The narrative adventure game “To Hell With the Ugly”will be available May 30th on Steam and consoles!

The narrative adventure game “To Hell With the Ugly” set in 1950’s LA will be available May 30th on Steam and consoles!

Suspense, intrigue, danger and jazz music, ARTE France and La Poule Noire capture the essence of 1950s LA in their adaptation of Boris Vian’s novel.

La Poule Noire, co-producer and ARTE France, co-producer and publisher are proud to announce that their next game, To Hell With the Ugly, will be available on May 30th for Steam, GoG, Epic, PS4/5, Switch and Xbox S/X for 19.99€/$19.99.

To Hell With the Ugly will be the first of ARTE France’s games to be released on all consoles at the same time, celebrating 10 years of involvement in video games.

Adapted from the novel by Boris Vian, To Hell With the Ugly is an adventure game that follows the story of Rock Bailey, a young man whose only redeeming quality is his remarkably handsome looks. When he is mysteriously kidnapped and tortured outside a jazz club, he sets out to uncover the truth behind his abduction, with turn-based fights and investigations along the way.

Players must explore LA’s darkest corners, gather clues by interviewing locals and interact with the environment. But sometimes, the only way to get the information they need is through fist fights, involving timing and precision.

To Hell With the Ugly is the very first of Boris Vian’s novels to be adapted into a video game. Set in the 1950s, the game will let the player discover the streets of a fantasized Los Angeles, where Boris Vian never even set foot when he wrote the book. La Poule Noire chose to use a semi-realistic style for their characters in order to magnify certain character traits, in a striking depiction of the American city with vibrant and intense colors.

“We echoed the traditional “animation classics” of the 50s and 60s thanks to the frame-by-frame animations made by Gaelle Roques for the fights and the scripted sequences.

Finally, we wanted the color palette to be an integral part of the game’s art direction: The fans are running high, we are in LA, the mercury is rising, the hero Rock Bailey is hot under the collar in this story. All of this evokes warm colors!” explains Amélie Guinet, Game Artist at La Poule Noire.

Investigation, street fights, car chases: all the ingredients are combined to recreate Boris Vian’s fantasy vision of Los Angeles.

Provocative and burlesque, To Hell With the Ugly is a parody of American noir novels and navigates between detective fiction and anticipation. It denounces the cult of appearances through its gorgeous looking hero and a worrying clinic with eugenicist practices.

“We wanted to know how far we can put people whose appearance conforms to society’s expectations on a pedestal” says Fiona Rosette, game and narrative designer of the game.

To Hell With the Ugly will be available for Steam, GoG, Epic, PS4/5, Switch and Xbox S/X on May 30th. Test codes are available upon requests.

To Hell With the Ugly in a nutshell :

A story of investigation adapted from the work of Boris Vian

A magnificent Californian atmosphere from the 50’s

Turn-based combat based on timing and precision

Gather clues and solve mysteries

An original and energetic jazzy soundtrack

Produced by La Poule Noire, Published and co-produced by ARTE France with the support of the CNC and Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine

More information on the dedicated Discord server.


Founded in 1992, ARTE is a European public cultural television channel and digital network focusing on creation and innovation. Over the past ten years, ARTE has co-produced a number of interactive games such as Inua, Unmaze, Homo Machina, Vandals, Type:Rider, The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature, Vectronom and How to Say Goodbye. More information on the official website and the Twitter page of Arte Interactif

About La Poule Noire

La Poule Noire is a cooperative composed of video craftsmen and craftswomen all working remotely. The project is to emancipate itself from the unhealthy dogmas of the industry and prove that a game can be created without crunches and delays. We want to integrate a comic dimension into our games to make fun of fashionable social phenomena.

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