Despite its charmingly minimalist presentation, Hack, Slash, Loot takes simplicity a bit too far, resulting in a game where player choice carries exceedingly little weight against the overwhelming tides of chance.
Presented as a simplification of the Roguelike genre, Hack, Slash, Loot endeavors to be a casual, bite-sized dose of turn-based dungeon crawling goodness. Toning things down from more classical entries to the series like NetHack or the more recent Dungeons of Dredmor, players are relieved of such responsibilities as developing character skills, managing an inventory, or generally deciding what action to take at any given time, provided those actions might have been anything other than moving in a particular cardinal direction or performing a generic attack on an enemy.
The final product is a game where painstakingly small decisions such as what equipment you've chosen to pick up and wear will be most input the player has on each adventure's outcome, and even then, it won't quite measure up to the significance of what items and enemies the game decided to spawn in the first place.
Ultimately, the prognosis for each freshly-rolled adventurer is about the same as in any other hardcore roguelike- anything but the most carefully chosen actions will invariably end in your character's death, and odds are the right choices will still probably see you winding up dead sooner or later anyway. The difference between the two is that in a deeper Roguelike experience, you will likely have had more than a few memorable close calls where gambling on an unconventional action pays off in a few minutes of continued survival, or enjoyed the unique experience of mixing and matching talents to come up with a wholly one-of-a-kind adventurer whose inevitable death was a mere period a the end of an entirely unexpected story. In contrast, Hack, Slash, Loot will take every bit as much persistence and consideration to advance in, while completely failing to pay off in any sort of fun factor beyond trading genericized blows with enemies and crossing your fingers that the sword you found in the previous room will give you enough of a numerical advantage to be the last man standing.
To put it simply, Hack, Slash, Loot mistakes simplified graphics and gameplay for a pleasingly simplified gaming experience, while instead only succeeding in creating a dreadfully boring one that actively resists being played in a remotely engaging way compared to the sorts of games it seeks to emulate.
The final nail in the coffin is the pricetag, which at the time of this review exceeds vastly more playable and equally casual-friendly Steam roguelikes such as Dungeons of Dredmor and Tales of Maj'eyal, either of which is perfectly content to kill you every bit as quickly, while affording a comparatively staggering array of options with which to actually enjoy your brief life.
The bottom line is that fans of the genre and newcomers alike will do well to look elsewhere. Hack, Slash, Loot may be charming to look at, but there's barely a game here to play, and it just isn't worth the time.