It’s been One-Hundred years since the Robolution. You’re assembled and awake in a dark room. Your only light radiates off of the broken static filled computer screens and the flashing running lights. You play as Heart, a robot with an old school television set for a head and a heart on your face screen. One of the first screens you encounter reads, “ELIMINATE!! ELIMINATE!! NON-NORMATIVE UNIT DETECTED!!” Are you the “non-normative” unit? Another screen later on in the dungeon reads, “Don’t be WEIRD! If we were made the same, why be different?” What’s the story here? With each play through and as you progress farther and farther into the dungeons the story presents itself. My story as Heart started on June 24, 2016 when the Developer aheartfulofgames in conjunction with the Publisher BadLand Indie released the 3-D dungeon crawler Heart&Slash.
HACK AND SLASH:
Heart&Slash is a solid gaming experience despite its generic design movements; jump (X button), slash/primary weapon (Square button), secondary weapons (hold R2 or L2 and hit slash), evade (O button) and power slash (Triangle button). The controls are quick and responsive and I found that most areas can be cleared by following the in-game tips: watch the enemies and study their pattern, then attack when clear. Some of the Mini-Boss rooms take careful planning but I found they add the appropriate amount of difficulty; just under impossible and a few steps over way too easy. I would highly suggest trying out different weapons on different enemies as I found that some weapons worked significantly better on one type of enemy than they worked on another type.
Graphically the level design takes a bit getting used to as it has some weird Viewtiful Joe-esque type effects mixed in with Samurai Jack and classic 8-Bit gaming graphics. What takes additional getting used to is the twitchy speed in which your character moves. This isn’t helped by an above the head top down type camera angle that follows you (as best as it can) with Heart’s quick movements. Beware tight corners because you’ll lose your field of vision. After you’ve assimilated to the camera angle the graphics work for the world and characters that aheartfulofgames created.
Heart&Slash provides a very simplistic form of upgrades for both Heart and any weapons or gear you pick up. You upgrade by collecting parts. You collect parts by destroying the robots you encounter. Some enemy robots grant more parts. For each ten parts you collect you create a box. Some upgrades cost several boxes. Some only cost one box. Depending on which weapons you start out with and which weapons you discover I would advise on upgrading as soon as possible and as often as you can.
Heart&Slash has a lot to offer with 6 playable characters, 71 Quests, 135 Weapons and 93 enemies to discover. You add all of that to the randomness of the weapons you start with and the randomly populated dungeons along with the possibly endless weapon combos you can string together and you have a game with almost limitless potential.
From the moment I saw the game trailer I had a difficult time allowing myself to spend $19.99 on a game like Heart&Slash. But after long nights and endless hours of experimenting with weapons and weapon combos, dare I say it, it won my heart. I give Heart&Slash a solid 8 heart beats out of 10. Every time I come back and play this game I find something new that I didnt’ notice before. Such a welcome surprise. That’s right ladies and gentlemen this game gave me a full on raging heart-on.