Overall Score 70%
Holepit is an unusual looking game with an unusual premise. A circle lies in the centre of a circular arena, a bloody and hellish pit carved from infernal stone. The circle is a hole. Two players race to push blocks into the pit first, thus the game is explained.
The control system is quite strange but very easy to understand. The normal mouse pointer stays on the screen and your character heads towards it in a straight line. Players have a choice of bizzare characters ranging from the default demon, which resembles Slimer from Ghostbusters, to a huge question mark. Characters occasionally recount nonsensical phrases via speech bubbles.
It might not be apparent from the screenshots but the graphics are fully 3D and all very stylish, yet not at all polished or high quality. The dark red arena contrasts sharply with very bright green and blue blocks and the hole is just a plain blue circle. Players can walk over the hole (the game would be near impossible otherwise).
The sound effects are minimal but equally atmospheric. The gnashing when two demons collide is nice. There are several music tracks including some banal techno-like thudding but there are a couple of interesting tunes that appear to be live recordings of a digeridoo with some tabla percussion. The graphics and eerie sound in unison convey an atmosphere of menace and loss.
To play, the game is quite boring. Ascending levels give blocks of different arrangements. There are some strange looking pickups but the gameplay rarely rises above the sort of thing that a pet monkey would enjoy. The game is inherantly two player so it is possible to play against another person, yet most players will be playing against the perfectly adequate artificial intelligence.
It is clear that at least some of the very strange design is intentional, and some may stem from mere crudeness, but if film maker David Lynch made a game it might look like Holepit. I don't think the game will be very commercially successful because there are too few gameplay elements and very little action for a paying customer. The simplistic game play would most appeal to children and the graphics might not appeal to a member of the Play Station generation. I would like to hope that this game becomes artistically influential on game programmers but I fear it will be forgotten.
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