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itch-Lit with Rohil: Beglitched

itch-Lit🔥 is a play journal by Rohil, exploring the ever-expanding collection of brilliantly bizarre indie darlings on itch.io  — published exclusively on All Ages of Geek!

Beglitched is the hacking-n-debugging puzzle epic from Hexecutable, a Brooklyn indie duo comprised of Jenny Jiao Hsia + AP Thomson. The game deals with feelings of insecurity or being compromised, and in that same thematic realm, connection. Magic & hacking, let’s go!

In Beglitched, you find a computer and assume the alias of its previous owner, the notorious Glitch Witch. You do their digital bidding, exploring a deep, intricate network of computers, clashing with rival hackers along the way.

Off the jump, I found myself overwhelmed. I adored everything presented, but fully grasping what I needed to do took a fair bit of time. The game is mechanically ambitious. 

You’ll cautiously navigate consoles, finding the path of least resistance through a network of computers. It feels like being in the tall grass of a Pokemon title while eliminating the tedium of encounters through variety of outcome. The risk is exciting and weighty, logging into a stranger’s computer, hoping to find collectibles and messages while avoiding some mines and network-scrambling eggs. 

For me, these navigation and collection sections are were the themes of online vulnerability and personal insecurity slap the most. We get some of those more personable elements in the boss encounters too.

Landing on a computer with a fellow hacker triggers the game’s battle sequence. A frantically-paced pattern recognition and strategy loop, riveting to play through. You enter a grid, with several different objects, and the enemy hidden. You’ll move objects of the same attribute either horizontally or vertically on the grid, allowing them to take effect. (Think: Bejeweled meets Battleships). 

Objects have a range of attributes. Lining up battery objects will give you more power to keep interacting with the grid. Lining up money objects gets you paid. Bomb objects are how you deal some damage. Compass objects point to the general direction of where the enemy is hidden. Every object is useful, and none of them feel duct-taped to artificially ramp up the complexity.

Encounters are fun, and those hits of dopamine when you line tokens up perfectly and connect with the enemy are… ohhh… baby… oh so good. The gameplay loop strikes a balance of cerebral and silly (silly in the best way)

Beglitched’s visual approach is superbly dynamic with a bubble-gum pop, bedroom punk aesthetic. The world is vibrant and alive in its assets’ animations, so perfectly responsive. Interacting with the UI is a treat, and the fluidity transitioning through the different phases of play is buttery-smooth. Everything is beautifully cohesive from the color palette to the font, the charming pixelated sprites, and UI-elements. It feels like I’m on a computer that a Digimon character would own. Of course, the glitch effects are top-tier. I’ve also now referenced both Pokemon and Digimon in the same article and would like to fight myself.

Lastly, the writing is thoroughly engaging and tightly worded. Dialogue and text prompts are snappy, charming, and form the backbone for the kawaii. The game’s writing builds the world tremendously and exhibits a rich personality.

I give Beglitched 2 🔮🔮 and 3 🧙🏾🧙🏾🧙🏾 out of 5. 

Play Beglitched

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