Hoplite

Hoplite

Hoplite is a neat little title that will inevitably leave players asking, “Was that it?” With turn-based gameplay and laughably simple graphics, it hews close to a classic roguelike, but it also feels like an asymmetric version of chess starring a “one-man army” piece. This genre isn’t known for evoking power fantasies, but Hoplite’s smooth interface will make you feel way more badass than you’d expect. Throwing your spear and then teleporting over to it, and using your shield to knock back bombs and slam enemies against walls are all available techniques. Visualizing them requires a bit of imagination, but they still feel cool.

Unfortunately, all of this is introduced in the span of 10 minutes, and it never evolves beyond that. The basic goal is to collect a treasure on floor 16, with later floors available for those who purchase the full game, but those later floors contain only greater numbers of what you’ve already faced. These mechanics are dying for additional enemy types, terrain variation, and creative upgrades beyond range boosters and the aforementioned teleportation. It’s also too retro for its own good – the RNG loves to slap you with inescapable situations, and the screechy sound effects become irksome quickly (though not the music, surprisingly).

6/10
6/10

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