry (spearmen) and more.

The only thing I can't praise is the feeling of rails. Being a limited turn scenario, it really forces your hand into one or two main strategies, especially if you want the bonus objectives. I assume this is to keep the difficulty up. This is, and may be, easily fixed with patches, dlc, or user generated content (dev kit included as usual these days). Some wargamers like the feeling of being pressed for time by the turn limits, however, I feel as if it makes the scenarios into puzzles, that barring horrible luck on many dicerolls, make it so once solved there is little reason to replay. Once you've been thru the scenario and know about the behavior of the AI, you know how to approach the level. It's also likely that I dislike turn limits because I have always been a "sniper" tactician and really like to set up before I attack. In Hell, I can't waste turns being timid. I'm sure more campaigns will be made available at some point.

This game uses the Battle Academy engine. I am not an old school slitherine fanboy, I just found out about them. I got this game for $20, and that price is great for what we get. At $30, it is still a good game. If the developers support it with small content changes for free, it would definitely be worth it. There is already a patch coming, and eventually a skirmish mode, as mentioned on the forum by the developers. If they release full campaigns as dlc for $5 or less, then that would be ok as well. All in all, there are many games that I paid much more for that are not as good. The tactics are solid, the unit variety is there, and although it is presented in a "Blizzardesque" cartoony way, the subject of saving the world from hell, or bringing hell upon the world, is different than some made up warring factions. The demons aren't scary, or funny. More board game styled (obviously..slitherine makers digital boardgames) I highly reccomend if you like tactical wargames, and aren't married to AAA graphics. These games are all in the system, not the graphics. Hunted Cow seems to have taken the BA engine and gave it a different kind of feel, which I like.
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Recently Posted
1.7 hrs
Posted: December 27, 2015
I had MASSIVE enthusiasm for this game but it was a let down in all departments.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: November 28, 2015
Game is crashy.
Tutorial glitches out regularly.
Looks like it might be fun, but can't tel.
Cause, y'know, crashing...
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0.7 hrs
Posted: June 5, 2015
Jumped right in and played a skirmish mode. It's might and magic-esque and lots of fun.
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6.3 hrs
Posted: May 24, 2015
The graphics are OK and so is the interface but it is a very rigid game, no ability to choose which troops are deployed, limited scope to employ tactics to win often only a very narrow method to victory on the scenarios it really isn't what they advertise as it appears that you get more choices.

for the cost I expected a more dynamic more "pick and choose your units" style game which this isn't I would not recommend buying this game.
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