Hrot (opens in new tab) is a grim experience, with developer Spytihněv stating of its Czechoslovakia, 1986 setting: “Those times were dark and terrifying and so is this game.” That’s what makes its bone-dry sense of humor land so well.
Right at the start of the game’s second episode, before encountering any enemies, you find an interactable object on the ground: it’s a game-within-a-game, a Soviet knockoff Game & Watch where you guide a little cartoon wolf collecting eggs rolling down from hens. Then the bloody cultist murder starts.
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Hrot’s second episode launched on June 22, and its intense, Quake/Dusk-style shooting remains a blast, while its twisty, multilayered levels require ample backtracking that offers plenty of quiet time between intense fights, but never leaves me feeling frustrated or lost. Episode 2’s first level is a castle out in the mountains, a bit of a shift from episode 1’s brutalist dormitories and office buildings. I’ve only just started “The Degustation,” but I’m excited to see how episode 2 develops, as well as how weird the planned final episode, “The Gastroscopy,” might get.
Hrot is currently 22% off (opens in new tab) for the Steam summer sale, down to about $16/£12. This throwback FPS is definitely one to check out or follow as it approaches a full release.