How did I come to write the review of Ravenous Devils from Bad Vices Games? Simply by answering yes to the most innocent of questions an editorial team can ask: “Do you want to try a cooking game?”.
What I didn’t know was that the virtual menu I was preparing to prepare was for strong stomachsindeed, DEFINITELY for strong stomachs.
In a 19th century London, we will find ourselves running two apparently regular businesses such as a tailor’s shop and a pub that, right from the start, we will discover that it is actually an award-winning butcher and restaurant company based on human meat. Yes, you read that right, Homo Sapiens Sapiens meat.
In an imagery that mixes inspirations with films such as Delicatessen or Sweeney Todd, this horrifying business is run by a murky married couple, Hildred and Percival: she bakes delicious meat pies with chips and he, after killing the customers of his atelier, resells the clothes of the victims to the unsuspecting customers of the millinery.
An activity that does not go unnoticed in the eyes of a mysterious character who will keep them under blackmail for the duration of the adventure, forcing them to set up a cannibalistic banquet based on carefully selected “prey” by himself.
The plot of Ravenous Devils turns out to be quite simple and of few narrative pretensions, but he manages to give that much motivation in the continuation of the storyand breaks with a good degree of efficiency a rather repetitive game rhythm given the deeply managerial nature of the title.
Moreover, thanks to short cutscenes, the authors were able to insert a mild but functional characterization of the two protagonists (in stark contrast to the grim actions of the couple), but which is absolutely lacking in relation to the other NPCswhich are limited to giving testimony of their existence in game.
From an aesthetic point of view, the work appears adequately curated and returns a sense of absolute normality in the face of the bloody commercial activities carried out by the bloodthirsty protagonists. The deep voices of Hildred and Percival are absolutely adequate and well crafted, although there is no great display of purely oral narrative phases.
R.avenous Devils is a management software with a distinctly relaxed mood: the player will find himself giving orders to the two avatars based on Hildred’s gastronomic needs, scrolling through the various floors of the building owned by the couple.
As we progress with the game session, things will get more and more challenging given the increasing amount of things that need to be managed promptly: activities such as preparing steaks, mincing meat or bagging sausages will overlap with growing vegetables or remodeling clothes stolen from victims. Furthermore, it will be necessary to manage the flow of corpses to be destined for the stoves rather than for the production of organic fertilizer necessary for the greenhouse.
In short, at some point we will have to jump nonstop from floor to floor in this hellish company family-run to end each working day positively and be able to enhance the work tools (such as ovens and sewing machines), or hire service staff in the room.
Net of a quick and satisfying game progression, Ravenous Devils it does not present a real difficulty, and it is practically impossible to run into merciless failures or game oversindeed, when the activities to be managed at the same time seem to become overwhelming, the adventure ends brutally by cutting off any glimmer of future complexity, thanks to a longevity that is less than about five hours.
Although it was intended to be a mouse and keyboard product, the game was well optimized for use with the pad, and only on an occasional occasion did we find ourselves having to contend with it. The dialogues are subtitled in Italian and the rest of the interface is translated into our language.
In conclusion, Ravenous Devils by Bad Vice Games is a decent titlewhich aims to offer an experience strongly characterized in the themes of mystery and horror without falling into the gruesome thrust.
While not showing off a concrete complexity or real difficulty, the gameplay flows with a pleasant and active relaxation which manages to intelligently conceal a complex of rather repetitive playful mechanics.
The only real flaw of the title it is the brutal “amputation” of the final stages which leave a little bitterness in the mouth and which, in our opinion, should have been managed better.