To Hell With the Ugly is now available for Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4/5 and Xbox!

Created with La Poule Noire, To Hell With the Ugly draws the player into a conspiracy of unexpected proportions

La Poule Noire, developer and ARTE France, co-producer and publisher are proud to announce that their game, To Hell With the Ugly, is now available for PC/Steam, PS4/5, Switch and Xbox S/X for 19.99€ / $19.99.

Imagined with La Poule Noire, the sixteenth video game co-produced and edited by ARTE adapts Boris Vian’s classic novel of the same name, which mixes murder, investigation and humor.

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

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.

In the City of Angels in the 1950s, the handsome Rock Bailey refuses the advances of women, saving his virtue for his 20th birthday. At a party at the Zooty Slammer, a club known for its glamorous clientele and jazz sets, he is drugged without his knowledge and kidnapped. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a strange hospital.

Why was he kidnapped and by whom? Rocky goes in search of his abductors. In his quest for revenge and truth he finds himself involved in a horrible machination. In the blaze of an incredibly red sunset, the summer weighs on the city, and organized crime seeps in everywhere, even in the back rooms of the most exclusive jazz clubs.

Provocative and burlesque, To Hell With the Ugly is a game that navigates between thriller and anticipation, denouncing superficiality through its body-built hero and a disturbing clinic with eugenic practices.

“We were interested in this question: to what extent can we put people whose appearance conforms to society’s expectations on a pedestal?” says Fiona Rosette, game and narrative designer of the game.

The opportunity to adapt this cheeky parody of American noir novels seduced La Poule Noire. In keeping with the book, written in the first person, the game lets the player play as Rocky, “a character with questionable motivations and behavior…”.

As a detective but also as a fighter, the hero has to engage in numerous battles against the various opponents who stand in his way. The player will have to investigate 1950s LA and gather clues to solve Rocky’s kidnapping.

“As the novel moves at a hundred miles an hour, I wanted to offer several situations that would give that feeling of running away” says Fiona Rosette.

Investigation, street fights, chases: all the ingredients are gathered to recreate Boris Vian’s vision of Los Angeles. Daring to be anachronistic, the soundtrack borrows from Hitchcock’s as well as De Palma’s.

“We didn’t want a sound that was faithful to the era, but rather a mix of references: jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, film noir soundtracks from the 1960s and 1980s, with a little touch of rock,” explains sound designer Clément Duquesne.

To Hell With the Ugly is now available for PC/Steam, PS4/5, Switch and Xbox S/X. 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


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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