Slash'em (or Super Lotsa Added Stuff Hack – Extended Magic) is one of the latest progeny of Rogue, the game just about every other game in the genre has to admit to being at least marginally tied to (or Colossal Caves). Specifically, it's a direct descendant of NetHack, which you may have heard of. If not, the gaming world is depicted using ASCII text characters, so it's not the most beautiful of games (but there's probably still some twenty-year-old lines of code in the game from the original Rogue). |
Where these "Roguelike" games really shine is in their complexity. You've probably heard of Diablo. Same basic idea. The game world is randomly generated each time you play, and (in this variant at least) the object is to reach the bottom of a deep dungeon. Of course, in Slash'em, in addition to slaying the grand foozle, you also have to steal a magical artifact that lets you escape, and drag the thing back up to the surface! You'll probably beat Diablo more times in any given time period than you will Slash'em. However, while Diablo has about fifty or so different monsters, and item combinations that are, for the most part, superficially different, Slash'em's bestiary ranges from nine different dragons to demons that eat you whole (you have to hack your way out of its belly while it wanders around!) to shapechangers, shopkeepers, priests, personal pets for your character, and the famous gnomes of the underground mining town. The items are more interesting, too. In addition to swords, you can wield bullwhips (like Indiana Jones), flash cameras (blind the enemy), creatures you've killed that turn enemies to stone, or even a unicorn horn. Wanna keep a trophy of that last kill? Whip out your handy (and heavy) tinning kit, and put the body in a preserving tin can. Out of magic for that last spell? Why don't you write it down on a spare scroll with your handy magic marker? Crystal balls, magic lamps, they're all there. This great complexity is what brings you back to the game. You will be shocked at some of the completely obscure things you try that work! There's always something new. For anyone who likes Roguelike games, Slash'em is simply a must-have.
Reviewed by: Ben