Third-Person Rail Shooter Roguelike: Hellion

this is a turn-based game

I’ve been casting my net into the 7 Day Roguelike pool again. No fish this time, but I did catch a turn-based third-person rail shooter. I’ve played turn-based chariot racing games, (sort of) turn-based first-person shooters and turn-based R-Type, but I think this is the first turn-based third-person rail shooter I’ve ever seen. Imagine Space Harrier as a roguelike and then imagine Afterburner as a roguelike. Now squish them together and you’ll be left with a glorious concoction that’s bristling with spaceplanes, weird aliens and lasers. It probably looks quite a bit like Hellion.

FACT: Space Harrier was the first game to give me nightmares. I still feel a bit queasy whenever I think about it. Call it a combination of the pseudo-3d scaling, surreal tiled landscapes and numerous aggressive floating heads. And the death scream, oh mercy, the death scream. Why would a man strap a booster to his back and propel his vulnerable body forward at such speeds that a collision with a tree is fatal? Why can he never stop moving? It’s a horrifying game.

The only other non-horror game that’s wormed into my mind in quite the same way is Liberation: Captive 2. Can’t watch videos of it without feeling intensely uncomfortable. Couldn’t tell you why.

As for Hellion? It’s free and it probably won’t give you nightmares, but it’ll almost certainly make you smile.


  1. SlimShanks says:

    The 7DRL competition is always something to look forward to! So many interesting things come out of it. A number of my favourite RL’s started life there.
    Also the game looks cool.

  2. Napalm Sushi says:

    I second the horror of 16-bit era death screams. The telephone-like sampling quality of the time was basically the uncanny valley of audio.

  3. edwardh says:

    Turnbased, I love. Roguelike, I hate.
    => What a shame.

    • SlimShanks says:

      Hey man, don’t be hatin’. Roguelikes are your friend, they just… want you to die.

  4. cloudnein says:

    FYI ClamXav reported Hellion as “Win.Trojan.Kazy-1560”. Beware. (Always like reading about indie games including roguelikes but always thought they were a trojan risk.)