Open the gate to the egyptian underworld! Hieroglyphika is a roguelike game completely without text but with pictograms.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (31 reviews) - 87% of the 31 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 3, 2016

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Recent updates View all (3)

June 6

New Content and Sale!

Hieroglyphika Update v1.2.1 includes:

Two new enemies (the 'Builder' and the 'Flying Eye').

The ability to read hieroglyphical descriptions of enemies.

3 comments Read more

February 14

Patch v1.1.5 Freeze no more!

Build in a safety mechanism. The game can't freeze anymore.

1 comments Read more

About This Game

Open the gate to the egyptian underworld!

Hieroglyphika is a roguelike game completely without text but with pictograms.

You get lost in an ancient egyptian pyramid buried deep under the sand of the desert and full of traps and monstrous beings. Decrypt hieroglyphs to learn spells and to understand the magical nature of artifacts.

GAMEPLAY



Fight your way through dangerous corridors down to the deeper levels of the pyramid in a turn-based fashion. Open sarcophagi or kill enemies and you will find loot. Cast the spells of the dead. Defend yourself with ancient shields. Push your enemies into bottomless pits. Or strike them down with enchanted weapons.

There is no hand-holding of any kind. Figure out the mechanics and rules on your own. Be attentive and creative. Find novel solutions to odd combinations of random events. Be an explorer!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 16:9 display recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (31 reviews)
Recently Posted
advancedspuds
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
This game suffers from a horribly slow enemy turn. You move one tile, then the enemy takes 3-5 seconds per enemy to move. With multiple enemies, it can take what seems like 20-30 seconds of waiting for moving one tile. It's a waste of your time. I'm a traditional roguelike player and have never seen such a poorly implemented AI animation/movement sequence.

The game looks beautiful, has some interesting language mechanics. It's a shame the slow AI turns make it not worth the wait.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pet culling the coatl block.
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 13
Gorgeous Minimalism. Impatient souls beware Slow turn ticks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
samdamandias
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
This is a challengeing rougelike with a really neat gimmick.

I have yet to reach the third level, but this is one of those games where I have to step back and think before every action and I love that. Did get it on sale, because I'm not sure if it's woth $10, but it sure is worth $5.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Joseph Knight
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
Too slow due to each and every enemy on the screen moving in turn before you can take your next action. Cmon! Seriously? I'm not an impatient person, but when you can easily imagine this being better, more convenient to our time, and quite simply a better game with a simple change in the code.... Not playable right now for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Simsala11a
( 5.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 21
great for everyone that enjoy hard games....hoever be warned this game is REALY hard and the smallest mistake will result into your death.....

the rng is fair.it plays still a important role like in any other roguelike but most damage you will take because you made some dump actions like walking into a trap or let you surround by multiple monsters

the game hoever is a little bit slowpaced...you should realy think alot before you do somethink(but hey...that should be the case in any good turnbased game^^).

if you like hard games that require alot thinking....buy this
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vinrafel
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
First Impression video:
https://youtu.be/etjUJi1M0AE

This is one of those situations were I would prefer something between a thumbsup and a thumbsdown. Hieroglyphica is a really cool idea that has some serious flaws in the gameplay.

Hieroglyphica is a game with no text (except for the title, I guess they needed that one). Everything you do, and everything that you pick up, is described through pictures. The player has to interpret what every new item does and, in combat, hope that they get it right.

The gameplay itself is a rouge-like turn based strategy game. You explore and loot the dungeon while being threatened by traps, monsters, and the demons coming up from behind you (they're the rebel fleet mechanic you can see in FTL. They force you forward). Every turn you get to either move or act. Acting can include attacking, looting a chest, or getting ready to block.

Issues:

Now, the most glaring problem occurs with one particular type of enemy. I've never made it past the third floor, because there is an enemy there that can perpetually stun lock you. You can do nothing but hope that the enemies attacks miss and you'll be allowed to do something. This is frustrating at best, it made me want to throw my computer from the ISS at worst.

Another issue comes in the damage system. You start with 99 health. Even the weakest enemies can easily do 10 damage to you. More powerful enemies (on the second floor, so take "powerful" with a grain of salt) can do a quarter of your health worth of damage in a turn. You're limited actions mean that you either have to accept eating damage to try to run, or your locked into combat.

The map is also absolutely jam packed with traps. This one is not so bad as the previous issues, but I thought it was very annoying. The traps are so plentiful that it feels like none of the map is safe. You can usually get a warning that traps will fire next turn, unless an enemy steps on a pressure plate and sets them all off. This makes combat really hard to pull off, especially against enemies with multiple action. Yep, those are things.

Well, it might sound like I hate this game, but I actually liked it quite a bit. It just has some flaws that prevented me from really loving the game. If you have a hankering for innovative mechanics and incredibly punishing (often unfair) mechanics, then go for it. If not, pass it up, by all means.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sheesh
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 7
This is a quite clever and enjoyable game that I see as a slow-paced puzzle rogue-like (turn-based, procedural levels, random loot, permadeath).
The premise: you walk from left to right, killing things, avoiding traps and looting other things until you go down the stairs at the far right and the difficulty ramps up.
Everything happens in turns, order is determined by a speed stat that mainly depends on your equipped gear, and traps give a tell before they go off.

The puzzle aspects start to come in to play when you find loot and try to figure out 'what does it do actually?'
All aspects of your gear are visualized as pictograms and while you get all information about its effects, you have to figure out what these pictograms mean in the first place (which isn't that hard if you experiment a bit when you find something new to you).

Examples: a new dress may restrict your movement to the 4 cardinal directions instead of the usual 8, but boost your speed and defence and further increase your speed when you stand in sand tiles instead of reducing it. Headgear may reduce or nullify a certain damage type / effect while making you more vulnerable to another type. With the new weapon you may be unable to attack now and then due to cooldowns, but it extends your reach and hit chance while dealing a damage type this particular enemy is weak against... and so on.

While often things feel at first like flat upgrades to your ability to deal damage or get faster, you will come into situations where you'll have to skip some turns to swap items (each equipment change takes one turn, and spells and such start with cooldowns when freshly equipped) - and that along to changing your own movement or attack patterns give it a surprising amount of depth.
Enemies come with abilities as well and may push you around (beware of holes in the floor after the first few levels), freeze or poison you and generally keep you on your toes since new enemies are introduced every level so far (made it past lvl 5 of 9).

Just to extend on what kinds of things you have to keep in your mind:
- your general stats: life, speed, defence, attack strength and hitchance
- attack pattern of your normal and special attacks, damage type, additional effects when attacking, attack cooldowns
- spell effects, patterns, cooldowns
- your and your enemies resistances and vulnerabilities
- traps, their types and patterns, and with your current speed, will you make it past them in time - or can you even use them against your foes
- your own movement pattern (may need to change your suit to get out of a dead end)
- and also how you deal with +/- health ... uhm... flying things(?); your shield may reverse their effects for example

As for the graphics: Just look at the screenshots and form your own opinion. Npc/trap turns take a few seconds so it's a bit slow going but the important part is that you can always tell what is going on - it could lose its readability if sped up further.
Equipped gear is always represented on your character sprite which is nice, but there are no animations bar some 'swoosh' lines when attacks are dealt.

Also, a codex of some sort would be nice where you could unlock a view (with the same pictograms) of what you are up against, so far it's all about observing and memorizing and quite some guesswork - which isn't bad per se, but e.g. after I've killed the same bugger 20 times it would be nice to take a closer look into his actual stats.

Can't comment on technical stuff, I've experienced no problems like crashes at all. *edit: about half an hour minutes after writing this it crashed for the first time. Well... *edit2: and an update that specifically targets that crash came within one hour. On a sunday.
It's good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ĐA | StarTrix
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: February 5
Very interesting game. Has roguelike elements such as permadeath. The game may seem to be a bit confusing at first, but you will quickly get the hang of it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Thiine
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 4
I usually don't like turn based, but this is an excellent game. Buy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Necrolexicon
( 14.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 4
Hieroglyphika is a fun, new Egyptian themed, Turn Based, Roguelike with old school sensibilities. With no item descriptions to guide you and no text in the UI, your first couple of runs will just be figuring out what you can and can't do. Your next few runs will be trying to figure out the various pieces of clothing and equipment that you'll find strewn around the pyramid and why those nasty big critters start chasing you for taking to long. Then finally you'll be making the most of what you have learnt to try and push deeper into the underground to inevitably die at the hands of a newly encountered enemy type.
It's this learning process that will either keep you playing for the first 2 hours or put you off of the game. I personally loved it and am now slowly chasing the achievements for each new floor I manage to accomplish.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
This game suffers from a horribly slow enemy turn. You move one tile, then the enemy takes 3-5 seconds per enemy to move. With multiple enemies, it can take what seems like 20-30 seconds of waiting for moving one tile. It's a waste of your time. I'm a traditional roguelike player and have never seen such a poorly implemented AI animation/movement sequence.

The game looks beautiful, has some interesting language mechanics. It's a shame the slow AI turns make it not worth the wait.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
42 of 53 people (79%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Choosy Mummy's Choose

Full disclosure: review copy provided by developer/publisher!

Roguelites, roguelikes, roguerogues, litelikes, and all manner of permadeath, RNG-y types are becoming more and more ubiquitous thanks to the indie game bubble we're currently experiencing (right before the deafening burst I anticipate before I type this up). But with a new roguelite coming out seemingly every month or so, some players are a little burnt out on the genre – myself included. So here's a new one, fresh off the presses: Hieroglyphika.

And, thanks to some striking art and a novel approach to game design, it distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack.

You play as a Howard Carter lookin' guy who has discovered a tomb. Things quickly deviate from the historical aspect as you battle armor-clad baboons, jackals – the whole Fightin' Egyptian lineup. You can move in any direction generally, and your initial weapon can strike diagonally (with a cool down) or in the square spaces directly around you. The enemies have varied attacks and movements so you'll have to be tactical: the jackals, for example, are more nimble than the baboons, and bird-witch dealies can knock you back with a gust attack – often into pottery filled with fire and poison like the ancient Egyptians were fond of keeping. Besides the many monsters lurking, the tomb is filled with enough traps to make Jigsaw blush. There's spike traps and poison darts and fire panels and all that good, murder-y stuff to remind you that you're desecrating a grave.

Fortunately, enemies drop health pretty often in the form of white scarab beetles; you have to be quick grabbing them, however, as one of their favorite pastimes is fleeing from you. There are also sarcophagus'... sarcophagi(?) in each level, filled with armor, weapons, and magic nonsense (and occasional corpses which makes sense, given their original purpose) to help even the odds in your favor a smidge. Before long your little character will cast off his safari-looking outfit and rock some priestly robes.

I'm pretty deep into this review and I haven't even mentioned the most refreshing aspect of Hieroglyphika: the hieroglyphics. In the menu, in the game, there is zero written word. Everything is told via pictographs, which adds a new layer of discovery. Using context clues (or taking my approach and just hoping for the best), you'll have to suss out what a new weapon does, or how armor restricts your movement, or what a magic ability will do. It's rewarding in much the same way as finding a new item in Isaac: reading the vague description, and hoping it doesn't suck a bag of rocks.

Which this doesn't! Hieroglyphika doesn't suck a bag of rocks (something tells me I won't be quoted on that). It's fun, simple, elegant, challenging, music is fittingly Egyptian-y – everything you're likely looking for in a roguelite experience. Because of the nature of RNG I find that sometimes you'll encounter a really nasty first floor, making it that much less likely you'll survive to the next round, which can be frustrating... but that's just the nature of this genre, isn't it?

So what are you waiting for? You're not gonna get cursed waiting outside the tomb – descend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epcGGniDn7w
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
It's good!

It is quite good actually. Unlike the other popular rougelikes, you cannot sit idle and farm like crazy in this game. You have an urgency to get to the end of the level before long or bad things happen to you, which I enjoy. I have not played too much at this point but from what I have seen, the weapon/armor sets are exactly the same in every playthrough. This is not a bad thing however, as the game presents you with a lot of items with drastically different effects. And the ability to change items/weapons/armors at will once you get them, creates an amazing utility that doesn't exist anywhere else.

While I believe the game can be further improved with the addition of randomness to the enemy spawn and other small fine tunings, the game at this point is fully fleshed out and complete.

As for the price, I think 9 dollars is more than fair for this game. It offers numerous replayability options and probably over 50 hours of gameplay before being any kind of bored. Which better than anything I can say for the most A+ titles.

Buy it, no brainer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
Hieroglyphika is a fun, new Egyptian themed, Turn Based, Roguelike with old school sensibilities. With no item descriptions to guide you and no text in the UI, your first couple of runs will just be figuring out what you can and can't do. Your next few runs will be trying to figure out the various pieces of clothing and equipment that you'll find strewn around the pyramid and why those nasty big critters start chasing you for taking to long. Then finally you'll be making the most of what you have learnt to try and push deeper into the underground to inevitably die at the hands of a newly encountered enemy type.
It's this learning process that will either keep you playing for the first 2 hours or put you off of the game. I personally loved it and am now slowly chasing the achievements for each new floor I manage to accomplish.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
This is a quite clever and enjoyable game that I see as a slow-paced puzzle rogue-like (turn-based, procedural levels, random loot, permadeath).
The premise: you walk from left to right, killing things, avoiding traps and looting other things until you go down the stairs at the far right and the difficulty ramps up.
Everything happens in turns, order is determined by a speed stat that mainly depends on your equipped gear, and traps give a tell before they go off.

The puzzle aspects start to come in to play when you find loot and try to figure out 'what does it do actually?'
All aspects of your gear are visualized as pictograms and while you get all information about its effects, you have to figure out what these pictograms mean in the first place (which isn't that hard if you experiment a bit when you find something new to you).

Examples: a new dress may restrict your movement to the 4 cardinal directions instead of the usual 8, but boost your speed and defence and further increase your speed when you stand in sand tiles instead of reducing it. Headgear may reduce or nullify a certain damage type / effect while making you more vulnerable to another type. With the new weapon you may be unable to attack now and then due to cooldowns, but it extends your reach and hit chance while dealing a damage type this particular enemy is weak against... and so on.

While often things feel at first like flat upgrades to your ability to deal damage or get faster, you will come into situations where you'll have to skip some turns to swap items (each equipment change takes one turn, and spells and such start with cooldowns when freshly equipped) - and that along to changing your own movement or attack patterns give it a surprising amount of depth.
Enemies come with abilities as well and may push you around (beware of holes in the floor after the first few levels), freeze or poison you and generally keep you on your toes since new enemies are introduced every level so far (made it past lvl 5 of 9).

Just to extend on what kinds of things you have to keep in your mind:
- your general stats: life, speed, defence, attack strength and hitchance
- attack pattern of your normal and special attacks, damage type, additional effects when attacking, attack cooldowns
- spell effects, patterns, cooldowns
- your and your enemies resistances and vulnerabilities
- traps, their types and patterns, and with your current speed, will you make it past them in time - or can you even use them against your foes
- your own movement pattern (may need to change your suit to get out of a dead end)
- and also how you deal with +/- health ... uhm... flying things(?); your shield may reverse their effects for example

As for the graphics: Just look at the screenshots and form your own opinion. Npc/trap turns take a few seconds so it's a bit slow going but the important part is that you can always tell what is going on - it could lose its readability if sped up further.
Equipped gear is always represented on your character sprite which is nice, but there are no animations bar some 'swoosh' lines when attacks are dealt.

Also, a codex of some sort would be nice where you could unlock a view (with the same pictograms) of what you are up against, so far it's all about observing and memorizing and quite some guesswork - which isn't bad per se, but e.g. after I've killed the same bugger 20 times it would be nice to take a closer look into his actual stats.

Can't comment on technical stuff, I've experienced no problems like crashes at all. *edit: about half an hour minutes after writing this it crashed for the first time. Well... *edit2: and an update that specifically targets that crash came within one hour. On a sunday.
It's good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
My full video review can be watched here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6G4ixQZzgU

Hierogliphika is a really challenging and well polished roguelike. I really love it. My only real big criticism was the pacing which had been fixed by the time my review was cut; my only other gripe would be the enemies can amp up in difficulty maybe just a notch to fast between floors. I really like that the game makes you learn via symbols and practice! It's the opposite of hand holding. All the action across each level every turn is mesmerizing.

I was provided a copy of this game for review purposes; my opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
First Impression video:
https://youtu.be/etjUJi1M0AE

This is one of those situations were I would prefer something between a thumbsup and a thumbsdown. Hieroglyphica is a really cool idea that has some serious flaws in the gameplay.

Hieroglyphica is a game with no text (except for the title, I guess they needed that one). Everything you do, and everything that you pick up, is described through pictures. The player has to interpret what every new item does and, in combat, hope that they get it right.

The gameplay itself is a rouge-like turn based strategy game. You explore and loot the dungeon while being threatened by traps, monsters, and the demons coming up from behind you (they're the rebel fleet mechanic you can see in FTL. They force you forward). Every turn you get to either move or act. Acting can include attacking, looting a chest, or getting ready to block.

Issues:

Now, the most glaring problem occurs with one particular type of enemy. I've never made it past the third floor, because there is an enemy there that can perpetually stun lock you. You can do nothing but hope that the enemies attacks miss and you'll be allowed to do something. This is frustrating at best, it made me want to throw my computer from the ISS at worst.

Another issue comes in the damage system. You start with 99 health. Even the weakest enemies can easily do 10 damage to you. More powerful enemies (on the second floor, so take "powerful" with a grain of salt) can do a quarter of your health worth of damage in a turn. You're limited actions mean that you either have to accept eating damage to try to run, or your locked into combat.

The map is also absolutely jam packed with traps. This one is not so bad as the previous issues, but I thought it was very annoying. The traps are so plentiful that it feels like none of the map is safe. You can usually get a warning that traps will fire next turn, unless an enemy steps on a pressure plate and sets them all off. This makes combat really hard to pull off, especially against enemies with multiple action. Yep, those are things.

Well, it might sound like I hate this game, but I actually liked it quite a bit. It just has some flaws that prevented me from really loving the game. If you have a hankering for innovative mechanics and incredibly punishing (often unfair) mechanics, then go for it. If not, pass it up, by all means.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Key from Developer obtained for the purposes of review

First Impressions Video: https://youtu.be/cZz-vxA7KIo

Target Audience: Detailed-Oriented Tactical Players, who are slow and methodical, and don't need things spelled out for them.

Summary:
Players who like paying attention to every single detail and having to figure out things on the fly in a tactical fashion will like this trip into an Ancient Egyptian tomb. The game is straight up when telling you that it teaches you nothing: and it's part of the game's fun. Attempting to figure out via the hieroglyphics exactly what a weapon does and how it can benefit you is the game's main draw, and using that information well is what's going to keep you alive. There's some good variety here, as items in particular stand out as they aren't just stat boosts, but as you learn all the game has to show, the simple combat will get less and less exciting: mostly due to the fact that there's always an optimal solution. The game does have some weak points: there's a lack of resolution options, and the Combat UI can ask for WAY too much precision at times. And the game can be slow going as well. But for those looking to test there head and observation skills: Hieroglyphika does the job at the 10 dollar price tag, even if you curse Anubis's name as you miss the fire trap about to kick your ♥♥♥.

Lists:
My Positives:
  • The game shines when you are trying to figure out what all the images and symbols mean, and attempting to piece together what each trap and weapon does.
  • Combat is simple but effective: relying on basic mechanics being used in different ways, such as knocking back an enemy in to a wall, or running an enemy into a trap. Tactical players will find themselves challenged.
  • Good use of color choices to signify abilities, and small touches of the weapons unique style helps to the Egyptian theme.
  • Difficulty seems on par for what's going on here. Difficult, but it's always feeling like your fault in terms of skill base. The game punishes you for not paying attention, and while yes, you won't know what's going on at first, you'll soon realize every choice you made got you to your death.
  • Like the fact that the items actually made more then a stat difference: actually affecting your range and movement speed, and special effects. Every item and spell actually felt rather unique to use.
  • Game hits the tombs of Egypt aesthetic well, even if one may not consider it “realistic”.

My Negatives:
  • Over time, replayability may be limited due to a lack of enemy variety and the main feature being mute at that point (aka the learning mechanic).
  • Needs resolution options. Fullscreen/windowed (with no resolution choice) isn't enough in my opinion. Game also doesn't like ALT + TAB while in full screen mode.
  • Combat UI requires too much precision when you have a lot of interactables in a small area. Keyboard shortcuts would have helped here.
  • With the presentation in question, don't expect story. While show don't tell is encouraged, there's definitely some lacking elements here.
  • Needs additional music tracks. The repetitive nature of the music gets old: quickly. Sound quality isn't the greatest either.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
great for everyone that enjoy hard games....hoever be warned this game is REALY hard and the smallest mistake will result into your death.....

the rng is fair.it plays still a important role like in any other roguelike but most damage you will take because you made some dump actions like walking into a trap or let you surround by multiple monsters

the game hoever is a little bit slowpaced...you should realy think alot before you do somethink(but hey...that should be the case in any good turnbased game^^).

if you like hard games that require alot thinking....buy this
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Very interesting game. Has roguelike elements such as permadeath. The game may seem to be a bit confusing at first, but you will quickly get the hang of it.
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