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Hack ‘n’ Slash is a puzzle action game about hacking -- reprogram object properties, hijack global variables, hack creature behavior, and even rewrite the game’s code! The game is in Early Access so that you can help us improve it before it’s finished. And remember, the only way to win is not to play...by the rules!
Release Date: May 6, 2014
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“We’re releasing on Early Access so that players can influence the tuning of the mechanics, provide ideas for puzzles, help guide our Steam Workshop integration, and support the final game. Hack 'n' Slash is still in development and there will be bugs, but players who get in now will help us improve a game that can expose people to a whole new way of playing and thinking about games. Check out our development roadmap below for more details on our Early Access plan!”
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Recent updates View all (2)

Hack 'n' Slash patch (with Steam Workshop integration)

August 22nd, 2014

Today we're ready to roll out Steam Workshop integration for testing! Details below. Please post feedback in the forums!

Downloading and playing mods
You can manage your mod subscriptions via the Hack 'n' Slash workshop. Subscribed mods will automatically be downloaded when you boot up the game.

Starting a new game with a mod
Select "NEW GAME" from the save select screen. A "mods" menu will appear, and you can add mods that you've created or subscribed to by selecting the [+] option and then selecting a mod.

Adding and removing mods from an existing save game
Navigate to the game in the save select screen and select the [ Mods ] option. From here you can add additional mods using the [+] option or remove mods using the [delete] option.

You can also reorder mods via the [move] option. This controls the order in which the mods are loaded. Some mods may need to be loaded in a specific sequence in order to function correctly.

Example mods
We're also releasing two example mods today.

Translation Kit
Translation Kit is a mod that makes it easy to create custom translation mods of Hack 'n' Slash. When you launch a game with Translation Kit active, it will scan over all of the scripts in the game using the game's disassembly tools and identify text that's displayed in dialogs and cutscenes.

It will then ask you for the name of the translation mod you want to create and will build a directory tree of .translation files that contain string overrides for the code and a mod script that loads these translation files and applies them to the game.

ebg13
ebg13 is an example mod created with Translation Kit that applies the ROT13 transformation to all of the translated strings.

What kinds of mods can I make?
Hack 'n' Slash supports very extensive modification. You can overwrite any script in the game's file system and add any kind of content that you want. You can change the base game or create your own game using the engine. You can even use the game's built-in disassembly tools to programmatically analyze existing code and make modifications to it. This is how Translation Kit works.

All mods have a patch script written in Lua that is responsible for applying its modifications to the base game. This script can overwrite existing files or add new files to the game's file system.

Patch files are initially generated with some documentation on the methods your mod has access to, but we've also decided to ship the main game engine scripts in plaintext so that you can dig around yourself and learn how the engine works.

The content scripts for the game itself are still precompiled so that you can't spoil anything just by browsing the directory structure, but you can now browse the core engine scripts directly.
  • Right click on Hack 'n' Slash in your Steam library and click "Properties."
  • Click on the "LOCAL FILES" tab.
  • Click "BROWSE LOCAL FILES" to launch an explorer window.
  • Navigate to Data/Scripts.
  • Open up any .lua file to see the code for that component.

Please note that this does not mean that the engine is open source. We still retain all rights to the engine code. We're simply trying to make it easier for you to make interesting mods!

Creating a mod
You can create a new mod from the "MANAGE MODS" menu on the save select screen by selecting [ Create new mod ]. You then choose a name for the mod and the game will create a stub patch script for you at:
<your documents directory>/Hack 'n' Slash/Mods/<your mod name>/Patch.lua

The stub file will have some documentation comments at the top describing the functions you have access to from the patch. You can also clone existing mods and look at their patch scripts to see how they work.

Cloning an existing mod
You can clone a mod you subscribe to in order to figure out how it works or make your own custom modifications. From the "MANAGE MODS" menu, select the mod to open its menu and then select [ Clone mod ].

Please make sure to attribute the original work if you publish a cloned mod!

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Hack 'n' Slash patch!

May 30th, 2014

In-game menu
There’s a new in-game menu that opens when you press [Esc] on the Keyboard or [Start] on a 360 controller.

It lets you adjust the (new!) user settings, and provides the single most requested feature: a way to quit from inside the game!

System settings
The game now automatically stores system settings. These include keyboard control mappings, fullscreen/resolution settings, and audio settings.

Keyboard controls
You can now remap the keyboard controls from the game menu. Remap to your heart’s content! Be careful when remapping the buttons for “Select” or the navigation controls - all changes are immediate.

Settings
From the settings menu you can toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode. The game automatically saves your windowed resolution as you drag the window, and always runs at display native resolution when you go fullscreen.

From here you can also control your audio settings, adjusting either the master volume or the volumes for the individual sound categories.

Optimizations and compatibility
This build contains a lot of optimizations and compatibility fixes. It addresses several issues with load times and crashes to desktop on certain hardware.

One major change we made is that we now store textures using a different compression method. We initially shipped with PNG files for all in-game textures, not because this is the ideal choice for a game, but because it allows you to poke around the game’s directories and easily look at or mess with all of the the game’s textures, which was important to us.

Unfortunately, PNG’s are a kind of bad choice for a runtime format because they decompress to 32 bit-per-pixel textures in memory, so - for example - a single chunk of background terrain takes up 4 MB in video memory. This is a killer in terms of memory foot print and, on some systems, performance.

Typically modern games load textures into one of the S3TC compression formats. This is a much more efficient texture representation that modern graphics cards support natively. We switched to doing this for Hack ‘n’ Slash and it makes the game run a lot more smoothly across a wide array of hardware.

Unfortunately, using one of these formats makes it harder to mess with the files on disk. We even experimented with loading the PNG’s and then converting them to an S3TC format at runtime, but this increased load times too much on older systems. We want to make sure it's still possible to mess with the textures with off-the-shelf tools, though: the most efficient texture file format that our engine supports is proprietary to Double Fine, so we didn't use that. Instead, Hack ‘n’ Slash’s textures are stored in the DDS format, which is not incredibly common, but you can find plugins for graphics programs and converter tools online.

Furthermore, DDS files are not optimally compressed on disk, so we actually take an additional step of gzip compressing the textures to make the disk footprint as small as possible. So you’ll see that the texture files end with the .dds.gz extension. But tools like gzip and imagemagick will let you convert to an easier-to-edit format.

The game engine still supports (and prioritizes) PNG files. You can still a create a PNG with the same name and put it in the same directory as the texture you want to override. It will automatically override it. We'll also continue to support PNG files when we roll out Steam Workshop support.

The good news is that, even though the patch is large, the game will now take up substantially less disk space on your computer!

Bugfixes
Lots of small content bugfixes went into the game with this build. More to come! Please keep the bug reports coming! We’re cataloging and addressing them as quickly as possible.

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About the Game

Hack ‘n’ Slash is a puzzle action game about hacking -- reprogram object properties, hijack global variables, hack creature behavior, and even rewrite the game’s code! The game is in Early Access so that you can help us improve it before it’s finished. And remember, the only way to win is not to play...by the rules!

The wizard has mandated that everyone confine themselves to the village, the castle armory has started to forge weapons so powerful that no one but guards are allowed to carry them, and anyone who attempts to find a sprite and demonstrate their bravery would face certain death. The new laws are for your own protection, but you don’t buy it. You’ll show everyone what “brave” means and, if you’re clever, maybe uncover the secret reasons why everything’s gone sideways.

Key Features:


  • Use in-game tools to hack the game while you’re playing it
    Your sword can hack the variables of objects. You find magic artifacts that allow you to tune global variables to your liking. Discover equipment that lets you see the game’s internal debug visualization to uncover things that weren’t meant to be seen.
  • Hack the code
    As you achieve advanced hacking mastery, you’ll be able to dive directly into the game’s assembly in the form of procedurally generated dungeons and modify the live-running code.
  • Make the game yours
    Puzzles have myriad solutions, many of which we haven’t anticipated. As you master the game’s hacking mechanics, you can mold and shape the game in whatever way you desire.
  • Crash it!
    You’re hacking the game for real! You can totally break it. Roll back in time to change the rules so the bugs don’t cause the world to fall apart, whether they’re yours or ours!

Development Roadmap:


The game is launching on Early Access which provides an opportunity for you to join us while the game is still in development to help us dial in the mechanics and puzzle design. Here's a look at our roadmap for the remainder of development that shows what we’re planning and what we’d love your input on!

  • Final dungeon
    The final dungeon is not currently in the game. This is the point where you take all the tools you’ve gathered and everything you’ve learned to finally take down the wizard and restore freedom to the kingdom. We want to make sure the puzzles are carefully tuned to the mechanics of the game, so we want to get feedback on those mechanics from you before we lock down the ending of the game. Play through to the final dungeon, then join the community, and tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll use that information to build the final dungeon that’s right for the game.

  • Extra puzzles
    The critical path of the game is designed to be achievable by anyone who’s clever and likes solving puzzles, whether they’re technical or not. The game also needs puzzles for serious reversers, though, and we want to tie them together with the mysteries of the world on the periphery. We want to know what parts of the world or the mechanics pique your interest. With that information, we’ll dive deep, burying secrets in the game that will thoroughly challenge you and elucidate the things you care about.

  • Steam Workshop support
    By the time you’re well versed in the gameplay of Hack ‘n’ Slash, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the game’s internals and you’ll be ready to make your equipment, puzzles, and creatures. Tell us what kinds of tools you want to make the things you imagine and we’ll build first-class Steam Workshop integration into the game so that you can share your ideas with the rest of the world.

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Lion 10.7.X
    • Processor: Intel Core i series processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6770, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 4000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.
Helpful customer reviews
117 of 137 people (85%) found this review helpful
176 products in account
2 reviews
6.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Hack n' Slash is in early access, but it is magnificent already.

Bugs are present, so if that bothers you, you may want to steer clear until v1.0. I havent come across anything game breaking, but I have encountered a few instances of the game freezing or inventory scrambling. Regardless of this, I have really enjoyed my playthrough so far.

If you're the least bit interested in this games mechanics and can handle a few minor hiccups, I'd say go for it.
Posted: May 6th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
163 of 216 people (75%) found this review helpful
40 products in account
5 reviews
122.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I hit my Game Hours and edited that to be so large. 10/10 game
(i actually play this game for hours on end)

~

This game is literally a puzzle version of the OG Legend of Zelda with more code language than getting stuff from a stranger in a cave.

(note that Double Fine Productions is probably hard at work clearing out some bug crashes and what not, since this review was made during early development.)
Posted: May 6th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
60 of 78 people (77%) found this review helpful
170 products in account
3 reviews
3.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is amazing. One of the best puzzle games I've ever played. Extra cool if you happen to be a programmer, as the game eventually involves parsing/modifying functions to progress.
Posted: May 7th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
282 products in account
10 reviews
1.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Full disclosure: I work for Double Fine, the studio that makes this game. From where I'm sitting I could throw this banana on my desk at Hack n Slash's creator, Brandon Dillon, with a good chance of hitting him in the head. That's a good idea actually, be right back.

While some games are content to bedeck themselves with the aesthetics of computer hacking, Hack n Slash is a deeply legit exploration of the actual mechanics of hacking. You modify actual running code using tools that function like real hacking tools, and it's wrapped in a very charming and well-judged take on the original NES Zelda.
Posted: June 19th, 2014
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22 of 33 people (67%) found this review helpful
540 products in account
4 reviews
5.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
A nice ride into the world of hacking things. Thanks to the fact that i learn that hacking stuff since long times i can tell that in this game you are really confronted with some of the fundamental concepts of hacking.
Catching passwords trough some unwanted outputs or changing of global variables are just a few of them.

Also you get familliar with the think outside of the Box expirience a hacker needs each day. I only whish that there are more upcoming eastereggs and some funhacks you can do if wanted. I alsohope that there will be more than just the final dungeon.
More maps and a little bit more stuff in general.
Beside this fact and trough its early access the game offers a nice playtime and is also underlined with funny dialoges and a catching story :D

The start was a bit greedy on functions, but soon after the first boss the real hacking skills were needed :D

Ill give this game 8/10 in its current state (there were some crashes but because off the way the game is made it never REALLY crashed just the room restarted and often it was my fault for hacking sth. into an infinite loop ) also a little lack off content but this is early access and the devs have some time left to make new content and More stuff.

For everyone intrested in programming and/or (logical or) zelda this game is fine and worth the 20 Bucks (i expect that moar content WILL come)
Posted: May 9th, 2014
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