The problem with most roguelikes is that they generally look a bit drab. Ascii characters may have been all the rage back in the eighties, but there's only so much emotional attachment you can apply to an @ symbol and regardless of the genre's apparent depth, I find many of the inherent quirks and complexities off-putting (yep, you've guessed right - Dwarf Fortress is certainly not for me).
In contrast to the over complicated and downright ugly roguelikes of yore, David Williamson's Hack Slash Loot is far more the type of adventure game I prefer to play during my coffee break. It's both incredibly accessible (with simple mouse driven controls), maddeningly addictive and presented in a super-retro, low resolution format using gorgeous micro-sized pixel art and featuring some neat audio effects.
Despite it's beta status, the game is already fully playable and proving to be a great little time waster here at RGCD towers. I'm a real sucker for procedurally generated games, and there's already so much content that every playthrough is a unique experience. Even after dozens of attempts, I still get excited when I encounter a swarm of enemies and the atmospheric soundtrack kicks in.
There are a few odd design choices that'll hopefully be addressed in the final release, such as no regenerating health (a roguelike standard, ffs) and perhaps the inventory system is a little too primitive (oh come on, we all like being able to pick up useless tat and use it as a weapon or armour), but nonetheless, Hack Slash Loot shows a lot of promise - in fact, I'd pre-order it today if the option was available.
David is open to suggestions regarding any issues players have with the game, so delve deep into the dungeons of HSL and send him your feedback. (Thanks to TimW from indiegames.com for the heads up on this one).
Download it here (from the Hack Slash Loot website).