|Platform||Linux, Windows; (open source)|
Seven Day Roguelike Challenge in 2010 was very fruitful. There were fifty games released. Some of those are inspiring enough to have a successor. Math: the Roguelike is successful in this regard. Hydra Slayer is another game based on kind of mathematics but was written in even shorter timeframe. First version appeared after one day of coding and another of playtesting. Its uniqueness to the world of roguelikes is based on two factors.
During two months of its existence Hydra Slayer had astounding number of seventeen releases! And that is not counting archives uploaded just to fix really minor bugs which did not have own version. Such development speed is virtually unheard of in this game genre.
Second but no less important factor is theme and scope of the game. Hydra Slayer focuses on a tiny fraction world but fleshes it well. As a student of long forgotten profession you venture deep into Hydra Nest to make yourself a great career. Your goal is to slay all hydras on a level. To kill one you need to behead it. The trick is you cannot use your shortsword (-4) if target does not have at least four heads. Same rule applies for blunt weapons and shield bashes. To use a trisector (/3) on a hydra it has to have number of heads divisible by three.
To further complicate the task hydras have tendency to regrow heads which frankly is not news to anyone. Slayers would be well advised to use weapon imbued with element most effective at defeating chosen beast. Swinging a flaming claymore at a fire hydra will only get you double the quantity of heads you cut. However attacking with a bone bastard sword may give it opportunity to regenerate only one more.
Fortunately there are many items left by previous warriors who were well provisioned. They did not have knowledge of hydra slaying art which you have. Runes of decapitation, runes of cancellation, scrolls of transmutation and potions of power juice are some of things you will find. There is no point describing them here because help system in game is neatly designed.
Main strength of Hydra Slayer is unique theme and easily understood interface. A fine coffeebreak game. After defeating ancient hydra you can ascend and score but also go down for more challenge. Sadly it becomes boring rather quickly.
Reviewed for Roguetemple by Michal Bielinski