If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, then you’ll surely get a kick out of Hoplite. Here, players will get a chance to play as the eponymous soldier as he ventures forth into the sixteen levels of hell in order to retrieve the Golden Fleece. There will be different enemies that you will face along the way such as demons, archers, wizards, and other creatures. But fortunately, you are not without help in the form of gods that will grant you different abilities and upgrades the deeper you go. Of course, you’re not without your trusty lance, sword, and shield.
Despite its simplistic graphics, there’s a lot of challenge to be had, which is why it is very important to read this guide so that you will be better equipped to venture forth in an adventure of epic proportions with this very engaging game.
Hoplite is a rogue-like dungeon crawler where in players must navigate through randomly generated tiles where there are enemies to defeat as well as other obstacles like magma that are inaccessible to you. There is also an exit where in you must enter in order to be able to advance to the next stage. Using your weapons and abilities, you must be able to vanquish your enemies and be able to escape the round. Dying will force you to restart the stage, albeit with full health and energy.
Although Hoplite requires players to have strong characters in order to easily kill enemies, thinking out your moves is also a very important aspect of the game. As players can only move one tile at a time, players should be able to navigate around enemies so that they could get into better positions to strike, as well as to use any obstacles with the level to their advantage, such as when lining up enemies so that you can pick them off one by one.
Health is a very important resource, as you can only survive a few hits before your character dies. Should you die, you would have to repeat the stage, although your health would be restored and your abilities gained would still be with you. Certain abilities will allow you to either get more health permanently or regain it. This is especially essential as your health carries over to the next depth and would be refilled only when you die.
Energy is another very important resource, as it allows you to use abilities that will provide you with certain advantages especially if you are stuck in a rut. Energy is a finite resource, but is completely replenished at the beginning of each round. It can also be replenished by moving to tiles adjacent to enemies, with more energy being rewarded the more enemies there are nearby. Similarly, there are also specific abilities that will allow you to regain more energy and even increase its maximum capacity. Make sure to conserve energy so that you can have an ample supply whenever the situation calls for it.
Attacking within Hoplite is pretty easy, as there are no additional buttons to press or combos to make. Players simply either have to move to a tile adjacent to the enemy or to move directly towards an opponent. Depending on your position, you will either stab or lunge at your opponent, although these behave in pretty much the same way. After one or more strikes, the enemy will die and would be removed from the board.
By default, players can only attack one enemy at a time, but special abilities like the shield bash as well as other enhancements will allow you to attack and damage multiple enemies at once. There are also abilities that will allow you to strike at enemies from a distance, such as the Spear Throw. Basic attacks will not consume energy, so you can attack as often as you want.
Players can only move from one tile to another adjacent to it. Exceptions include moving towards a tile occupied by an enemy or to a tile with obstacles like magma on it. After each movement, enemies will also be able to move, which is why it is important to plan ahead to ensure that you are in a better position to attack while still having a path to escape or evade an future attacks. Once all enemies have been cleared from the level, however, simply clicking on the tile where you want to go will result in you instantly getting there without having to click on individual tiles towards your intended destination.
Players are provided with three types of abilities that they can trigger at any point during the game. Also, all abilities consume differing energy points. Being able to use them at the right place and the right time will definitely be an advantage.
The first type of ability is the Shield Bash. This will not only damage an enemy, but will also knock him backwards. Next is the Sandals, which will allow you to move more than one tile in any direction. One advantage of Sandals is that it will allow you to cross magma, but will still not allow you to move into any tile that is already being occupied. Lastly, the Spear Throw will allow you to throw your spear and damage an enemy. However, using this move will cause you to become weaponless until you retrieve your spear.
Abilities can be enhanced by praying at the altar and selecting the upgrade from the many choices that have been given to you. Examples of such enhancements are giving your Shield Bash ability the added skill of damaging all other enemies surrounding your primary target, and having your spear returned to you automatically once you throw it. While your abilities would be improved, there would be cases that there would be drawbacks as well, such as having increased energy cost, so choose your upgrades wisely.
There are various enemies that can be encountered within each depth. These include demons, archers, wizards, and different kinds of monsters. With the variety of enemies, attack patterns and movements differ as well. Some monsters have the same attack range as you, while some an hurl bombs or shoot arrows from a distance. Some will also only be able to attack after a specific number of turns. It is very important to inspect each enemy and know how they behave so that you are able to properly strategize and plan out your move. This is the best way to avoid taking damage while still being able to put up some decent offense.
One more thing about the game is that there’s no enemy Hp to speak of, so knowing how to attack and move away is integral especially if you are targeting a specific enemy while others are moving towards your location as well.
Altars are special places where players are able to pray to different gods of ancient Greek mythology. There’s an altar for each depth, and here, players are able to rejuvenate their health as well as acquire different perks and upgrades for their characters. These include increased energy regeneration, more health, or some great improvements to your abilities, allowing them to be much more effective and useful in the field. Only one upgrade can be chosen for each altar, so make sure to choose the one that will be most beneficial to your style of play.
Tips and Tricks
Regardless of how you play Hoplite, having lots of health should be your first priority. That is why you should focus on increasing your max health when it comes to praying at altars. Next priorities should be increasing your energy or allowing for more chances of regeneration. As for ability upgrades, look for skills that will suit how you play the game, as well as which abilities you use best. Recall is a good ability to acquire later in the game, as it allows your spear to return to you once thrown. On the other hand, there are also boons that will help enhance your basic lunge and stab attacks, so keep an eye out for these as well.
Positioning is very important in the game, as you would need to stay out of range of opponents that are getting ready to attack, as well as be in the perfect spot so that you can freely target enemies to attack. In the situation where there are archers, for example, keep in mind that they cannot attack you if you are right next to them. For up to five tiles away, however, you’re very vulnerable. Wizards, on the other hand, can attack you from both near and faraway ranges, so it is very important to read through whatever information you can glean from inspecting your enemies.
You can also position yourself such that there is an enemy in between you and a ranged attacker. You can also quickly approach any enemies that will be harmless as there’s a turn counter before they can perform their next attack. All of these should come together when creating your strategy and making sure that you survive each encounter within the levels.