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A jam submission

H@CK3RView game page

7DRL Challenge 2021
Submitted by Geoff Blair — 18 hours, 56 minutes before the deadline
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CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Traditional Roguelikeness#24.0004.000

Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Cyberpunk is still an under-represented theme in roguelikes, so a submission named H@CK3R immediately caught my eye. Sadly, a far superior title would be K1T3R - as kiting what the entirety of gameplay comes down to. All you need to know to beat the game is that the default guards take two hits to die while the "drones" (which just look like red-eyed zombies) die in three - and that both of them take one action for every two you do. Thus, whenever a default guard spots you (which is a really small distance of about three tiles) you just need to let him approach you, then attack twice, and you'll defeat him without a scratch. For the "drones", you let them walk up to you from a cardinal direction, attack once, step back, and then attack twice. That's it. Their low speeds and small detection ranges mean that kiting either enemy type one-on-one is never much of a challenge. The only additional gameplay element is the ability to destroy objects to obtain energy, which can then be used on the terminals located at the start of each level to either stun or kill all drones on it, leaving only the basic guards around. Kiting is so straightforward, however, that it's far faster to just search for the teleporter room and get there ASAP, and checking out any additional room in the hope you can find more energy or HP does nothing but take up time. Destroying metal objects in the rooms you have to go through does makes sense, since you'll loot enough energy to reduce enemy densities on the final 2-3 levels, but that's about it. (While it's best to stay away from cardboard boxes to avoid wasting time with extra drones). The game's graphics and sound do a really good job of emulating console games of the 1990s. However, the lack of BGM means that the only thing you'll be hearing are footstep sounds and attack sounds all the way through the long 16 levels, which does get grating. It does not help that nothing about the levels' appearance ever changes; all they ever do is just become larger. This is ultimately the core problem with the game as it is - once you have seen the first 3 levels or so, you have seen everything it has to offer, and the remainder is absolutely the same thing, but longer. I really like the way it looks, and I wish that it is eventually built upon, retaining the same theme and aesthetics, while becoming more properly varied and possessing more engaging gameplay from the start. For now, I cannot recommend this game as it currently stands.
  • Nice game! Good graphics, super easy controls, and very easy to learn. Was able to pick it up and feel like I was mastering it within the first couple games, which is really rare for roguelikes. After that, it felt a bit repetitive, like there was not much more to discover, but its a great foundation to build upon!
  • Pretty atightforeward and simple little roguelike. I can definitely see the roots of what was growing here but its definitely got a lot of room to grow.I like the aesthetic especially the sound effects but the footseps got a little grating by the end. It wasnt clear at first what the hacking actually did, at first I thought it maybe allowed me to summon some stun or kill drones which i was excited for. But when I discovered they kiled the grey drone enemies I never really had a reason to hack as they are not really a threat so much as a time commitment.I honestly felt more like a UFC fighter than i hacker the way i could just walk up to five guards and drop them without taking a scratch. I did like that they would pop out of boxes kept me attentive when opening them. This game also runs a little on the long side with 16 levels, I feel like i had seen most of the content by the 5th level. The hacking could be really interesting if it had some more features and the enemies were more dynamic. I think limiting the player would help a lot here actually. A H@ck3r probably shouldn't be able to take out a drone without taking damage or hacking it having the drone move like twice as often as the player so that you need to really lean into the hacking to get by could be interesting. good framework, just needs more methods.

Successful or Incomplete?

Did development of the game take place during the 7DRL Challenge week. (If not, please don't submit your game)

Do you consciously consider your game a roguelike/roguelite? (If not, please don't submit your game)

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