This post is going to be about a videogame called Haque (pronounced “Hack”) that I have never played. It’s not even out yet.
Despite the game not being released yet, and of course unplayed by me, I am proud to call myself a fan.
Let me explain.
Back in ye olde twentieth century, when Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax collaborated on the novel gaming concept called Dungeons and Dragons, they influenced all kinds of people to embrace the idea of wandering around in dark caverns, fighting monsters for loot, and maybe completing a heroic quest.
And probably dying on the way.
Sure, they didn’t invent the heroic quest, but they certainly gave purpose to the imagination of geeks everywhere.
Some of those geeks made videogames. One of them was Rogue, a dungeon-crawling game with minimal graphics (this was the 80s, yo) that inspired other generations of similar games, like Hack, and Nethack.
Hack (or one of the variants) was so interesting and sophisticated, other computer programs were written to play it. Boom. It’s no wonder Skynet hasn’t blown up humanity, it’s probably too busy playing one of these addictive procedurally-created dungeon games.
I never played Rogue, Hack, or Nethack.
But I did play Moria on my Amiga 2000, and Moria was a delve-into-the-depths kind of game like Rogue or its descendants. That got me hooked.
Rogue was such an archetypal game, that there are a class of games called roguelikes, which share certain characteristics with this Platonic Ideal of a Game. Arguably, Diablo and Torchlight are roguelikes, right?
Yes, yes, enough of the gaming history lesson that I’m probably telling all wrong. Anyway, I like roguelike games, and in general, I’m fond of an old visual style. I grew up in the last century, when we might have considered ourselves lucky to have more than two colors, or have an actual image instead of ASCII characters to represent our hero and their opponent monsters.
We liked our monochromatic blocky pixel games! (By the way, Minecraft is awesome, right? Lack of Graphics For the Win!)
The other day, one of the coolest people I know on Twitter had retweeted a promotional tweet from Kevin B. Cole, the game’s developer. Kevin was inquiring if anyone that had a blog would be willing to interview him about his game. I have a blog (duh) but I would probably suck as an interviewer. But I checked out his page, saw the link to Haque‘s Kickstarter, and I saw that:
- It was a roguelike
- It had cool retro-graphics
- There were mentions of Werewolf-Eagles
Really? How could I not contribute to a Kickstarter that had a game with Werewolf-Eagles? And I think Werewolf-Eagle might be a playable character. Maybe I’m making that up.
I could be making this all up! Don’t trust me!
Go check out the link to the Kickstarter, but also here are some gaming review sites that have write-ups on Haque that are probably more reliable and less “let me tell you how it was when I was playing Dungeons and Dragons. We had real dragons, and we had to walk uphill through miles of snow everyday to be chained up in a dungeon. That’s how I met your mother…” type of ramblings that I’m prone to do.
Haque is planned for release on Mac, Windows, and Linux, so most everyone should be able to enjoy the game.
I’m intrigued by the storyline elements that will be driving the game, the lore, the cat that follows your character and helps fight (I know Nethack had that, Moria did not) and a Random Name Generator. I love that kind of stuff.
I’m in for $15, so I’ve already pre-bought the game (provided Kevin hits his modest goal of $6400), his team had previously kickstarted and delivered Project: Maiden, a nostalgic platformer game, so I believe Haque is a reasonable risk.
Once it’s released, I’ll play the game, and give a more concrete and well-informed review. Until then, I’ll just entertain myself with some roguelike apps I have on my ancient iPod.
(Comments are always welcome. Super welcome! Feel free to share stories about your time killing monsters. Preferably in videogames. I don’t want to be exposed to your literal adventures versus Lovecraftian terrors, yo.)
None of the images are mine, obviously. All images were taken from the Haque Kickstarter page (I’m assuming Kevin’s cool with that) except for the Rogue screenshot, found on the Wikipedia.org entry for the game.
I make no claims to the artwork, but some claims to the text.
© Patrick Sponaugle 2015 Some Rights Reserved