March 28, 2014 11:30 AM | John Polson
Darren Grey's hex-based roguelike DataQueen draws inspiration from popular board game Hive, where players will only die if surrounded. Gridbugs can only hurt you when you leave your green-colored hive area, which ends up being very often as you try to connect and protect the pink-colored server points and battle unique bosses.
DataQueen has several layers of complexity, especially impressive for the seven-day roguelike (7DRL) time limit. Gridbug enemies all behave differently, but you only have to engage them when you step off the green area of the board. As the enemies move, they will turn your green hex-network back to blue, thwarting your goal of connecting all the pink hexes.
Fortunately, you have several attacks to destroy several enemies quickly. As indicated in the upper-left UI, each attack differs depending on which location you move to (using QWEASD or the number pad), and the attacks themselves randomize their position after each turn.
Darren explained to me part of the deeper strategy is in how you upgrade and position your attacks. "Not only do you choose which abilities you have, but you must also choose how they're placed on your hex wheel, which in turn can affect which abilities you can easily chain together. For instance sabotage followed by gridpush followed by spike can produce an explosion taking out many remote enemies. Or 2 freezes in separate directions followed by a regular hit can take out large groups at once, including some that are normally hard to hit."
Only the most tactical of players can survive long enough to fight the dreaded Clone Queen at the end.
[Download DataQueen. *Note: some people will have to load the game a second time to get it to initialize and play.]