Of Shields and Spears

Lately I’ve been playing a highly accessible puzzle-rogue-like game called Hoplite.

Simple graphics and ever-increasing difficulty make this a quick and easy game to learn, but a very difficult one to master.

You play the role of an adventurous Hoplite — a citizen warrior of ancient Greece city-states. You’re questing in ever-deeper dungeons looking for the Fleece of Yendor whilst avoiding doom at the hands of various dungeon inhabitants.

Each level is a smallish hex map with lava obstacles, opponents, a temple and an exit to the next level down. Defeat the opponents, heal or receive a boon at the temple and journey onward. Simple right?

Well, yes, and no. Depending on the number of enemies and your strategy, your journey could end on the first level, or you could retrieve the Fleece and win, or hang on to the fleece and quest even further.

I find myself coming back to Hoplite daily, for at least one or two rounds. As you can tell by the shot at the top, I’ve managed to recover the Fleece once (yay me!), but am wondering what lies beyond…

Hoplite is available for Android and iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch).

Enjoy this fine gameplay video.

 

iOS 7 Launch – A busy day today

iOS 7 will be released later today, and I’m looking forward to it!

Update: But first, a public service announcement. Don’t forget to BACKUP YOUR DATA (thanks for the reminder Ryan!) Here’s a great how-to from Apple’s support site.

From what I’ve seen, this update of the venerable iOS operating system will be the best yet, not in terms of huge technological leaps and flashy features, rather in terms of subtle usability improvements that really make sense, such as the new way your pictures are grouped, and AirDrop (ok, that’s a new feature for iOS, but it has existed awesomely in OS X).

One thing I’m not so certain of yet, is the number of clicks it seems to take to do certain things, such as back out of a folder in multitask view. I was kind of hoping there’d be a swipe command to get you back to the top level of the desktop, not a button press. My thinking is that buttons can wear out, but the multi-touch swipe tech will last longer.

As well, this week you’ll have noticed a flurry of application updates as developers get their software ready for today’s launch of iOS 7. Being interested in electronic music and photography, here’s a couple of useful articles on upgrading and app compatibility:

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see real-world experiences as iOS 7 goes live later today. If you’re upgrading and feel like sharing, let me know what you think!