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Superbly inventive old-school dungeon crawler

Another in the line of old-school Rogue-like RPGs, Hack is a clever and inventive variation on the genre and which introduced some neat innovations so if you are a fan of these deceptively simple and yet highly challenging games, this is a great one to check out. The game takes the classic top-down approach, with players first choosing a character class and then boldly entering a series of dungeons in search of loot and monsters to slay. There's no visual flash on display here and instead, the graphics are made up of text characters so if this lo-tech approach bothers you, then steer well clear of Hack. However, for those of the right frame of mind, what follows is an engrossing adventure. Everything plays out in turn-based fashion, with players choosing to move around the dungeon, attacking enemies as they encounter them, while casting spells, eating food to replenish their health and other such actions. What makes Hack slightly different from other similar games is the way it attempts to recreate real-life interactions in game form, so you have to consider things like the way you use your weapons, lest they backfire on you and end up hitting you in the face thanks to your poor aim or the special effects that certain monsters have (tip: don't step on a dead monster which can turn you to stone when it's alive, as it retains this ability after death). It's clever little additions like these which make Hack an absolute gem and which lend it a depth not often seen in the genre, so if like this sort of thing, this is a must play, as is NetHack, a similarly clever and challenging variation on the theme.
Hack (pc game)
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  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.