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iPad  header logo

Hoplite

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Hop by the App Store, sharpish

Product: Hoplite | Developer: Magma Fortress | Publisher: Magma Fortress | Format: iPad | Genre: RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Hoplite iPad, thumbnail 1
Roguelikes have a natural tendency towards bloat. A key part of their appeal is balancing a wide range of effects against one another, so there's always the temptation for developers to keep adding more stuff.

Hoplite is the exact opposite. Stripped right back to basics, it's as lean and well-oiled as a Spartan hero. And the result is brilliant.

This is Sparta!

You're descending into the demon-haunted underworld to retrieve the Golden Fleece. Levels are tiny, each one fitting on your screen, and the game is turn-based and deterministic. When you move, enemies respond in a predictable pattern.

It sounds like one of those tedious move-based puzzle games, but a combination of randomly generated levels, different monster types, and a selection of possible actions keeps the puzzle constantly fresh and engaging.

Instead of moving, for instance, you can throw your spear for a distance attack, but at the cost of a diminished offensive capability until you retrieve it. You can also shield-bash monsters and bombs out of the way, or leap out of sticky situations.

Each level features a shrine where you can heal or get a power-up, adding to your choices. It's all about planning ahead, watching the monsters, considering tactics, and remembering all the abilities at your disposal.

Achilles's heel

It looks, sounds, and feels basic, but those simple mechanics interlock into a greater whole. It's absorbing and addictive, and there's unexpected scope for getting creative with your moves when trying to escape awkward corners.

Inevitably for a game with such a back-to-basics approach, shelf life is limited once you've mastered the essentials. But there's a ton of fun to be had getting to that point, and a fat list of achievements for the dedicated to tick off afterwards.

Hoplite
is the best roguelike I've played on mobile, superb lunch break strategy, and proof that simplicity can be surprisingly satisfying.
 
Hoplite
Reviewer photo
Matt Thrower | 10 January 2014
An incredible, ever-changing blend of dungeon-crawling and tactical puzzles, Hoplite may lack a little longevity but it's impressively entertaining while it lasts
 
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Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
103
Eriatarka | 13:55 - 10 January 2014
also while this is obviously somewhat subjective, when it comes to 'best roguelike on iOS' there is no way this is better than 868-HACK. That game is infinitely repayable - even when you beat it, there is so much extra to do in terms of high score chasing, and chaining back to back runs together. In contrast once you have beat Hoplite, thats basically it.
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
103
Eriatarka | 13:53 - 10 January 2014
I dont get the high review scores this game is getting. There is a shell of a great game there and its worth playing, but its just too limited and easy at the moment. I finished the game on my 5th attempt, and while there are some achievements to go after, there isnt a huge amount extra to do.

Its a great start for a game, but it needs a lot more content (enemies, etc), and a difficulty boost. The other huge problem is that 90% of the powerups/prayers are simply useless - after you have got the one that makes your spear have extra range, none of the rest are worth bothering with and you should just choose the increased HP on each level. Further, the ability to throw your spear or push things with your shield is useless, and you dont need either to finish the game.
 
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