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: Mixed (368 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.

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
31 of 41 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
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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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Disclaimer: My programming knowledge is almost zero, except for easy stuff like a bit of html, some BASIC from 20 years ago and some understanding of general programming logic. I've played the game until act 4, after a set of 3 easier puzzles that were quickly followed by puzzles incomprehensible to me, no matter how hard I tried.

Overview: Hack 'n' Slash is a puzzle game with a small share of action. The puzzles are all related to programming, starting with simple stuff anyone should be able to sort out, but rapidly escalating to puzzles that require solid programming knowledge. You control a girl with her sprite friend and they collect tools that help you with the hacking, while trying to ultimately defeat an evil wizard.

Pros:
  • Awesome concept
  • Cute graphics
  • Interesting puzzles (as far as I was able to solve them, anyway)
  • The puzzles starting in the act 4 seem great, too--even better, actually-- if you're able to understand them, that is
  • Funny characters and dialogues (but nothing special or memorable)
  • Probably a good programming training session (but I'm just guessing)

Cons:
  • Almost no tutorial when the hacking gets really hard--if they had taken their time to make a great tutorial, it would probably be playable by everyone, but it isn't
  • Requires solid programming knowledge and it really should be written in huge letters somewhere in the store page--since it's not, it feels like they're trying to fool people into buying a game they won't be able to play
  • Action part of the game is clumsy, boring, and totally unnecessary
  • Although there's controller support, it sucks--stick to your keyboard
  • Music is a bit annoying, even when you haven't reprogrammed the game speed

Bought on: I got it as a Christmas gift from Sweetheart Gamer! Thank you, despite everything. Sorry to rate a gift with thumbs down (again, but fair is fair). Well, if you care to know, it's been as cheap as US$ 4.54 (R$ 8,83) on Steam.

Verdict: If you can't program (lua, I guess), STAY AWAY! You won't learn it in this game. You might get through acts 2 and 3, but you'll be stuck on act 4, and I'm 100% sure of that. And starting a game you won't be able to complete without a guide is more frustrating than not even trying. Well, if you are familiar with programming, lua, and all that stuff, then you'll probably enjoy it, despite its other minor flaws. So it's a thumbs down for most people, thumbs up for a few others.

Similar games: If you ended up on this game while looking for something similar to the classic 2D Zelda, you should try Ittle Dew, for both Ittle Dew and Hack 'n' Slash have the same sense of humor, graphics have their similarities--only Ittle Dew doesn't require you to know how to program.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
The game was more annoying than fun. Maybe it gets better after more than one hour of gameplay, but I couldn't stand it. I've had enough of running around swinging my sword at rocks and editing the same attributes over and over again to make them pushable.
I've had enough of falling off turtles moving into the water even though I'm standing right in the middle of their shells.
And I'm fed up with bugs that made me unable to proceed, forcing me to use the map, which reset my progress on the current level.
Cheesy unskippable (?) fairtytale-ish dialogues between the hero and its sprite sure don't help the game either.

I'm extremely disappointed in this game especially since I am a fan of most works coming from Double Fine Productions. I understand how people may find entertainment in this piece, but it sure is not for me.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
Half-way through the game the tutorials and ease of play are thrown out of the window for heavy convoluted scripting puzzles, which you won't know how to complete without a decent understanding of programming/game design/and debuging.

The game developers didn't want to decide if they wanted to make a game for kiddies who have never coded (which started the game with gear that is akin to learning visual basic front-ends) or veterans who have an idea of what they doing (going super script heavy the last half of the game)

This indecision of how they wanted to make a game really hampered it. The first half was boring for me, but the second half really caught my interest as I hacked my way into areas I wasn't supposed to be going. But then again, after you get the super hacking powers the game gets vague on what you were doing.

This game is unfinished. It presents a security risk already demonstrated with the community workshop mods available for it. (opening up other programs on your comptuer) And feels like it was rushed to be finished in less than 2 months dseign and development time combined.

I would reccomend it to anybody who's up for a debugging challenge. I wouldn't reccomend it for people who haven't read a line of code before though. And I wouldn't reccomend downloading any of the workshop mods available for it.

I really wish this was something morethan what it is. But as of right now, it's just a proof of concept, and a reminder of what could have been.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
I actually really enjoyed ~1 hour of this game, near the middle. Unfortunately, the first 2 hours of the game were a chore, and the last 2 hours were crazy buggy.

Ultimately, the buggy nature of the last hour of the game is why I do not recommend it. Perfectly fine and valid solutions to puzzles sometimes won't work until you restart the game. Heck, even redoing the exact same change sometimes won't have the same result. In a game about coding, that's a huge no-no.

I had a glitch at the end where I couldn't get into the epilogue, even though I hadn't edited anything that would affect it. I tried different things for literally half an hour. In the end, I restarted the game and somehow it worked. To add insult to injury, the ending was utterly unsatisfying, and left me feeling like I wasted my time.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
Great concept, horrible exceution. Buy only on sale. If you've never written a single line of code in your life this game could frustrate the crap out of you.

Up until the 4th act "hacking" is very repetitive, but should be easy enough for everyone. I was hoping for the part of the game when editing of the code itself starts but it doesn't. Ever. What starts in act 4 is just bad. I've never programmed in LUA before, but why the game developers chose to mix scripting with some colorful gems and going "into" scripts is beyond me. It's confusing. Why they chose to hammer people down after relatively easy first part of the game by denying us real power? A real editor/command line to modify/hack the code?

I was hoping for something in a line of the CodeCombat browser game (Google that if you want). This way Hack 'n' Slash could actually teach some programing to people and giving a player more freedom.

5/10 (for graphics and general DubleFine dialogues).
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Nowhere near as entertaining as I would have expected, especially considering it came from Double Fine - I love the concept and art style, but it feels like an early access game: Hastily built with very little polish, and with gameplay decisions that really put the player on the back foot. I really did want to to like it, but I just can't recommend it in it's current state :( Might play again if they do some bug fixes, updates or dlc.

NOTE: Played it for close to 5 hours, but in offline mode on my laptop, so time wasn't tracked for some reason.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Really a cool game if you are interested in programming. Can be buggy at times, but few games let you touch the code as much as this one does.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Meh
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Oh man... This game was terribly disappointing. Do NOT spend your time or money on it. I really can't tell who would be the proper fanbase for this game, or if there even is one.

The whole concept is fun and would be awesome if it was applied well, but right now this game is just pretty poorly done. Sure, the graphics took some time, but they're nothing that drastically special. Other than that, most of the game actually seems pretty slapped together by the time you get through it.

Firstly, I am a really experienced programmer, at least for 7-8 years now. Obviously, I'm no amazing specialist, but I know waaaaaaay more than anything this game goes into. Even so, I thought it would be interesting. Turns out not.

The game has no difficulty as you're basically invincible from the beginning (which is possible through more than just 1 way). Even if you don't make yourself invincible, the fighting really isn't the focus and is pointless anyway.

What's more important is the coding and hacking, which is a flop. The majority of the puzzles require barely any thought, except for one or two which require no real thought in programming but more thought in understanding what in the world you're supposed to be going for. For the former, most puzzles simply require setting a value to X or changing a "greater than" to a "less than" and you're done. For the latter, I mean things like what are required from the Library at the endgame--some are easy, some are just unintuitive to even know what you're meant to edit.

Anyway, I beat the game in under 4 hours, probably closer to 3 hours as some of my gametime is spent with the game sitting up. For me, it was boring. For non-programmers, I feel like it would be a pain. The first couple of chapters would be fine, with some general understanding, but once you have non-programmers needing to delve 3+ levels into an object to find some function or variable, they're not really going to understand what this means anymore... they'll just sit with their game broken into 4 screens, confused.

Lastly, the whole story was boring and the dialogue was TERRIBLE. Oh man, I wanted to punch the screen so much, I kept skipping through more dialogue the further I was through the game. It was cheesily stupid to the point where it was annoying. I can deal with cheesiness and love overly-stupid humor, but this game's dialogue was just the worst.

Usually I don't come out this gritty about a game, but it's just not done well. I wanted this game to be great, especially from Double Fine, but nope. I've played many other Double Fine games on console before (and bought them again for the PC to play again), but I still stick by (as many others do) Psychonauts being their best.

Anyway: Just don't buy this game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
This game is a mess! I have encountedered so many glitches, like walking around out of the map, making a "quantum leap" forward, object that can't be picked up, crashing when exiting the game, etc. It can also become quite laggy despite the very simple graphics.

The puzzles are not really clear on what you should try to do, and you can just skip some anyway in the most stupid way possible (like just running behind the warden instead of changing your name). There are so many variables you can change and serve no purpose whatsoever, so why were they added in the game?

It is not clear who this games is for. Is it for kids, with this cookie artstyle and cheesy dialogue? Is it for people who want to learn programming? Is it for experienced programmers? In my opinion, it is not for any of those.

This game is a mess, and I can't understand how this got released. Where is the quality control?
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Game is unplayable, runs at ~1fps in windowed mode and flashes like a strobe light in fullscreen while running closer to 5fps. Repeated searches on the forums and on the internet in general have revealed no solutions, just other people complaining about the same problem with no fix found. Developer seems not to care. Config file(s) are not generating so I can not change any options to even attempt to get the game to work. Running as admin and in various compatibility modes does nothing, reinstalling the game does nothing, restarting computer does nothing.

Running on a desktop
i7-960
GTX560
12GB ram
Win7
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
Great game, wonderful idea.

Mechanics could use some polish, sure, but I think people forget one thing. It's called Hack 'n' slash. I'm guessing it's supposed to feel like hacking.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
You might not get this game if you haven't been exposed to programming before.
However, it is really fun and unique with a great art style.

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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
Note: That "Reccomended" does *not* apply to people who aren't programmers. This game isn't for you. If you aren't willing to do a little searching into how Lua do, then it's especially not reccomended for you. Lua's weird.

It starts out a tad dull. Just a few silly "hacking" mechanics where you can do goofy things like make a turtle have 5e7 hp, do 2.4e6 damage, and friendly. That's alright and all. When I got the chance, I made sure to speed up time to the max and change my running speed to as high as possible.

Then you get to the library.

The library is where the game really starts. You can go into files as they're running and just screw with them.
I once made the game freeze so hard Alt-F4 didn't work by changing a numeric for loop to going from 0 to 0.

The code is difficult to edit in that most of the variables are locked from you and what operations are happening are immutable... you just get to screw with the rest. Testing for equality, I see? Let's make that testing for inequality. Working within the constraints given is extrmely entertaining, especially when you're doing stuff you were never intended to. I highly reccomend finding the book in the library for you.

The actual game's puzzles tend to be solved by calling functions that are supposed to be called by the "success" script, which gets bypassed entirely, by way of the "fight starts" script. That or flipping a loadbool or five.

The actual fun, though, that's when you start goofing around afterwards. Tired of the stupid green fire everywhere in the library? Well, what if the init file's "scale" were locked to 0? (It makes it invisible).

TL;DR: Reccomended for people who like to break things and are already programmers, preferably fluent in Lua, since Lua's weird.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
Bad gameplay, no story and lacks direction. I don't recommend this game at all.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
This game is brilliant, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of puzzling, with some sneaky programming thrown in.

A really excellent learning curve, introducing new concepts in elegant ways, as well as harnessing the game mechanics in quite interesting ways.

Its not perfect; theres a few bugs here and there, and I had to resort to walkthroughs and forums occasionally, but often-times i was thinking too much and should have gone with a simpler approach.

A really great time playing this, and if you're a software nerd go get it now.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IjRioVLS6w

The modern game release cycle is a strange one. Sometimes I’m aware of games months or even years before their retail release. Other times a game will come out of nowhere and grab me instantly. Hack ‘n’ Slash from Double Fine is one of those games.

The first I heard of it was on Steam’s front page. I watched the trailer and was instantly hooked. On the surface Hack ‘n’ Slash appears to be a straight-forward Zelda clone, isometric adventure in a fantasy setting. I quickly realised it was a puzzle game in disguise, thanks to an ingenious central game mechanic: hacking.

Your character has the ability to hack into enemies and world objects, enabling you to modify gameplay behaviour and unit characteristics. You can alter how much damage enemies cause, change their idle routine, and even turn them from enemies into allies. This hacking changes the actual object variables in realtime and I was blown away by the concept.

I picked up the game on sale and sat down to play. My first playthrough I bounced off pretty hard. First of all the controls aren’t great. The joystick tends to travel a lot and I’ve died countless times because my character stayed in motion even after I took my thumb off the stick. As well, the starting area isn’t very intuitive and I found myself backtracking quite a bit. The hacking ability seemed largely restricted and I wasn’t having any fun.

This pattern repeated a few times as I tried to come back to the game. I knew there was something special with Hack ‘n’ Slash but I just wasn’t seeing it. Finally I gave it one last try and suddenly everything clicked. I saw the whole game open up in front of me and I realised how clever and innovative it really is.

Even beyond the USB sword your character uses to hack, the game has a number of cool mechanics that allow you to play with the rules of the world. You can slow down or speed up time, change the day/night cycling, and view the hidden paths around the world. The main thrust of gameplay involves using a variety of items to manipulate and maneuver the world.

I’m only a few hours into Hack ‘n’ Slash but the majority of that time’s been spent in exploration. Exploring the world, the game’s systems, and the methods you’re given to modify them.

I’ve still got some minor gripes, like the controller issues I mentioned before, and other occasional platforming problems, but there’s a lot to like in Hack ‘n’ Slash. Double Fine have developed a clever, playful, and self-referential title that pays homage to classic RPGs while bringing something new to the genre. Give Hack ‘n’ Slash a try and, if required, a second, third, and fourth try.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
I could not get this game to work properly on my system. By properly, I mean display words, menus, anything.... I had to figure out on my own how to get past the first 3 bubbles and then pick up a sword, a menu never popped up, but boxes for my character were text should have been did which I thought was supposed to be some extremely challenging puzzle that I would have to hack through, until I saw the game videos others have after I found it just unplayable. I have approximately 250 games, which all work. I'm a little worried posting this as the forums are full of nothing but problems and there are lots of posts that threaten bans for negative comments.

i7 920
GTX 970
Win 7 Pro 64 bit
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
I wish I could've made this game and made it alot cooler
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