Roguelikes: endless dungeon crawling adventure! Zany classes, weird races, heaps of loot and gold, and the dreaded PERMADEATH! Exciting and frustrating at the same time. The lure of these fabulous elements with improved graphics was too much to pass up, and I picked up Hack, Slash, Loot as soon as it popped up on Steam.
Unfortunately, Hack, Slash, Loot misses the mark on most of these categories. The retro-styled graphics, audio and interface are nice, but they don’t make up for the lackluster gameplay. Races are locked to classes, and most of these combinations need to be unlocked. Strangely, this is done by dying a lot, rather than being successful. There is no inventory, only items that the player has equipped can be carried. Magic takes the form of a basic ranged attack. There is no currency, resting, character levels, improving proficiencies or unidentified items. Looting is generally the only way to heal, and to loot you need to move into new areas, which contain monsters. You also can’t run away either, because all monsters move at the same speed as the character. You can see how this might be a problem, I’m sure. Levels are very repetitive and follow almost exactly the same “random” layout.
Unlike with many roguelikes, the character iterations are completely unmemorable. They don’t even get names! No reminiscing about that crazy ghoul wizard who turned out to be awesome. Oh man, remember Elf Archer? With…bow? No. No, I don’t.
My advice is to just go play one of the many free roguelikes instead. Stone Soup is excellent, and now has tile graphics as well. However, if traditional roguelikes are too complex or involved for your tastes, then maybe Hack, Slash, Loot might be more your speed. Definitely try the demo first though!