Double Fine’s Hack ‘N’ Slash Is Not What It Seems

Double Fine can’t stop announcing games. They refuse. Tim Schafer and co have so many dollops of digital glee in the oven, in fact, that you might have entirely forgotten about Hack ‘N’ Slash. It is not, as you might expect, a game about hacking and slashing or even gently bopping on the head in a way that implies mild disapproval. Rather, the entire world – the entire game – is hackable. It might look like The Legend of Zelda (that’s intentional), but it plays like… well, pretty much nothing I’ve ever seen. You wield a giant USB stick that lets you dig around in the code of enemies and objects in the game world. And it’s *real* code. You can and probably will crash the entire game, though save state trickery keeps that from ruining the whole experience. Honestly, it’s a bit tough to wrap your mind around at times. Go below for an explanation and demo from lead designer¬†Brandon Dillon.


  1. Lemming says:

    I watched the GDC footage for this and it looked very interesting. II can see it becoming very popular as a teaching aid to get kids into programming.

  2. welverin says:

    The prototype for this was probably my favorite from AF2012

    • Deano2099 says:

      It was my favourite idea but thought the prototype was awful and no fun at all.

  3. ersetzen says:

    I really liked the prototype and was fairly interested. This video bumped it up to incredibly hyped…

    Being able to see and change visual representations of the actual game code like this just sounds so great. And the speedruns will be awesome!

  4. Keyrock says:

    This is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a long time. Whether it will actually make for a fun game remains to be seen, but the idea is awesome.

  5. MkMax says:

    finish something … please ?

      • MkMax says:

        they didnt make that, they are publishing it, which is totally fine, but doesnt really count as something they finished

    • Acorino says:


    • SurprisedMan says:

      Not sure why Double Fine has an undeserved reputation as a company that doesn’t finish games given that they’ve released 7 games since 2012, 8 if you count Act 1 of Broken Age and Spacebase alpha as 0.5 each…

      • The Random One says:

        Act One of Broken Age should count as 0.5, but the DF9 alpha should be like 0.2 at most.

  6. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Wow, this wasn’t on my radar at all, but it looks amazing!

  7. Nevard says:

    This is great but as an actual programmer I have to correct you that “a public interface for every variable” is far, far from the same as “it’s *real* code”.
    The lua room is a closer attempt but I’ve seen better;

    They do have to make concessions for a gamepad though I suppose. And it looks like a good logic primer for people who would want to do programming later!
    At the very least it will teach them that you want a keyboard and not an xbox controller.

    It also looks like it plays worryingly slowly. I know it’s a puzzler rather than a fighter, but four inputs just to break one pot? Ouch.

    • zaphos says:

      On the other hand it looks like you can edit the pot to drop as many hearts as you need, so it’s not like you’ll need to smash a ton of pots …

  8. Tacroy says:

    Hur hur procedurally generated

    I don’t think he even realized that was a pun