So yeah, that is an improvement.
This week we have Hack, Slash, Loot, developed and published by David Williamson. It is a roguelike with a classic dungeon diving theme to it.
Hack, Slash, Loot is unique in genre in its outright simplicity. It has no inventory beyond what you are wearing, a simple consumable based upgrade system and only a small amount of effects beyond damage types. The classes are differentiated by their equipment and starting stats, usually identifiable as simple melee, ranged and magic variants. It even does away with deep, labyrinthine dungeons in favour of four short quests with distinct environments.
The simplicity of the game makes it very accessible. Most roguelikes are lauded for their complexity, rewarding those who can maximize the effectiveness of growing lists of abilities and items. However, this is one of their biggest weaknesses as the number of things you have to track as the game goes on gets mind boggling. This can be somewhat mitigated by the interface but I find that my characters are almost always lost due to the problems of tracking all the minutiae.
Lacking this element, Hack, Slash, Loot provides instead the visceral satisfaction provided by simply smacking your foes and upgrading your character. If even lacks maximum hp value, a convention casually accepted by almost all genres of gaming. The short, punchy levels add to the experience, allowing you to finish with your character before you get bored of it. Note that the game's simplicity does not indicate a complete lack of strategy. Frequently the upgrades you choose will depend on the quest and character you are playing and will dictate your survival.
Of course, the game's simplicity can also work to its detriment. Sometimes you will find yourself wishing you could do more than move and attack. There is a damage type that has benefits that almost always make it crucial to victory. But the game has no pretenses of what it is. The description is right there in the title.
As far as recommendations go, I think Hack, Slash, Loot plays to a very specific audience. It is geared towards the gamer who is a fan of classic roguelike play but is perhaps frustrated with the spiraling complexity that occurs in the later stages. My personal favourite thing about the game is how easy it to just dive in for a play session. Any given quest takes at most a couple of hours to complete and there is no long list of effects to give headaches on the occasions you pick up an unfinished game.
Hack, Slash, Loot is available on Steam.
Anyways, that is all for this week. I am hoping to make up for last week as well as get next week's up in a somewhat timely manner. We will see how that goes.
Until next time, good luck and have fun!