SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell [official site] is a very fast, first person platformer, starring heavy metal, the Devil, beer and lots of spikes.
If you enjoy beer more than life itself, then you should relate to the poor fella in this game. One night he was drinking his beer, enjoying his time, when – long story short – a series of unfortunate events unfold, leaving him with the Devil’s hand and no beer. This forces him to set on an epic journey to take back his beer from Satan. I’m very good at explaining stories, aren’t I? In SEUM you play as the man who has lost all he loves (his beer), and who will do anything to get it back – even if that means 1v1-ing the Devil himself, which is absolutely one hundred percent not a good idea. Unless you’re redneck Devil hand beer guy, in that case you’re good to go!
Anyway, you progress through the depths of hell, ultimately attempting to beat all 100 levels and get your beer back, whilst keeping your soul. In each level there is a set time that you must finish the level in, giving you the silver medal for the map, with an optional, quicker time, that gives you the gold medal. There is also beer to grab on each level for completionists, and once you have collected all of the beer – or as many as it says – you gain access to a bonus level on each floor. After the main game is finished there are also a bunch of extra levels on floor -9, though I haven’t been able to figure out how to get them yet.
The levels consist of lots of running, jumping and restarting. There are four powers that you can grab in the levels, one teleporting you to wherever you shoot, one reversing gravity, one making a checkpoint that you can use to go one way and activate something, then warp back to the checkpoint to save time, and one building platforms in the air for you to jump on.
This level was pretty tedious.
Beer, hell and heavy metal are the three key elements in SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell. That last part is especially important in the game for me, because the epic riffs and solos in the soundtrack fuel my vengeance to get the poor man’s beer back, making me play ten times better. Sometimes the songs get a bit repetitive (the tracks play on a loop), but when you’re focusing on beating the levels you don’t really notice. I noticed, though, because I pick on the little things.
Being based in hell, SEUM features lots of saw blades, swinging axes on chains, and spikes, smeared with fresh blood. Creepy. In the bottom of each level there is a large pit with gigantic spikes that could impale a dinosaur. You know, the usual Satan stuff. The art style, as you can see in the images, isn’t exactly realistic, but it isn’t cartoon-like. The cutscenes, as you can also see, are comics – quite well done actually (they are animated, but you can’t see that from still images).
This is the series of unfortunate events, referenced earlier. It’s better explained in the actual cutscene itself.
The dialogue is comedic, with phrases including ‘There’s nothing like a good beer,’ and ‘Damn you Pine Studio!’ Those are quotes from the playable character, but you will be saying them soon enough. The Devil also speaks, as a voice-in-your-head figure, with quotes such as ‘Yes…’ and ‘Fatality!’ Be aware, though, the game does feature strong language. I’m sure you aren’t really interested in the dialogue, but I thought I’d cover it because not many people realise that good sound effects and voice acting plays a major role in whether a game seems cheesy or not. This game makes the cheesiness of the quotes on paper sound awesome in-game, especially with the guitars going in the background.
If you like to brag about your skill, you can do that with the game’s leaderboards. It’s not as easy as it looks though, some people out there are incredibly fast!
There are two other modes besides the main story mode, one being ‘Speedrun’ and the other, ‘Endless’. Speedrun is a mode where you are pit against other players’ fastest times for a whole floor on the leaderboards, in an attempt to beat them – but as I said, it’s not easy, some people are very quick. In Endless you compete against a massive spinning spike-riddled rolling pin in a randomly generated endless map where you must reach as far as you can. The rolling pin could move a bit slower, I mean, we’re not all that fast!
One thing I would have loved is a custom level builder. The game is brilliant enough without it, but it would have been nice for the game to have just that little extra bit of community interaction.
I’ve had a smashing time playing this gem so far. I almost threw a brick through my computer fifty times, but I have restrained myself… mostly. It’s been a great experience, almost completely finishing a challenging game for once. I think you should all give SEUM a go, or at least try the free demo that is available to download on Steam. If you have $15 to drop for a good game that will keep you going for quite a few hours, you should definitely check out this one.
👍 SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell IS worth the US$15 it is available for.