When I need to make soup, I usually just grab a few tins from the Sainsbury’s up the road. But if you really want to put together a culinary masterpiece (and cheer up your mum in doing so), you’ll need to drag your ratty little goblin arms through an eldritch meatspace and back to put together A Hell of a Soup.
A retro FPS in a sea of retro FPSes developed by Antoine Fauville, A Hell of a Soup is a short and sweet shooter that has you exploring a damned world in search of milk, meatballs and soup.
Okay, look. Hell of a Soup is pointedly much smaller than something like Dusk or Cruelty Squad. There are only a handful of monsters to mulch, and only one weapon with which to mulch with. Even so, Fauville has painted such an absurdist hellscape in a brief 5 to 10 minute experience that it’s well worth experiencing.
A biblical angel guards the gates to a ramshackle town populated by malevolent turkeys. An Ikea is perched precariously next to a babylonian tower, overseeing bulls who appear to ride spectral motorcycles. You’ll gun down a demonic worm in an endless graveyard just to get to the corner shop for a carton of milk. Scattered throughout are regular human folks, who deliver cryptic messages with the tenor of a Souls NPC.
And then there’s the question of why a wretched little demon boy like yourself needs soup, anyway—why go to all this trouble for a seemingly simple lunchtime snack? A Hell of a Soup is a small snack, but it paints such a tantalisingly surreal picture that it’s exciting to picture what worlds Fauville could craft with greater resources. I want to see more of this world that smashes bloody underworlds against the suburban mundane.
At the very least, the game deserves credit for recognising Ikea as the labyrinthine hellscape it truly is, and that’s more than worth the free price of admission over on Itch.