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Go To Hell

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Rating: 4/5 (115 votes)
Comments (26) | Views (4,175)

gotohell.gifJohnBGo To Hell is a skill- and reflexes-oriented puzzle game by Metasauce, creator of Hex Empire. One part digging game, one part physics playground, the title welds the two elements together into a tightly-structured experience that's as intriguing to play around with as it is to beat.

We start on the surface, standing on the dark grass with only one instruction: go to hell. Holding the [left], [right] or [down] arrow keys for a brief moment will cause you to dig in that direction, while tapping [up] lets you jump. Your goal is to work your way deep underground, avoiding the perils that lay beneath, and make your way to the fabled Hell precisely 666 meters below. Not only are you going to hell, you have to collect at least 50 coins to get in. Honestly, wouldn't you think digging that far would cover the entry fee? And it seems to me charging to go to a place of eternal torture isn't the best business practice. But hey, what do I know?

You have three meters at the top of the screen to keep an eye on: health, hunger, and air. Health is depleted by hitting things like bats, snakes, spikes and torches, but you can grab first aid kits to keep it topped up. Hunger, if left unattended, will eventually gnaw at your health bar, too, but chunks of meat scattered throughout the earth will keep you sated. Mmm, underground meat. Air is depleted while you're underwater and, if the meter empties, will end your life in just a few seconds. Always keep a clear path to the surface so you can bob up for a quick breath or two. Don't want to arrive in hell dead, do you?

In addition to tending your basic needs, you'll also contend with bats, snakes, spikes, burning torches, and a few other dangers on your way down. Fortunately you have one friend: water. The delicious liquid is by far the most interesting and useful thing in this game. Pools of the stuff sit untouched throughout the level, but if you free it from its prison, the water will pour out and flow with surprising realism. Water kills many enemies, which is mega-useful, and it will also extinguish torches, which is just as handy. You can also use it to float across dangerous pieces of ground or reach high ledges. But, you know, don't drown in the stuff.

Analysis: Go To Hell keeps things very simple. Why throw a billion gimmicks at the player when one or two well-implemented ones will do just fine? You have a few meters to mind while you're digging, but they tend to take care of themselves and don't offer up too much panic. Enemies are generally dealt with with a bit of fore-planning. Food and health pickups are generously scattered under the dirt, making you do just enough work to get at them without turning the game into a health pack hunt-a-thon.

Once you hit a certain depth, our friend water dissipates and makes way for our non-friend lava. Lava hurts, and suddenly the game takes a much more challenging turn. I only lost one or two lives working my way down this far, but once the red stuff came into play, the challenge jumped up considerably. It's jarring, and it almost kills the charm of the game, but hopefully you've built a stockpile of lives by this point and can continue your journey below.

A simple game with a simple goal, Go To Hell offers up a lot of fun for both a short sandbox experience and an arcade puzzler. Its bag of tricks doesn't have to run too deep to keep you coming back for more.

Play Go To Hell


Neat game. Much as the reviewer said, I like the good realization of the simple idea.

Being "neat" though, makes a game's flaws more glaring, precisely because it's in the middle of a game you actually want to play. In this case, there's one big one, and it's the stones. It's far too easy to kill yourself with them.

1. On one hand, the timing of how long you have to press to knock dirt out from underneath one is quite non-obvious, difficult to time, and kills you instantly. It's a skill required that's not really in the spirit of the game. But I'd be willing to let it go, except that:

2. It's quite easy to push a block off the side of a ledge and somehow cause the game to decide you were crushed, as if you leapt beneath it last minute. This makes no sense, and if not a "bug" proper, is the mark of an unfinished game.

If the developer wishes to maximize the fun factor, he should fix the second, and make the first a good bit more forgiving. Otherwise, quite neat.


I like the idea of the game but it's badly executed. It's impossible to dig the ground under a rock for strategic placement of the rocks and avoid being trampled, you'll always lose a life. At least, I do. Also, the water. So annoying. Almost impossible to route into little caves of its own and you end up having to dive, dig one section then swim back up to the top for air and repeat forever and ever.


Air: not a problem. Stones: rarely a problem. But what I've learned is that, if you're ever going to Hell, pack beef jerky. Because I am just constantly dying from hunger in this game. Am I doing it wrong? Do I just keep getting these undermeated maps?


This looks fun. Sadly, it's unplayable in linux, since flash has a hard time detecting when I hold a button. He gets three-quarters of the way through the digging action, and suddenly starts over.


The boulders kill you if you move them too quickly *sideways*. Not cool. Otherwise, good concept. Clean up the mechanics!

Menschenjaeger February 2, 2010 12:08 PM

Too many instances of wonky controls and inconsistencies - have to give this one low marks for that - 2 out of 5.

menschenjaeger February 2, 2010 12:26 PM

The wonky jump physics, the wildy inconsistent outcomes of certain actions, the text boxes that obscure hazards, managing health, air AND a ridiculously fast metabolism (our hero must be a shrew filled with helium) all add up to SLOPPY. Sloppy, sloppy game. 2 outta 5.


Please link to this game on a different site.

The site you are linking to covers up the game advertisement by overlaying their own ad.

This means the developer of the game gets cheated out of the money he was supposed to earn from that advertisement.

Don't support that kind of site.

[Edit: The site that we are linking to is the sponsor's site, linked to directly from the author's own homepage. I'm sure the developer has been paid for the right to display ads in the game. -Jay]


604 feet! There is no way to get past those lava fields without a whole lotta health.


The stone wonkiness mentioned above was tricky, but you get used to these things after a couple attempts. On my third attempt I got to 521 meters and was rarely hurt by stones (though they were very useful for dealing with the lava).

Also, I reached 50 coins around 400 meters or so, which is nice. I was worried I'd have to be snagging almost all of them, but apparently there's a lot of leeway.

Anyway, it took a little getting used to, but I love this.


Great game!

It's not really clear when you play, but the best way to go is to take it slow and plan your moves ahead. You only lose hunger when you dig, so you have plenty of time to decide the most efficient way to progress.

Boulders are way too lethal. I would go so far as to suggest removing death from falling boulders entirely. It doesn't really add anything to the game but cheap deaths. The starvation and the air are much more interesting mechanics.

After I've played a few times, the pop-ups get annoying. They ought to appear at the top of the screen, so I can see what's below and plan my digging. I'd also like to be able to turn them off.

The water physics are great. I'd love to see more games with a similar gimmick.



With a little practice, I can win every game I play, so at least this isn't one of those cruel games that takes luck to win.

If you die near the 666 mark, the music resets to the normal cave theme, which overrides the special Hell theme.

It's also possible to have Lava fall down to Hell, which will cause you to die while watching the ending. This just results in some annoying sound effects while you watch your score be tallied.

It's also possible to keep digging past Hell, but this isn't a bug. It's more my complaint because I wanted to discover something cool down there.



Woo, beat it!

Seems like the items get much more plentiful around when the lava appears. I never found myself worrying about food in the late game. The bonus lives are numerous too. I ended with six.

The Great Dane February 2, 2010 7:03 PM

There's a way to avoid getting hit by a stone when you dig under it: when you start digging immediately press the opposite direction, and he won't stop digging, but will move away when he's done. It takes some timing, but it will save you a lot of trouble.

My feelings for this kept changing between love and hate. (mostly the hate came every time i died). But in the end I dug my way to hell, but it took patience and luck. Sometimes the lava was close to impossible to pass, and the annoying sudden-deaths while pushing a rock were unnecessary.

But overall a great game with replay value.


Needs more bonus lives, and a longer reward screen. Come on man, too much text in front of the pretty game. 2214 score, 664m. Actually might have been worth it! Fix the physics please. Excellent music.


I think the most annoying part for me was putting powerups in impossible situations. Sure, you can put it in front of a rock, but don't put another rock next to it. Or maybe I haven't mastered digging underneath rocks without being crushed.


Does anyone know what happens if you reach hell without 50 coins?

zbeeblebrox February 3, 2010 12:17 AM

There needs to be a new universal rule for flash games: when the player pushes the jump button, the character SHOULD ONLY JUMP ONCE. It doesn't add anything to the gameplay to allow the character to jump eternally while the jump button is held down, and it just plain looks tacky every time I see it.

Echoing the touchiness of the boulders and steep learning curve. I feel like it could have gotten away with having a non-procedural starting area, because the first time I played, the in-game text tutorial was explaining things that had no relevance to what I was actually encountering, or explained them too late. Having that more tightly controlled would definitely help from a design perspective.

Overall fun game with great art. Just needs some work to get it cleaned up and to remove the bugs/lack of polish.


@Michael: If you reach hell without 50 coins, the doormen turn you away.


Meh. If you want a better digging game, play Motherload.

fattywads February 3, 2010 6:19 PM

you must have got a lucky roll at the beginning because i got 4 straight feet of impassible water! Yay procedural generation!


Great game!

It reminds me Motherload (just like Rich said). But I think this one is funiier. The hell thing is a great idea. The rocks are not a problem, guys, you just have to get used to the time you're pressing the arrows keys down (when pushing them or when digging their bottom).

Good luck, guys!

I've just made the way down with my coins!


SepiaMage February 4, 2010 2:32 AM

It reminds me of Miner Disturbance, though the lava is much deadlier in that one. In this, the torches are more deadly than lava, especially if they appear under a boulder you're pushing. You might not even realize it's there 'til you die.


hey, i think someone touched on this before, but anyone have any luck digging after you get to hell? I got there with 6 lives and managed to dig down straight until i got to 895 m- but since there is no food or medipacks or any of that stuff, you can't go for much longer than lives you have. I wish there was some secret level underneath hell.


The link doesn't work anymore. It directs to the host site, not the game itself and searching yields nothing.

[Link fixed. Thanks for the note! :) -Jay]


Finally made it!

The music was cool. Who knew Hell was a dance club!?
The absolute lowest score is

1124. Each coin is 10 and you need 50 (500). 624 feet * lives (minimum is 1, so 624). 500+624=1124.
How do I know?

Because I had it. :P


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