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14 April, 2014

Top 10 Tips - Your Guide to Hoplite

Hoplite (grab it here) is a deceptively simple title. Taking charge of a proud little Greek hoplite, your quest is to clear dungeon after dungeon in search of the mysterious Golden Fleece. But in true roguelike style, lying just beneath the surface is a game requiring much patience and strategy. This may be enough to turn some people off even considering giving Hoplite a go. But, stick with me. Hoplite manages to showcase the best elements of the roguelike genre, while also being highly accessible to newcomers.

Make sure to check out our review of Hoplite here.

To help you on your quest to make the Golden Fleece part of your trophy cabinet, Grab It Magazine has put together its Top 10 Tips for Hoplite. Before long, you’ll be slaying demon wizards with the best of them.

If playing Hoplite whets your appetite for more solid roguelike titles, why not check out our review of Isle of Bxnes, and our Top 10 Tips for Isle of Bxnes.

Top 10 Tips - Hoplite

1. Know thy enemy - There are a limited number of enemy types in Hoplite, so familiarising yourself with their patterns of attack is not difficult. Even better, simply tap on an enemy and their attack range is displayed. Demon footmen have a limited attack radius and can be easily dealt with, but ranged enemies present more of a challenge. If you have any sense of self-preservation, examine the attack radius of each ranged enemy every turn.

2. Taking out archers and wizards is a priority - The most dangerous enemies in Hoplite are the demon archer and wizard. Both can reach you from five tiles away, and are able to shoot in six directions. If you let them prowl the board, you won’t last terribly long. There are a number of ways to deal with these enemies, but the most effective method is using your spear (see Tip 7). If you plan strategically, you can also avoid taking damage from these enemies (see Tips 4, 8.)

3. Check who will deal damage first - It may feel like there is no rhyme or reason to who deals damage first, especially when you are one or two tiles away from an enemy. There is an explanation to this, but the easiest way to check who will deal damage first is to hold your finger on the tile you want to move to. If the tile turns red, it means you deal damage first. If not, then the enemy has the opportunity to attack first. If taking damage seems inescapable, read on!

4. Use enemies to block ranged attacks - One of the most useful tips to know is that demon archers and wizards will not attack you if there is another enemy in the way. Once you become aware of this strategy, a whole range of options suddenly open up before you.

5. Upgrade your health quickly... - In a game as difficult as Hoplite, you will naturally want to upgrade your health as quickly as possible. Rightly so. Sometimes taking damage – possibly from multiple enemies at once – is inescapable, so ensuring you have maximum health will ensure you live to fight another day.

6. ...But upgrade other abilities first - It can be tempting to upgrade your health straight away. But keep in mind the first few dungeons present little difficulty, with few enemies on the prowl. One of the most useful things you can do – at least for the first 3-4 dungeons – is upgrade other abilities. The abilities you can upgrade each dungeon are randomised. But, if presented with the opportunity, make sure you upgrade the throw radius of your spear and your ability to ‘lunge’ multiple enemies at once.

7. Upgrade your spear - Your spear is your best friend. It can turn the tide of battle and easily take out ranged enemies. Whenever you are presented with the opportunity, you should consider upgrading the throw radius of your spear. At higher levels you will be required to sacrifice some health, but it is definitely worth it. You will often be able to take out an enemy with your spear on the very first turn of each dungeon, and you will be able to easily dispatch wizards.

8. Get the Shielding Bash II ability - There are a number of achievements you can earn in Hoplite, all of which bestow useful abilities. One achievement you must get is "Optimal Restoration." This can easily be attained on the first dungeon. All you need to do is pray at the shrine to restore your health, with no energy remaining and only one heart. You will then unlock the Shielding Bash II ability. This ability prevents all damage to you for one turn. This becomes incredibly useful in later dungeons when taking damage may be inescapable.

9. Use the demolitionist to your advantage - The demolitionist can often be a pain, throwing bombs at you every few turns. If you’re not careful, a demolitionist or two can pin you in the corner, with damage inescapable. However, you can use the demolitionist to your advantage. If there are multiple enemies near you, lead them into the path of a bomb. This can be very effective at taking out several enemies at once.

10. Don’t forget to use your sandals - At times, you may find yourself backed into a corner. Don’t forget you can use your sandals to leap up to several tiles at once. This can be effective to jump out of danger or to land next to an enemy, and get the first strike. There is the option to upgrade your energy and sandals, but you probably won’t need to at all.

Don't forget to grab Hoplite here.

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