Welcome to Susan Arendt's latest column on Pocket Gamer. In 2018 we've recruited the best writers and most experienced gamers in the industry and asked them to inspire us. This week Susan looks at the underreported monster housing crisis.
You ever think about the bad guys in video games? You know, the orcs and the cacodemons and the bats and whatnot. Ever wonder what it's like for them to head home at the end of a long day of being bashed in the head by a band of overzealous adventurers?
Probably not, you reek of hero privilege. Fortunately, Unholy Heights gives you the opportunity to right that particular wrong as you do your best to give monsters a comfortable, affordable place to put up their feet (or tentacles, or smoke tendrils, whatever) at the end of a hard shift.
Like any other landlord, you need to balance your need for rent with your ability to attract new tenants. Some monsters will take any old room you've got, while others are a bit more picky about their residence.
You'll need to pay attention to the decor, the temperature, and even who's living next door to whom - apparently certain kinds of demons have beef with each other. You get to accept or reject residential applications as you see fit, so if you'd rather not deal with having a diva succubus living in 2B, you don't have to.
Except there's those overzealous adventurers to deal with. Because heroes gonna hero, whether monsters are off the clock or not.
Though you'll pull in a regular stream of dosh from rent, your main source of income comes from completing challenges. They all boil down to essentially the same thing - protect your apartment complex from attack.
It's essentially 2d tower defence, with a line of knights and wizards and rogues attempting to deliver the smackdown on your residents, who line up to defend their homestead.
This is where the real strategy of Unholy Heights comes into play, as the order your tenants come out to fight in depends largely on which apartment they live in. Assuming they're all at home when the heroes come calling (they may be out on a date or at work), whoever lives in 1A is your front line, then 1B and so forth.
If you've ever played any kind of RPG ever, you know that some creatures are more effective against certain kinds of attacks than others - a skeleton may be the perfect monster to send up against one hero, but crumble before another.
You can send monsters back to their rooms to hide if they're hurt, or just ill equipped for a fight, and if heroes show up while your complex is largely vacant, well, that's just too bad for you.
Success in Unholy Heights is a balancing act of attracting more and more powerful tenants, keeping them happy and healthy, and strategising the best way to fend off more and more difficult attacks.
Look, I'm not gonna lie to you. A lot of your renters are going to die. It's just how it is in the monster world. Just be glad it happens outside so you don't have to redo the carpets constantly. Some demons will respond favourably to your apartment building being the site of so much carnage, others will find it offensive.
I'm sure you're a very sensitive person, but do you really care how much monster effluvia gets spilled so long as you're making enough bank to add another floor to your complex? Yeah, didn't think so.
Read more of Susan Arendt's columns on Pocket Gamer, and find out more about Unholy Heights at the game's official site. If you're looking for more columns, then check out Harry Slater and Jon Jordan, who are always on-hand with sharp, tasty opinions too.