Heart&Slash joined the Nintendo Switch lineup on 12/22/17 and was originally released on June 24, 2016 on PlayStation and Xbox. It was later released on PC on August 9, 2016 on Steam.
If you are unfamiliar with Heart&Slash, it is a brawler roguelike game that is not for the faint of heart. It is a difficult single player game that is set in a world run by robots 100 years after the robolution.
What to Expect from Heart&Slash
Heart&Slash is a difficult game and there is a lot to adjust to if you have never played the game on consoles or PC. You play as a robot named Heart, who seems to be the only robot not under the influence of the all-seeing-machine QaAsSy. The game begins 100 years after the robolution, and humans no longer exist as a result.
Movement is your first adjustment, as the game is designed to be incredibly fast paced and your robot buddy needs to stay ahead of the curve. This flows into combat, as combat is simplistic in design, but you often find Heart going up against several enemies at once that all need to be held in check.
Style of combat changes dramatically after each death. When you spawn, you enter a room where you are given three random weapons, traits, or shields. At one spawn you may find yourself fighting with boxing gloves, where the next spawn you may be wielding a lightning hammer. The primary weapon changes your fighting style dramatically as each weapon performs combos with different results.
As previously mentioned, Heart&Slash is very challenging and the game changes drastically from one run to the next. This is not only due to your starting weapons, but also due to randomly generated levels.
Your immediate task is to fight your way out of a factory, collecting scraps and defeating quality assurance robots in each room. As you enter a room, you know robots bent on destroying you are about to spawn, but you never know what combination will spawn and what traits they may have.
Certain enemy robots may have weaknesses to different weapon or element types. On the flip side, they may also have resistances to those same elements or weapons, so you will need to be savvy with your secondary weapons as well.
Additionally, you will need to upgrade your gear you collect and scrap gear you no longer use to obtain upgrades. This all needs to be done on a single life, because if Heart dies the game starts anew. There are no check points or save locations.
The good news is that as you encounter more enemies and learn your patterns, the game becomes easier to manage. The difficulty lies in the randomization behind the robots that spawn and the weapons you have in your repertoire. Boss fights are difficult, especially if you are not ready for the challenge due to a gear deficiency.
Mistakes are costly and deaths will occur, which can make Heart&Slash frustratingly fun.
What’s to come?
Right now, the game has only one play mode not including the tutorial. However, the developers announced in May that Endless Dungeon mode was coming. This has since been released on the Steam version of the game, but as of this post is has not been released on Switch.
aheartfulofgames confirmed that it is coming in a future patch for the Switch.
Endless Dungeon mode offered on Steam still has randomly generated levels, enemies, and weapons, but the mobs level up as your progress from room to room. This feature would absolutely enhance the game to the point where it would attract more than just hardcore gamers who enjoy the brawler hack and slash genre.
Heart&Slash is one of many indie games that has flocked to the Switch. The game was met with positive reviews upon its initial release, but fits into a smaller niche of the gaming landscape. As a hardcore single-player brawler, the game has incredible replay-ability thanks to randomization of mobs and weapons spawned.
On the other hand, every mistake or movement made in error is costly. If you get off to a poor start on a run it almost makes sense to reset and try again to buy more time to find more scraps or upgrade your weapon. A death means a complete reset, which can absolutely deter gamers.
The game had issues immediately upon launch on the Switch, but those performance issues have since been resolved.
The game has a respectable amount of unlockable content and offers nuanced game play for each run thanks the randomly generated mobs and weapons. Therefore, Redonkulous Gaming gives Heart&Slash for Nintendo Switch a score of 7.4/10
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