Hellscaper is an occult tiling deckbuilder roguelike, like if Slay the Spire and Dorfromantik had a very weird baby.

Serve your demon lord Balfazor and build him the most fucked up greatest city in the world!


Place tetris-shaped blocks of tiles. Each tile has different rules. 


Upgrade your deck as you play, choosing between dozens of tiles.


Play again and again. The game is hard, but you will get better, eventually ;)

Streamer Kit

We love streamers! Here's a link to a google drive folder with a bunch of assets you can use for your thumbnails!

Fergus and Ezra are making a new game, check it out!

StatusIn development
PlatformsWindows, HTML5
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(62 total ratings)
AuthorsEzra Szanton, Fergus Ferguson
Made withUnity
TagsCity Builder, cultist, Dark, Dark Fantasy, Deck Building, Fantasy, Horror, Roguelike, Singleplayer
Average sessionAbout a half-hour


Windows 33 MB
Version 1 Sep 29, 2023

Install instructions

This downloadable build is not ready for the general public yet. There are bugs. I'm just putting it up here for now to test. You have been warned!

Development log


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nice game !

some of my best recorded runs .


i've checked your creator page and it seems that you've created several games with a theme of magic. what do you actually know about this subject? are you just making it up for your games, or do you think your a neopagan or something? 


Oh, yeah I actually am a wizard. Nice job figuring that out!

(I just think it's a cool theme)


ok. using it as a cool theme is cool. just checking, man. 

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This game has been giving me the Tetris effect in my head since I started playing it. It is so addictive and has a ton of potential! I would love to see even more tiles and effects added, even possibly a longer game mode. I find when I beat a game, I'm almost disappointed because I wanted to keep going and see my build pop off in further rounds.

The style and theme is also fun and makes the game that much better and unique, it really adds personality to each tile. It is really fun to try different build synergies and see what combos work well, what I have the most fun with (even if not optimal), and try to get better at builds I struggle with.

Seriously, I'm really enjoying this and every time I close the tab, I find myself reopening it throughout the day to play just oneeee more game!


Thank you so much for writing! I love that tetris effect feeling, I'm really happy that hellscaper is doing that for you. What are some of your favorite builds so far? 👀

I really like Cerberus, Rat, Rat King, Deer, Tombstone, and Doppelganger mix. Its fun to try to place things just right and when you get a big absorb with Rat King its so satisfying. Usually Cerberus doesn't work too well with Rat King, but its a cute dog so I have a hard time passing it up lol. Really just all the tiles that have some animal on them are probably my favourites cause they are cute. I like the angels and vampires, too, though I have never managed to get a full pack of vamps haha.

I just played a pretty good game with Ghoul, Reaper,  Human, Golem, and Temple in it. The builds with Cinder and Fire type cards I have a hard time with and have been trying to get better. I do like to use the bonfire with the fangs (forgot if those are the actual names of the cards) and absorb the bonfire points before they diminish, but thats the only fire card I have played with much success.

What about you, do you have a favourite build to play and/or favourite tile to design?

That's awesome! I'm glad those animal synergies are paying off - until recently rat king only absorbed rats so it was kinda narrow, i think it was a good change to broaden the effect. Agreed its hard to make work with cerberus. Fire decks are tricky, they used to revolve around cinders but i changed that so now im not sure. My favorite has got to be deer + tombstone - so silly to set up little point machines.

Deer and tombstone is a really fun combo to get. And the rat king change does sound like it made it a lot more viable.

I'd love to see even more done with the game if that ends up being a direction you wanna take it and enjoy working on it. I haven't ever played Dorfromantik, but I love Slay the Spire and it also has a similar vibe to Backpack Hero. Maybe if all three had a very weird baby lol. Either way, I've been having a ton of fun and definitely gives that Spire dopamine I can see myself coming back to get again and again.


idea: after completing a city, you get to choose between a selection of passive upgrades


It's a good idea! We considered it while we were developing the game. Currently, the balance of the pieces is too delicate to implement something like this (for instance, if you had a relic like "all darkness pieces get +1" it would be way too strong, because 1 point is worth a lot, especially when you get to apply it to many pieces. If we wanted to implement these kinds of effects, we'd have to increase the points of all the pieces to have more fine-grained control. We liked the chunkiness of the small numbers so we decided against adding the passive upgrades. If I made another game like this I might consider designing it to accommodate passive upgrades like many other games in the genre


this game is so much fun and there is so much potential here! It would be incredibly interesting if you experimented with different sizes and shapes of the map and you could make like a challenge mode with levels where you have to succeed with a certain deck. I would also absolutely love to see a gamemode that gives you access to all the cards and allows you to experiment with different decks to see what might work. this is a great game with potential to become even greater.


Thank you! :))


can you add a windows download version?


I don't have the bandwidth to support this project right now buuuuuut I really love all the attention hellscaper is getting right now! (it's one of my favorite games I've made). I whipped up a windows downloadable version for you but I don't have much time to support it if there are extra bugs compared to the web version (hopefully there won't be :D) 


alright, thanks <3


This game is SO GREAT and I intend to keep coming back to get better - woww I love it!


Thank you! I'm glad you like it :)


When transforming oilslick after it's adjacent to blood river, the hellfire's score isn't doubled.


Thanks for the bug report!


It was such a BLAST playing this game, really, I loved it so much !!! I immediately recommended it to a friend who is a card game/deck building enthousiast. 

The only (really tiny) thing I'm kind of disappointed about is the fact that I wanted to have the possibility to try freely things in the end...? Like having a litteral deck builder at the end where we could try synergies and things like that.

Anyway, 10/10 game, so fun to play, sorry for sharing my tiny disappointment, and most importantly, thank you so much for the creation of that game and all the work poured into it. Awesome game, truly.


Wow, this comment made my day - thank you so much for sharing! I'm really glad you liked it.

That's a fun idea about a sort of training / creative mode to try out different builds, I'll put that on our features wishlist if we get a chance to return to this game.

Thank YOU for playing :)


this game is really good... I should make a video on it (....bit sure about the unity issue tho)


Thank you so much! We'd love it if you made a video on it. 

Also - question for you - it seems like a lot of people recently have found this game via google search, meaning they saw it somewhere else first and searched for it. I'm super curious where they found it! Are you one of those people? How'd you hear about the game? (or anyone else scrolling into the comments please feel free to chime in!) If someone is saying nice things about the game somewhere we'd love to go say hi and thank them


I bet they learned about it from retromation (being able to premote roguelikes in this way is kinda the reason I became a youtuber, I just want to share awesome games)

also...  can you let me know about the unity situation?

Ah, yeah! I did see that a while ago but wasn't sure about a recent uptick, oh well! 

By unity situation I assume you're talking about their per-install fee? That is, of course, very concerning for us as game developers who use Unity. We're hoping they walk the changes back, but even if they do we'll be considering other engines as our trust has been shattered. Realistically, at our scale, we won't be affected much but going forward we want to work with game engines which don't add extra terms retroactively. Does that answer your question?


it does, thank you for explaining <3

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Sometimes there's an unwanted feature that skips next round if enough points are made in the last move. So yeah, I won!


Similarly when winning a round on the last turn, if you place another block onto the old board (before the new board pops up, because it's nice to get rid of unwanted blocks) it will force a loss.

I'm sorry about this, if we are in a spot to return to this project this will be the first bug we fix!


I was not able to beat the game but I enjoyed the game overall! Liked the game concept, mechanics, and design. Hope this game gets more recognition! 

Thank you so much for playing and recording a video!!!


I managed to get so many points in one play, that I skipped an entire level! Temple can be a funny card lol.


I had this happen and I think the calculation boosts the level capacity before turned over to a preset 0 (it even looks like it w/the animation), so it also skips card choices.

It would be nice for some intended bonus, be it for extra score or remaining turns (or even free board space?).

Sorry about this! We're not in a spot where we can fix bugs on this project currently but if we ever are, this will be the first one we fix!


This is really neat! I like the balance between slapping down high-scoring tiles as efficiently as possible, and trying to set up combos even if it means maybe not laying things down as densely as you might otherwise.


Thank you! We enjoyed those tradeoffs too as we were making it


It's an interesting concept.

Thank you!


I love the new art, as well as the ability to trash any card from your deck when selecting a new one! Keep the updates coming, this game is a gem.

Thank you so much! We're starting to wrap up development on it for now, but I think we're going to have one more update to round out the art and take care of bugs.


How about making it responsive? Then it could run on mobiles.


We appreciate the sentiment! Its a little more complicated than just making it responsive, as we're making it in Unity. Unfortunately we just don't have time to optimize it for mobile (plus we'd have to redo a bunch of the controls to make that work). I'm glad you're enjoying the game enough to want to play it on the go, though!


Neat game but how in the world is this a roguelike in any capacity


Thanks! Roguelike might be a bit of a stretch, but we feel that it fits with modern deckbuilding roguelikes, like Slay the Spire and Luck be a Landlord. There's a commitment to synergy and discovery, there's randomized runs, there's "permadeath." It doesn't exactly follow the Berlin Interpretation but we feel that it's close enough to label it as such, especially because I think fans of roguelikes are most likely to like this game.


when you click "win" the cards are not dealt fresh. so you continue playing with the reamining cards from the previous stack. probably not intended.

Ah, actually that is intended! The metaphor is meant to be that you're building a "deck" of tiles over the course of 6 "rounds" (or cities). So you get to keep the cards between rounds! We could do a better job explaining it though


managed to clutch a win with 79 point "collector" and then a lucky "river" + "vampire" block


replaced my common blocks for church for good scaling

Ooh nice! When we added the collector we knew this would be possible but weren't sure if anyone would find it hehe


Although I did not finish the game, I really enjoyed the multiple playthroughs I had to reach where I'm at! It took me a while but I'm glad to say I have finally reached round 5 once.

I enjoyed finding synergies between different cards and how I can mix and match them in the placement. Still trying to find a strategy to win the game but I really enjoy the buildings deck I made! Had a blast and I am going to continue to try and find a way to win!


Thanks so much for playing! I think you're getting really close to winning, from the video :)


Background music sound like something that wouldn't be amiss in Blood. Very reminiscent of Unholy Voices. Very fitting.


Thanks! The main ambience is a chorus, run backwards and pitched way down :D


Awesome game. Its super fun to play. Too bad I suck.

We're still working on the balance! :D


Legion is too OP with cinders, turn 1 win possibly for the final stage

Woah good find! Balance patch will be out tomorrow with (hopefully) a fix for this :)

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can be... hard and much rng, i get round 3

Look forward to a balance patch tomorrow!


Beat it.  Golems are very strong at present, being able to transfer both the #Blood and #Fire tags in chains around the map, while also being very common cards in the purchase phase.  Furthermore, all of the enabling cards they need either start in the player's deck (ghouls, rivers) or are common (Hellfire/oilslick, cinders, Yagahut).  This seems to make them significantly better than 'rarer' cards like Cerberus, Ghost, or Rat King whose enabling cards are either significantly rarer and more expensive or very limited in number and entirely outside the starting deck.  Most of the current drawbacks to golems-- the way points are counted in the final turn of each round before all the points you might expect from golems are fully calculated, the way the triggering order for multi-golem chains in a single block is complex and somewhat intractable (and the same for river conversion, if your golem is dependent on to gain its #Blood tag), the way they don't gain tags when tiles are placed adjacent to them after they have been played-- are mostly only significant penalties because they are unintuitive and unexplained.  It seems like, provided the player is capable of predicting the behaviour of golem tiles and planning accordingly, every deck should include golems, which I think is a sign that they are a problem for balance presently.


Thanks for playing and the in depth feedback! Those are some really good insights. The point counting on the final round is a bug, and triggering order / the way they interact with the blood rivers are things we need to do a better job of explaining.

The plan for trigger order was that abilities that are "tied" for execution order (like golems and other golems) would execute top to bottom, left to right (like how you read a novel), but that is both unexplained and I think currently not working correctly :D

About the golems and blood rivers, those are another thing we should explain better. Just for your sake now, and if there's anyone scrolling into the comments to see how it works, all "when placed" abilities, like golems, rat kings, etc. trigger first. Then "every turn" abilities happen, like rivers checking for #blood, or rats checking for other rats. 

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Thanks for the reply, and for making a fun game! The top to bottom, left to right thing is what I eventually figured out and it works ~90% of the time, but it definitely doesn't work 100% of the time; good to hear that's a glitch.  I've not seen a golem chain propagate right to left in a single block, but I've seen it trigger the bottom golem first several times.  Is there a chance rotation might be messing with it?  I don't think it's happened when I've not rotated a block but I suspect that's just a coincidence or it would be happening a lot more.

Also I just found legion for the first time and it doesn't work with Golem (and I'm guessing other on-place effects either, since doppelgangers don't grant turns when becoming clocktowers but do cost turns to remove). Also if you get two or more level ups simultaneously, like for example by playing legion on a hellfire or other high-value card while having lots of available blood river space, the animation plays several times but you only get one level up, at least if you decline a card.

The balance patch seems to have tweaked a lot of things in a good direction, but there are some more bugs:

Werewolves eat ghouls placed next to them, but not yagahuts.

Werewolves don't eat other werewolves, which is certainly important for their ability to trigger, but contradicts their absorption text and their having #monster.

Cabins count off-map spaces as empty (which is probably good for balance, but not what the text says)

And some of the changes were detrimental imho:

There's no longer an indication of how many points you need to get your next upgrade past what's needed to beat a level. (The bar does look snazzy, though, so I wouldn't suggest going back)

Yagahuts don't get the chaos tag anymore, which sucks hard since that was pretty much the only reason to take them :(  I see that the building tag is rarer now, and tenements have been very significantly buffed, and some of the new cards care about #building but the broken synergies will be sorely missed.

the additional cards makes the game more rng heavy (which is constrictive on the diversity of strategies), since even common cards aren't going to reliably show up with your allotted rerolls now.  I'd recommend increasing the rerolls per upgrade by one or allowing players to permanently remove a card from the supply when Declining or something.


Great job designing the playstyle of this game! I love how the cards interact with each other and it isn't hard to find combinations that you personally favor, for me that's definitely Rat/Rat king/River. I'd love to see an algorithm added to allow the game to continue indefinitely, progressively increasing the total required for victory but I understand that at a certain point rats and blood river are the only way to win. A larger board or boards with obstacles could be fun but overall, great game and I look forward to seeing future development if there are plans as such!

Thanks for playing and for the kind words!

Funny story about the infinite mode. That was how the game worked until like, a week ago! The problem with it, as you anticipated, is that if the game goes on forever the only good strategies become the "exponential" ones. We like having the balance of more "linear" strategies being viable as well. Maybe we'll add it as an option at the end later!

Larger boards and boards with obstacles are definitely something we've considered, as either "characters" or "ascensions" - we're trying to get in the core tiles first though.


My brain isn't big enough for half of this but great game lol


You can do it!

Thanks :D


I loved the build variety in such a small game. One bug/nonsensical thing though, the golem adding a fire tag did not work for the cinders 'card' which seems unintentional do to cinders wording, and you might want to check that golem works as intended when it gathers other tags. Loved the game anyway!  


Fast response jumpscare


Works now, although golems  and cinders are still very buggy (multiple golems in a single block trigger in a random order, and golem point gain can't cause you to win if it's obtained via a simultaneously converted blood river on the last turn, and golems only gain tags when they themselves are played, and cinder demons leave cinder graphics on the field when changing levels that do nothing but can be checked as if they were there and they don't count as destroying cinders nor do they have the monster tag, etc.)

Thanks for the feedback, y'all! Golem and cinders definitely need some work. We'll try to fix it soon!


I'll admit up front that deckbuilding games are not always my strong suit.  That said: I do really like this, but I also found it very hard to build a deck, because the card-gaining was slow (and random), but a lot of the cards only work in synergy.  Vampires are only useful when you get a cluster of five of them, so taking one vampire card feels like it's just a waste of space until you get one more.  Werewolves are only useful when you have vampires...and so on.

Of course, it might just be me.

Thanks for playing and taking the time to write up your thoughts! I hear you about the synergies, thats something we want to work on in the next couple weeks as we update the game. I think you're right about werewolves being too specific. 

Vampires have another function that's not well highlighted right now in the game. Because they have the #blood tag, rivers will become blood rivers when next to them, which is very useful! We're trying to make the tag system in general more clear, but hopefully this tip helps in the meantime :)

About the deck building feeling random, I'm curious how often you're using the reroll feature? That is something we added so it hopefully would feel a little less random but I'm not sure how many players find or use it. 

Anyway, thanks again for playing and I hope you like the next update!


I hesitated over the reroll feature for the first few games, until I realized I wasn't getting past level 3 anyway so there was no need to preserve resources--at which point I learned that it's three rerolls per upgrade, not per game.  Once I knew that, I started using them more, and it did help somewhat.  Of course, once of the things about the synergies is that swapping cards not only means "pick up a vampire and hope you start getting more", but "give up a ghoul/tenement to get it", which was a small blow to the existing synergies in the deck....

Knowing the vampires/#blood thing definitely makes a difference!  By the time I encountered the vampires, I'd internalized the rule about rivers being "if they're connected to the original blood source" and hadn't thought at all about their literal text.

Speculating on a vampire isn't too big of a cost since it is worth 2 base, the same as a gargoyle. If you replace a gargoyle with one there isn't much downside.

Completion of Game


Wow nice job! Legion is busted haha

Hi there, I am DragonExplosion and I am a Youtuber. If you like my videos, please leave a like and subscribe at my channel.

This was a fun horror strategy card game which involves a lot of thinking and consideration on how to place the cards within 20 moves strategically to beat the game. In the video that I have made above, I did not manage to clear the game but I will be continuing my efforts in completing the game as I really want to beat it XD. Would be cool if there were more sound effects and music, maybe an entire storyline can be created for the game as well to enhance the entire experience as a whole. Moreover, more types of cards and unique artwork for the cards would make the game even more interesting as well.

Thank you for reading my comment and I wish you good luck in your future endeavours.


Thanks so much for playing! We are definitely going to add more cards and artwork in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout!