Roguelikes are made of letters. The earliest example of the form, Rogue itself, was designed to work on Text User Interfaces and was able to conjure up a dungeon and its denizens using the basic building blocks of language. From Aquators to Zombies, Rogue contained a literal alphabet of monsters.
Hieroglyphika [official site], released yesterday, is a traditional roguelike in many ways. There are monsters with various behaviours, strengths and weaknesses, traps littering the dungeon floor, and treasures to collect. But there is no text. Thematically, that’s because you’re surrounded by dead languages, trapped in tombs full of horrors. Pragmatically, it means you’ll have to learn how things work by observing actions and reactions. It’s a neat twist and a smart game.
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