Green Hell by Creepy Jar is an open world survival simulator set in the rain forests of the Amazon. As Jake Higgins, you begin the game with amnesia and shipwrecked in a jungle full of just about everything that can (and will) kill you. You need to manage your health, hunger and pain as you set out to find your missing wife, Mia.
While admittedly I’m not a huge fan of games that relentlessly punish you, Green Hell’s story had me hooked – enough to keep me going during its extremely frustrating campaign. I say frustrating because you need to build, create and fashion practically everything you use in this game. You’ll need to create bandages to wrap your wounds, but to get them you’ll need to find a special leaf and cut it down to collect it. To cut it down however, you’ll need a knife or blade of some sort which you can craft out of a rock, and so on and so forth. It is a tedious game at points, and I found that in the early stages I was crafting everything I could to see what was possible, while later on, I was only crafting and using the bare necessities to get me to the end – partially because it was so tedious, but also because I couldn’t wait to see how the story played out.
Because the story is where this game shines. By drinking copious amounts of Ayahuasca – a South-American psychoactive brew (which, of course, you have to create) you’ll slowly unravel the story behind your visit to the Amazon, and where your wife is. Without spoiling anything, it starts out fairly straight-forward, but works its way up to a stunning and deeply disturbing ending that is well worth the tedium of crafting and healing your way through this 10+ hour campaign.
The controls are pretty simple, though I’d have killed for an auto-run setting, as I’m pretty sure the left stick on my DualSense controller is going to suffer from the amount of time I spend pressing on it. The crafting system is daunting at first, but once you learn to navigate your bags, you’ll be a pro in no time. Finding items strewn across the Amazonian forest floor gives you the blueprint to create them, so you’ll be collecting and searching for new things all the time. You’ll eventually be rappelling, diving, fighting and more, which really opens the game up near the end. If you find yourself – as I did many times – affected by practically every disease and affliction known to man and you feel like this game may be too much – there is a “tourist” option that will allow you to experience the game without the health management aspect, and I’d recommend you do that because the story here is worth seeing to the end.
There is a good and bad ending to this game depending on your decisions, while I never saw the bad ending, I can’t imagine the weight of it considering how the good one wound up. It may be worth another play-through just to see what it’s all about, but I don’t think that I could do the entire game again.
If you’re looking for a great way to spend a dozen or so hours – with story elements rooted in scientific research, diseases, Amazonian tribes and great, personal struggle – then Green Hell may be just up your alley. If you’ve played it let me know what you thought in the comments!