Matthew Sawrey

a portfolio of videogame writings

868-HACK

868hackheadLike the green printed circuit boards that its level art evokes, Michael Brough’s 868-HACK is a work of precision engineering. Its clean cut lines and rigid structures are all visually and mechanically coherent, but there’s a baffling amount of complexity underpinning its design.

Outwardly, it’s a fairly simple game, playing like a mash up of Pac-Man and chess, with movement and combat taking place on 6 x 6 grid-based mazes. And it requires nothing more than a directional touchscreen swipe to control. But beneath this layer of accessibility pulses a fiendishly compelling, well-balanced set of algorithms – the addictive, mathematical heart of any good rougelike.

Permadeath, randomisation and a punishing difficulty all conspire to sour your grinning avatar’s expression, but as hard as 868-HACK can be, it’s rarely unfair.

Read on over at Thunderbolt. 

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2013 by in Review and tagged , .
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