The roguelike that was a major success on mobile devices has finally made its way to Steam. Wazhack is a cross between the roguelike and platform genre. For those of you not familiar with roguelikes, here’s the rundown – you are only given one life to survive. If you happen to die, you will lose everything and the game will end. The dungeons randomly generate when you start a new game; this guarantees a different experience each time you play.
Wazhack incorporates the best elements from the role-playing, roguelike and platform genres despite using a 3D engine. If you are familiar with NetHack or Slash’em, you will definitely feel comfortable playing Wazhack. The game is just as hard (and unforgivable) as NetHack, and I mean this in the nicest way possible. And regardless of how good you may be at these games, you will most certainly die.
There are 16 character classes to choose from, and they include thieves, bards, knights and numerous spell casters. Like any role-playing game, each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. The character classes come with their own skill points allocated, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot redistribute their skill points to your liking. This is done in case you want to start the game and not design characters. A more seasoned Dungeons & Dragons gamer will want to distribute their character points themselves.
There is also an option to change your characters’ alignment. Choosing an alignment for each character will decide the type of weapons and items you’ll pick up while exploring the dungeon. Like Nethack, character alignment is important when using certain types of weapons and spells. For example – a character that is Lawfully Good is less likely to be capable of using evil spells and other items associated with the dark arts.
Characters also come with their own Familiars (i.e. pets) such as dogs, cats and monkeys, to name just a few. Familiars can help you during combat, retrieve items, and even complete mundane tasks. But just like your characters, you need to feed your Familiar(s) and take care of them by monitoring their health. Otherwise, they will die on you. A character can become depressed if they loose their Familiar, and it can also lead to performance issues as well.
While complex, Wazhack is more functional than NetHack with its ASCII graphics. The game has all the amenities you’d expect from the genre without the complicated interface. Don’t get me wrong; NetHack is a great game, but WazHack does a great job of simplifying things. Gamers that might have been turned off by the complexity of Nethack will find that Wazhack is a pleasure to play.
Loot found inside the dungeon can be extremely dangerous if it’s not identified before being equipping and/or used. Some items can be cursed with nasty, penalizing skill debuffers that can cost you the entire game. Even reading one of the many unidentified scrolls littering the dungeon’s floor can be hazardous to your health (no pun intended). Curses can be removed by either finding a scroll or locating a priest that can ‘uncurse’ you.
Just about everything you find inside the dungeon needs to be identified. Randomly equipping items and drinking potions is like playing a game of Russian roulette; you never know what the outcome may be. The best part about identifying items is that you won’t need to do it again when you encounter the same potions /items; you will already know what they are. Even though this process can be tedious, it’s important to identify all items before equipping them.
Like all games from the genre, Wazhack’s gameplay uses the permadeath system. Once your character(s) dies, you will have to start over by creating a new character. The upside to restarting the game is that the dungeons are randomly generated; you will never encounter the same dungeon layout twice.
Wazhack is a brilliant roguelike that should be played by any gamer that enjoys the genre; it’s addictive and almost impossible to put down. And as far as games are concerned, WazHack is a challenging role-playing game that will give you hours of enjoyment.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Also Available for Mac)
Publisher: Waz Games
|The level of customization is mind-blowing. Whatever you equip will be seen visually on your character.|
|Numerous sound effects and a killer soundtrack make WazHack a pleasure to play.|
|The gameplay is a lot of fun; you can spend hours exploring dungeons for gear. Surviving becomes a non-stop obsession when playing WazHack.|
|Wazhack is a fantastic roguelike; it’s a brilliant game that is available on both mobile and Windows-based PCs. This is one game you don’t want to miss, even if you have already played the mobile version.|