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 only way to win is not to play...by the rules!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (257 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 9, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Hack 'n' Slash mostly nails the new things it tries, but stumbles on the simple stuff, making it fun, but flawed."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (7)

October 27

Price Drop and New Bundle Option!

Hey guys, as you may have noticed, Hack n Slash has a new lower price and bundle option to celebrate today's release of Spacebase DF9. It's fitting, as these games shared a journey from our community-voted Amnesia Fortnight game jam, to being funded by Indie Fund and friends, to becoming Steam Early Access titles, and now being finished games.

So if you haven't already grabbed Hack n Slash, you can now do so for the lower price of $13.37 or as a bundle with Spacebase DF9 and both games' soundtracks at $24.99. And as a token of our appreciation to those who supported these games early, anyone who already owns Hack n Slash will be getting a copy of Spacebase for free and vice versa. ENJOY!!

58 comments Read more

October 10

Hack n Slash wins Indiecade Grand Jury Award!

Woohoo, we just won the big Grand Jury award at Indiecade!! Thanks so much to you the community for helping make the game what it is today. It's a super weird one and the feedback and support you lent us during Early Access was key to the game's success. Hopefully this will help bring some more folks into the game and the world of programming and lead to more crazy mods in the workshop community!

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About This 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 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!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    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.
    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.
    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
931 of 1,094 people (85%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Do not buy this game. This is not the programming game you want to buy. It is not worth the money, and it is not currently, by my standards, a finished puzzle game, much less one that teaches any reasonable amount of programming.

It is a beautiful idea for a game, and a very clever title for the idea. But it is not the game the idea would suggest exists. If you must buy it, wait for the game that purports to teach programming to at least be itself adequately programmed. That is not the game that is available right now.

Hack 'n' Slash is a game in which you swing your USB sword to, instead of slaying things, set their hit points to 0. I can offer no higher praise for the integration of the "hacking" in the game for the first few minutes of gameplay. Instead of attacking the turtle, you hack its allegiance so it becomes your ally. Instead of finding the right order of blocks to push for a block pushing puzzle, you simply hack the number of remaining pushes allowed for one block. Reprogramming the movement of the guards was hilarious.

Then, just as quickly as the fun begins, the clever puzzle design disintegrates.

The coding is still painfully inaccessible and unserviceable—if you're a programmer, it's boring and tedious for no apparent reason, and if you're not a programmer, there's no chance you'll really even understand the puzzle as it's presented. As an experienced programmer, putting together the clues using detailed understanding of how programming generally works got me through the "programming puzzles", but left me painfully frustrated by how obtuse they were guaranteed to be for someone who didn't automatically know that "HackBlock 1" is probably the same in-game object as "blocks[1]". I see no reason to relate a red letter 'a' directly to a red diamond symbol other than educated guesswork. A game which requires trial and error is fine, but a game that requires too much backtracking between trials and crashes when you don't know what you're doing is not a game that encourages learning.

The most frustrating thing for me was when I immediately saw the solution the programmers intended, but also that there were far more obvious and trivial solutions. Let's take a hypothetical locked gate as an example: if instead of entering the prescribed password, you simply toggled some output value from "false" to "true," you might bypass the intended lesson entirely. Not only are the puzzles poorly thought out, they don't even enforce the intended lesson. I can't imagine anything other than inexperienced players blundering their way through the "puzzles."

The game crashes when the built-in LUA interpreter falls apart, because instead of being a sandboxed interpreter, the game runs code you throw at it natively, and I wouldn't be surprised if the game wasn't a legitimate security vulnerability for getting admin access to the local machine. What's worse, the programming conventions used are distracting, if not outright confusing. The variables that are useful to hack aren't even always next to the lines of code they relate to, requiring mundane back calculation or walking around to find the right variable.

Imagine if a game that wasn't about programming presented these qualities: for instance, you found yourself in a hallway with five switches, and the purpose of the doors is only marginally explained to you. There is absolutely no feedback to tell you what each switch does, unless you've solved the puzzle, or unknowingly triggered a fail state. What's worse, these fail states cause you to lose any forward progress made not only on the current 5-switch puzzle, but also the 3-switch puzzles that you've managed to solve in the same hallway. This is not what I consider a good puzzle game, but it is exactly the sort of scenario Hack 'n' Slash unforgivingly drops players into. Where traditional games undergo thorough testing to prevent the player from causing crashes, Hack 'n' Slash markets the total (and completely unnecessary) instability of the game as a feature. Can you imagine an point and click adventure game that crashed when you used the wrong item on the wrong target? How is this fun for the player? Why aren't they simply preventing unnecessary modifications, and adding iteration limits and variable scopes to prevent accidents? The puzzles are poorly designed, and just aren't fun.

And now for the rest of the game. As adventure games go, this game feels incomplete: shoddy collision detection make movement a confusing dance, total lack of information on what can and can't be done makes even thinking about solutions total guesswork.Traditional adventure games leave a trail of breadcrumbs to lead you along, and a useful assistant who makes sure the player is at least going in the right direction. Not so in this half-done game. Between acts the player is expected to know where they should romp for five minutes to get to the next destination, and while this could be "part of the puzzle" in some twisted logic the latter half of the game is a series of tedious activities: wander until you reach the next scripted destination, randomly permute code until success. Nothing is named in a useful fashion, nothing is provided, and the game gives you more ways to cause a crash than it does any meaningful direction towards a smart solution. There's invariably way too much information available as "clues," and the player has no idea what's useful and what's just there because the programmers thought it would be cool. I spend so much time wading through unnecessary details for reasons I don't understand to solve puzzles that aren't even intellectually challenging so much as they are a series of inside jokes. The final puzzles aren't so much arcane wizardry as they are exercises in variable tweaking, and there's not even any guide to explain which variables should really be tweaked to start with. Behaviors not explained before or after a particular puzzle are used and so players shouldn't even know to try the things the developers expect us to know.

As someone who actually studied computer science, incidentally, I'm disappointed by what the game refers to as algorithms. None of the implementations are meaningfully quantifiable algorithms. This is what most saddens me, to be honest: there are so many beautiful, challenging, and meaningful problems in computer science that programming games could explore and teach. Even the final chapter of the game, purported to be a legitimate programming challenge with actual security applications, boils down to a series of password reading tricks used earlier, or the mundane "wander, hack, permute" process. I was hoping to maybe see some binary search, or some loop iteration, or even just simple mathematics to inject actual challenge into the game, but instead found myself going through the exact motions I go through when debugging ugly, poorly written code. "If x ==y continue" tells me nothing about how many lines are actually part of the if statement, by the way. LUA probably wouldn't have been my first choice as a language for making the code readable to nonprogrammers. Might have been smarter to create a simpler, if still Turing complete domain specific version of LUA that doesn't throw unfamiliar terms like jump statements and closure operations. I'm saddened by the possibility that LUA was chosen not because it's a beautiful, educational language but because it made executing user code easy (and highly destructive and universe-collapsing). I spent more time shaking my head at the programming choices than solving the puzzles, and even more time wondering why Double Fine failed to even make the non-programming parts of the game enjoyable. It plays like a very promising alpha, which would be encouraging, if the game wasn't being marketed as a full release.

This is not a programming game. This is not a well-programmed game. And what's worse, this is not even a good game. I'd save your money if I were you.
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224 of 262 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
A very interesting concept, but I see several issues with this game.

Cons:
* It's absolutely NOT recommended for people with no programming/algorithmics knowledge. The first half of the game should be doable by almost anyone, but as soon as actual code is shown and modifiable (end of Act 4 and all of Act 5), it can be overwhelming.
* The code you can hack is displayed in a very hard to understand way. I heard it's based on the game's Lua bytecode. Why not let people see/modify the source code instead? Bytecode is not meant to be read by humans.
You can see the code as text, or there is a sort of visual representation with machines and crystals, but it's just too confusing. As a professional programmer, I grasped most of it, but I think most people won't.
* The graphics look mostly bad. The characters are OK but the backgrounds... The level design is meh, with many useless paths and dead ends.
* The music is forgettable
* A bit on the short side, with low replay value unless you just want to test how far you can go with the hacking. But then why not program your own game instead?
* The ending is surprising but weird, nonsensical and abrupt to me.

Pros:
* Awesome base concept
* Some of the puzzles are quite cleverly made
* The "Double Fine touch" is here, with quirky characters and dialogs, but it's a bit weak. Psychonauts is way better in that regard.
* It's challenging for your brain for those who like that.

Not really a pro nor a con:
* Near the end I think I skipped an important scene completely with hacking. That's pretty cool but I'm missing part of the story!
* It's only in English. I didn't really mind even though I'm French, but some people will. I think it would be really hard to translate such a game anyway (all the game's variables and functions would have to be translated)

Conclusion:
If you are a programming junkie, a bit curious, or just want to challenge your brain, buy this game when it gets cheaper. Otherwise I think it will just be a frustrating experience and you will not enjoy it.
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81 of 101 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
Does this game have a brilliant concept?

Yes.

Is this game enjoyable for the general public?

Eh.

It's quite special for a developer to get an idea that rubs down to: Hey, isn't it fun to let players alter the game the way they like and hack almost anything?

But, somewhere down the line of production, I guess they forgot to realize how user-unfriendly this game can get beyond Act 4. It's not puzzle, oh no, not your every day 'explore-and-find-clues' puzzle, it's a confusing, excrusiatingly painful coding experience.

Worst of all, this game -crashes-, and by that I mean ALL the time. Any event where you mess up on either hacking things, digging into Algorithm, you have the potential to slam into different kind of bugs that the developer didn't iron out. If you hit too many bugs, it wouldn't even allow you to go back to your previous setting (An item in game that basically rewind what you do), forcing you to shut down the game and restart.

Option menu is totally devoided of any options other than choosing fullscreen/window mode, as well as sound. Where is the graphic options?

All around, it's a game with potential, but is underdeveloped. It's baffling that this game can even win an indie game award with the state it currently is in.
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72 of 90 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
POST-RELEASE EDIT:

I'm a bit disappointed, I'll be honest. Just finished the game a few minutes ago. I'm happy to say that the bombs are great, they work very well. And the completed Act 5 is nice. But that's about it. After beating the game, I really don't have any incentive to go back and play it again. I know I still have secrets to discover, artifacts to find, and thousands of lines of Lua to exploit, but there's no reason why I should. I think the only hope this game has of being played again is if I forget how I solved all of the puzzles, and forget that I spent $20 on this thing. Unless there are even more updates coming in the future, this game is not worth $20. Maybe half that, at the most.

You had so much potential, Hack 'n' Slash. I'm so sorry.

Until that potential is met, rating revised to a solid 7/10 for gameplay. However, too overpriced at $20. Would not recommend.




OLD REVIEW:

A great game, even at this current state. Yes, it's unfinished, but what is present already, when combined with the game's visible potential, makes it worth the money.

A few things I would really like to see in future updates:
* a completed Act V
* a larger world to explore
* something to explain why the game starts at Act II instead of the logical Act I (or even Act 0, considering this is about hacking)
* more uses for the bombs (You get to use them once! That's not enough!)

But as it is, it's not bad, if a little pricey.
7/10, potentially up to 8/10 or even 9/10, depending on update content.
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48 of 59 people (81%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
This game does not do a good job of explaining its mechanics, let alone its higher-level concepts. What begins as a generally fun and interesting educational puzzle game quickly devolves into a frustrating mess. The conveyance and presentation of important concepts, most notably the algorithm puzzles, is opaque. The paper-thin storyline, flat dialogue, and cardboard-cutout characters do nothing to make the puzzle headache worthwhile.

There are definitely a couple of good ideas that went into this game, but they're not developed adequately in the short playtime. The scarcity of interactive elements in the world makes the whole experience feel perfunctory and lifeless. With the sole exception of the clever and engaging boss fight with the corrupted turtle king early in the game, none of this really felt very fun. I managed to inadvertently skip about half of the prison level by rushing past the boss with the movement speed hack, which screwed me a bit later in the game as I was unable to decipher the runes made visible with the Third Eye Hat. The feeling the experience most left me with overall is confusion and frustration.

It took me about 3 hours in total to complete Hack N Slash, but I gave up and consulted a walkthrough upon being trapped in the algorithm puzzle caves of act IV. Had I not, I would likely never have been able to finish the game. Perhaps everything would have made more sense to a programmer, but it didn't to me and Double Fine made little effort to ameliorate that. Overall, this game is not worth $20. Pick it up for $5 if you can, but you're not missing much if you give it a miss entirely.
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76 of 105 people (72%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
This game get a NO from me for several reasons.

As a TL;DR here is a list
- No objective indicator/map/sense of direction whatsoever
- Extremely difficult to grasp system of functions etc
- Frustrating atmosphere in general coupled with clunky controls

As a more in depth version:

The fact that there is no objective indicator or map or something may seem like a modern gamers lazy complaint, but it really isn't. For a game as complex as this there really should be an objective indicator for those who want to progress the story. Those who want to fiddle about with any piece of code they can touch can do that if they want, but for those who want to go towards progression at all times, this game is very frustrating. I found myself wandering aimlessly several times with not a clue where to go until I looked up a guide, or simply stopped playing in anger. To be clear: I was not stuck on puzzles, I just had no idea where to go to get to the next puzzle etc.

The way the code is presented to you is very hard to understand. I am currently a computer science student at my university, so I know how to write code and make programs, mainly in Java, C, C++ etc, at the moment, and not Lua itself, but I know that no language looks like this game tries to make it look. Apparently it is based on the games Lua bytecode which FYI is not meant to be read by humans, it is meant for the computer to compile. If it were based on actual Source Code for the game, maybe it would be easier to grasp. But the implication of those weird crystals to represent hundreds of different things inside functions? Forget it. I can normally grasp programming ideas pretty quickly and easily, but in this game, I couldn't understand a thing during Act 5. This also links back to the previous point, if I was told perhaps what place to search in or maybe what function to investigate, not specifically what to do etc but at least a clue? Maybe then it would be easier to see what needed to be modified. Others may disagree with this one, but I personally found it very hard to grasp.

The entire atmosphere of this game is basically designed to be annoying. The sounds get extremely repetitve and annoying e.g going in and out of several functions in short amount of time. This also ties in with the first point, when wandering aimlessly not knowing where to go, I get frustrated a lot easier, so this may contribute to the fact that I'm complaining about this as well.

ALL IN ALL I think this game could have been great with different execution, and easier to understand interfaces/functions and such. As it is, I will not be completing it without a walkthrough of the (final?) Act 5, as I cannot progress on my own from here it seems.

4/10

EDITED 10/11/14

I've been learning all about C this year in school, and I know now what the GOTO statements are really meant to do. You see these EVERYWHERE in the coding of the functions in the game, and they are one of the most out of date things ever. We learned in class that if you use Goto your code will be very difficult for people who are not yourself to read and manipulate so the fact that they spammed goto in the coding for this game is just ridiculous. It is much more clear to use definitive logic like if-else than goto. Although it is still valid syntax, stylistically it is horrible, especially considering this game was MADE to be read and manipulated...

2/10
:)
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45 of 59 people (76%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
It's a neat concept, but once the novelty wears off it really just feels tedious rather than fun. Come to think of it, it reminds me of a better attempt at those awful educational games from the 90s but about programming concepts instead of the Oregon Trail. It gets an A for effort, but I really wish I'd waited for the inevitable sale. I doubt they'll be able to sell this at full price for long because there's just not enough value in it. At this point, all we can do is hope the mods add significant value.
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119 of 184 people (65%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
This game feels a bit cheap at first and really lacks some polish, but its later stages most definitely make up for all its flaws! As you progress through the game, you'll get more and more control over the world as you literraly hack deeper and deeper into the code of the game. Once you manage to get deep into the latest act, this gets pretty insane and, dare I say, absolutely brilliant. It's really nice to see that the author of this game managed to push its crazy but greatly refreshing concept so far! Double Fine still delivers.

Much recommended! but definitely not for everyone
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80 of 120 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
WARNING:
NOT recommended for people who cannot grasp programming logic.
While the game starts out easy and friendly towards people with no programming knowledge, it gets a lot harder
in Chapter 4 for people who have never written any code.
Plus, to REALLY enjoy this game to the max, you need to have an inherent curiosity for tinkering with the massive amount
of possibilities the game gives you near the last quarter of its ~6.5h (if you don't get stuck much on puzzles) playtime.

To people who DO enjoy the tinkering and regularly try to break the limits of games, I say:

"I hacked an event and made my fairy companion Bob exclaim 'Sheiiiit n***a, we're so dead' upon triggering a deadly timebomb trap.
9.9/10 best, most innovative game I've played in a long time"
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47 of 68 people (69%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
TL;DR: Short, buggy, hard for programming illiterates. Only buy if it's 50%-75%; even at $13.37 (*sigh* that's what I paid) it feels like a rip off.

The game is entirely too short (5ish hours, took me 7 or so because I was stuck quite often) and quite difficult for someone without any programming knowledge. One puzzle literally took me an hour because I could not figure it out. Near the end of the game, you can skip a portion of events by changing one event for another.

The interface is a real doozy at times, too. It took me a few minutes to get in the exact right spot to hack your sprite, and it also took me a couple minutes to find the exact right spot to grab the loupe. The game froze at one point; forgot how I made that happen.

Some of the items seem redundant. You get a hat that lets you see overlays, then not even ten minutes later, you get an item that lets you toggle the overlay so you can use other items.

That said, this game is fairly unique and relatively enjoyable... despite getting stuck in three or four different places. Personally I'd only pick it up if it's 50%-75% off.
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31 of 41 people (76%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
TL;DR ----
This game has a great concept and art style but ultimately fails to provide a good gameplay experience.

Great concept that works for the start of the game. Later on it devolves into messy visual rooms of code that are more difficult to understand than actual code. Useless for someone without an understanding of coding concepts and for anyone else too simple to break through.

The story is rather dull and lacks direction. A huge amount of my time spent in this game is simply wandering around the world trying to figure out where to go rather than actually solving any puzzles.

The art style is very attractive but gets ruined by an item picked up later in the game which puts a messy overlay over this.

This game could really have benefitted with additional content, more purpose made interesting puzzles, a well thought out driving story rather than a balled up handful of clichés. The concept provides a basis for a useful way to introduce people to the concepts of programming which they managed well to a certain point after which it feels they lost focus, gave up and stamped it as finished.

The concept is great hopefully future games will learn from this game and improve upon it and create something fun and educational.
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43 of 63 people (68%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
I really enjoyed this game up until act 4 where the hacking puzzles devolved into "code algorithm" which is by far the most confusing and frustrating part of the game to someone who has no understanding of programing. There was only one video on you tube that explained what to change to beat the puzzles, but since this video came out the developers have decided to change the second cavestash bridge puzzle setup so people like myself with no programming background can't just follow the walkthrough.

I spent 2 hours trying to figure out the puzzle I was stuck on to no avail, and another 2 hours trying to find a walkthrough for the updated puzzle. There was probably less than an hour left in the game once I got past this BS.

So if your thinking about buying this game and you arn't a programmer, be prepared to be frustrated with these last few programming math puzzles where they whole hacking aspect of the game takes a total nose dive as a personal F-you to the player.
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85 of 140 people (61%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
In 2012, Double Fine held their first public Amnesia Fortnight event, a previously internal two week event in which developers at Double Fine would break into small teams and create prototypes from game concepts which, if they showed promise would eventually be developed into full games.

Today Hack 'n' Slash has been released marking it the first Amnesia Fortnight 2012 concept to be released as a full game (excluding the Leap version of Autonomous, which is not considered internally to be a compelete game, and the space station building sim SpaceBase DF-9 which is still currently a Steam Early Access title).


Presented on the surface as a cute dungeon crawler, Hack 'n' Slash offers players the unique opportunity to modify the game's running code to create their own solutions to the puzzles presented.

Project lead Brandon Dillon has often been quick to point out that whilst the in-game "hacking" interfaces may look pretty, the variables, visualisations and behaviours they expose are not chosen or crafted as game mechanics - they are the in-game debugging interfaces that the developers use when creating and testing the game.


Hack 'n' Slash features the adorably charming art styles of Double Fine concept artist Raz Mavlian (after whom the protagonist from Psychonauts is named), depicting Alice and her sprite Bob (if you choose to keep their default names) in a striking and vibrant fairytale world.

The game's tone and pacing are engaging, and whilst it's possible to break the game, it's surprisingly robust considering the type of things players are expected to do.


It's been a pleasure to participate in the Steam Early Access community and watch the game get further refined. I'm excited to see the conclusion (I haven't yet finished), and what the community will be doing with the Workshop tools and source made available for modding.
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26 of 37 people (70%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I reallllly wanted to like this game, AND I did... At first, I was havin' the time of my life playing this until act four! Becaus if your not some freakin' master programmer, WELP guess this is were it ends for you.
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18 of 25 people (72%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 11
Right from the distorted growls of the intro screen, Hack 'n' Slash lets you know you're in for something a little different. Awakening in a dungeon, your character (who very much resembles Link) must find his way out. Meer moments after starting the game, the main weapon of the game appears..a usb sword.

Interacting with objects in this game is unlike any other game before it. Upon coming into contact with items, your weapon displays an interactive box. This box shows a dumbed down version of some machine language akin to Java, setting up all your battles for the game. This is a feature that I loved, but to be honest, is going to put a lot of people off if they don't understand code. It also, while original, makes for a very boring game.

Graphics

This game is without a doubt beautiful. While not quite cell-shaded, it personally reminds me of The Legend Of Zelda: Windwaker. Throughout the game you will encounter things that break the mold of it's pretty design, such as the toxic whirls of poliution near the factory. Amazingly animated, Hack 'n' Slash is one of the best looking games I've seen in quite some time

Gameplay

Besides the interesting addition of using code to fight creatures and move blocks, there isn't much in the game that hasn't already been done before. It's a top down game much like the original Zelda games. If you've played an RPG, you're overly familiar with the design. Interacting with enemies and objects via the usb sword quickly becomes tedious, as the code box that appears takes you out of the heat of the moment, leading to a very jarring experience that leaves the game feeling more broken than finished.

Story

You are a red headed Link. Awakening in a cell, you quickly get your sword and break out of the dungeon you've been being kept in with your sprite named Bob. After this, I couldn't honestly tell you the story because I can't figure out if there even is one.


Overall, I wanted to love this game. It's an original game (when it doesn't scream Zelda), but sometimes orginality just isn't enough. I quickly found myself losing interest in the title not because of the graphics or because I didn't want to find out the story, but because of the unique combat system. Every single item you interact with is code, and let's face it, code does not equal fun.
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19 of 28 people (68%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
Very short (5 hours start to finish, could be shorter if you don't try to overthink the last 'dungeon')

You might find it interesting if you're interested in hacking, but there's a major issue that keep this game from feeling compltete. About halfway through the game, you get 'bombs' and a 'loupe' which let you alter certain constants in the game's code. Unfortunately, you can't change the flow of a program beyond altering TRUE / FALSE statements or switching "=" to "not =" and visa-versa. Oh wait, you can actually also change strings, including which procedures are called... It's a shame that wasn't the solution to any puzzle, and you only have to modify strings in one room(spoiler: it's in the tutorial on how to use the glass /spoiler). I bought this when it was announced as being "out of alpha", but right now, it doesn't feel feature-complete.
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13 of 19 people (68%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
This is an interesting puzzle game, but fails big for me in one aspect. Early in the game, I encountered a puzzle I could not solve, it was an easy solution, but my solution was not working. Finally, after using a walkthrough, I realized my solution was correct the first time. A bug in the game was not allowing my solution to work. I restarted and it worked.

The above problem occured several times during my playthrough. It is difficult to recommend a puzzle game when you cannot 'trust' the game. I ended up having to keep a walkthrough up through the entire playthrough, for fear that I would waste hours looking for a solution that I had already come up with, but would not work due to a bug. Should these problems be solved, this would be a good game. For now, I don't recommend.
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26 of 44 people (59%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
This game has a great hacking concept and implementation of that concept; it’s a shame they had poor implementation on the basics.

This game could be vastly improved with a map and current objective system. A map+compass system for dungeons borrowed from the Legend of Zelda series is needed. I spent a long time running around and backtracking not knowing where to go until I looked up a walkthrough or turned the game off in frustration.

Being lost with no direction != a interesting challenge
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34 of 61 people (56%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
I just finished playing "Hack 'n' Slash". And by "finished", I don't mean "completed the game"…

I got all the way to Act 4, or the "Tutorial", at which point the game expected me to modify increasingly complex graphical abstractions of Lua script. I am not a programer (not because I haven't ever tried), so this is the point where the game stopped being at all fun. I'm not saying that I couldn't possibly have figured it out and continued progressing, but…

I enjoyed what I played of this game, and don't regret purchasing it. However, I'm a bit disappointed that the game puts up such a brick wall, after what had been a fairly easy learning curve. I very quickly went from an "I am smart" feeling to a "this is the point where I fail to 'measure up'" feeling.
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35 of 67 people (52%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
Incredible freedom, limitless experimantation
This game is incredibly original and brilliant beyond measure. The game, to me, is reminiscent of Scribblenauts, as the player is rather overpowered. Such power, though, leads and infinity of almost boundless possibilities. I wouldn't recommend this game to speedrunners, as I believe trying to find the most fun solution to a problem is the best aspect of this game. The time travel mechanic really encourages experimentation, even when reckless.
Well worth your money and your time.

import steamLibrary
if not hackNSlash.bought then
HackNSlash.buy()
end
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