Do you pine for the good ol’ days of graphics? Do you remember when pixels and and polygons could be counted? Gamer Assault Weekly remembers. All kidding aside though, Badlands Games and aheartfulofgames have produced something beautiful and fun that I just can’t seem to put down. Heart & Slash is a new game that combines hours of frustrating difficulty, amazing colors, and a plethora of weapons, body armor/parts, and characters.

 The Story

As far as the story goes there isn’t too much to be said. It takes place in a time where seemingly all humans are gone and you will fight as Heart, a robot, trying to escape the grip of mindless machines. Along the way, you meet Slash. Naturally, for the game’s namesake, Heart tries to capture Slash’s attention through several playthroughs. This is not always an easy task, since Slash is a somewhat “rough veteran.” I’ve been taken out by Slash a number of times with my lack of good and random weapons. Players have a couple of opportunities during every playthrough to define how the relationship evolves. That is pretty much it. Otherwise the game is just a hack & slash (GET IT?!) endless runner type of game.

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Gameplay

The gameplay of Heart & Slash is what makes this game so much fun. Despite the story being simple the gameplay is incredibly easy to pick up, very hard to put down, and extremely difficult to get through. Heart & Slash implements ‘permideath’, which basically means, “If you die, you start over, from the beginning”, and it happens…a lot. I found myself reliving the games of yesteryear where this was normal and it made me determined to keep on going. The best part of dying is every time you start over the game changes. The maps are completely random in its building. Also all the weapons and bosses you come across change with every play through. Heart & Slash is wonderfully addicting.

As you continue on and on you unlock better weapons and equipment, some of which are incredible, and others not so much. All the items you pick up can be upgraded to make you stronger and change gameplay. Items can be as common as a trashcan lid (shield) and a steel sword, to Captain America’s shield, a shotgun, and a rocket hammer. Don’t like that combo? How about a fire sword, boxing gloves, and a jetpack. It’s all possible with each play through.

The pixelated art style is something simplistic and beautiful to behold. The difficulty curve set the bar of old-school gaming and the art style holds it there as you play. The color palate is amazing and bright.

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Overall

If I had to pick something that really got on my nerves sometimes was the camera angles. More than I care to admit I was hit with a giant hammer or cut down by a giant with a chainsaw only because I was stuck on a guardrail I could not see. Or there happened to be a flying baddie that I couldn’t quiet get because the top view or automatic zoom in camera angle kept making me over/under jump to try and bash them. The controls can be a little aggravating but overall the game is a testament of genius.

The music is catchy, although a bit repetitive (especially for the first couple of hours when you are dying so much). Like I said before the story doesn’t matter so much since the gameplay is so much fun. Do yourself a favor and pick up Heart & Slash. Especially if you are a retro gaming fan, the graphics, art, and difficulty curve will keep you coming back for more to clean up the Robopocalypse.

 

Heart & Slash Review
The Good
  • The Art Style, Pixel Graphics, and The Return to Retro Gaming
  • The Plethora of Weapons, Body Armor/Parts, and Characters
  • Very Addicting to Play
The Bad
  • Camera Angles
  • Somewhat Repetitive Music
9.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (7 Votes)
8.5

About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

I have worked hard to become the COO here at GAW and I love it. I write and stream here and I couldn't be happier. I once had a show that I produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games. I also co-host a podcast called Party Up! I'm an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character I'm in it for the long haul. Or just give me your 2D platform and I'm a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.