Hack Slash Loot – Indie Roguelike

Hack Slash Loot logo, a simple arcade style indie roguelike game

Ever felt that roguelikes were something you really ought to be into, but that they just weren’t accessible enough? Well, here’s your chance to catch up with the three-decade-old dungeon crawl subgenre.

Hack, Slash, Loot (hereafter referred to as HSL), developed by David Williamson, is a distillation of the roguelike. It’s playable entirely with the mouse and interacting requires only the left mouse button. Manual movement is made easier by clicking on your destination and watching your character walk there on his own. Combat is fast and painless, simply click your target. It’s all very simple to grasp, perhaps a little too simple for some: old-school Roguelike fans will find HSL to be lacking in some of the depth and detail found in the old masters of the genre.

There are some nice touches, though. Howevering over things in the environment will provide a handy tooltip and often a description (sometimes even humorous :D ). Hack, Slash, Loot may be extremely simple to play and very basic in its visuals, but it’s not an empty experience at all. Desecrating tombs and wondering what posse of hobgolbins are hiding behind the next door keeps the game interesting. There’s also a fair bit of loot to go around, as the name suggests, and you’ll have to consider it carefully: in line with the theme of simplification, you can only keep items you have equipped, so you’ll not want to be grabbing just everything you see.

It sounds like a charming NES game more than an old DOS title, emitting pleasant blips, bloops and swooshes as you make your way through the labyrinthine randomly-generated dungeons. There is no music, but that’s probably for the best. Visually it’s very simple, very retro, but very effective – everything has just enough detail to be recognisable and simple animations keep it all feeling alive and not like the garbled ASCII worksheets of yore. You can play it in a window by default, or go fullscreen, and there’s a very handy option for controlling the magnification of the play-area and the menu independently. If you’re feeling lost you could just reduce the scaling of the viewport to see more of the map, or get in close to the blocky action.

Available now for Windows, Mac and Linux, this pint-sized retro roguelike will set you back $10 US. You may be thinking that’s a little high for this sort of indie lunchbreak title, and many seem to agree that it was mistake to go for a double-digit price tag. Try out the demo and have some fun, and if you really need 32 character types instead of just 3, and a full six quests, then shell out for the full version – either way it’s worth a download.

Official Website:  http://hackslashloot.com/index.html


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