Why Hades is so hellaciously addictive

It’s not just because the characters are … hot.

Joshua Poh


It’s 4AM. I’m in bed. I know I have a meeting in six hours. Hades flickers into the darkness from my computer screen, tempting me to play again.

I’m an adult. I know the responsible thing to do.

I rub my eyes and tell myself what I need to hear.

“Just one more run…”

What exactly, is Hades?

Hades puts you behind the eyes of Zagerus, Prince of the Underworld. It reads as a coming-of-age story where Zagerus yearns to escape the confines of his humdrum existence in the Underworld. (I guess gods get bored too)

But Zagerus’s dad, Hades is not having it. Enter, family drama, unclear motives and lots of action keeping you on the edge of your seat.

The developers Supergiant Games used the repetition of the roguelike genre to tell a narrative story

Hades is a roguelike action roleplaying game and possibly introduced thousands to the roguelike genre.

This is what a standard roguelike game looks like.

You make your way through a randomised dungeon crawl, trying to escape whatever the dungeon throws at you. But unlike standard games, there’s no save game during an escape attempt.

If you die, game over. You start again and do it all over again.

Hades fulfills our brains need for novelty through randomised rewards — no run is the same

If a roguelike is based on continuously dying and repeating the same series of levels over and over, how do game developers keep each experience fresh?

Enter the power of randomness and permutation.

In Hades, you have six weapons, each with their different play styles and usefulness. Olympian gods lend their aid through chamber rewards and power ups. The game rewards you as you…



Joshua Poh

Freelance writer and content marketer for B2B SaaS companies. More at https://www.joshuapohwrites.com/