Psychonauts and Brutal Legend developer Double Fine has announced its latest project, Hack 'N' Slash, a puzzle action game about hacking (and slashing, for that matter) due for PC, Mac and Linux during the first half of 2014.
The game follows the exploits of an elf who hacks her way into a computer game, Tron-style, and must use her techno-wizard skills to scour the code for secrets. "Instead of swords, arrows and bombs, you discover exploits, trainers and cracks," project lead Brandon Dillon explained in his initial pitch. "The puzzle dungeons will be designed to teach you progressively more sophisticated hacking, cheating and reverse-engineering tools. And they won't be toys. They'll actually be used to hack the running game."
"I've always loved games with lots of secrets in them," Dillon said in Hack 'N' Slash's official announcement. "When I first discovered a hex editor in an emulator, it dawned on me that I could be a kind of digital treasure hunter - no game could keep even its deepest secrets from me if I adventured long enough in its code and memory."
"Look, I'm going to be honest with you here: I don't really understand what's going on inside this game's code," added Double Fine president and CEO Tim Schafer. "I believe it contains 'algorithms.' But I know what's going on inside my heart when I play it. And that is joy."
Hack 'N' Slash was the most popular pick when Double Fine opened up its Amnesia Fortnight process to the public, so they could vote on what game ideas they'd like to see the studio produce. Prototypes of these successful pitches where then sold via a Humble Bundle.
The game is being financed by the Indie Fund, a collective of game developers who invest in promising indie projects, as well as Humble Bundle, Hemisphere Games, make all, AppAbove Games, Adam Saltsman, The Behemoth, Morgan Webb, and Rob Reid. If those names sound familiar, it might be because it's those exact same people/companies that funded Double Fine's other recently announced project, Spacebase DF-9, a space-themed building sim that recouped its investments on Steam Early Access in a scant two weeks.
To see an early build of Hack 'N' Slash in action, check out a Let's Play of its prototype below.