Sneaking In: 100 Rogues

By Alec Meer on June 29th, 2011 at 5:32 pm.

Thanks, God. Thod.

Sssh! Keep it quiet or someone will hear. I’m going to post about a Mac game. You see… wait, what was that? Did you hear something? Better hide.

OK. OK. The coast looks clear. Macs are just PCs in better clothes but with narrower minds, so we can write about them here. We’re not big Mac users ourselves, but that’s mostly because most of the games are on PC, mostly. There is a new exception to that, and a game that I dearly wish was on PC. It’s called 100 Rogues, and it’s a jolly, accessible but thoroughly brutal roguelike originally created for the eyeTelephone. I played the hell out of it on my Pad of Eyes for half of last year, and would confidently call it one of my favourite games of 2010. Now, it’s also available for Mac computers, via the dark devilry that is the OSX App Store.

In the grand pantheon of roguelikes it is but a baby – very little you need to get your head around except fighting and eating. If you want a hardcore, complicated survival game this isn’t for you. What it does, and why I like it, is take the very core of roguelikes and work on making those as compelling and tight as possible.

Those things: fighting, exploring, collecting, levelling.

The fighting is highly tactical, the exploring is random, the collecting is random and the levelling is part of the strategy. Don’t be fooled by the pixel-art look. It’s easy to start playing, but requires an analytical mind to get anywhere near conquering it.

It’s turn-based and and is positively built around permanent death. While it can be completed (and I’ve heard folk with brains highly attuned to roguelikes say too easily so, but that wasn’t the case for me), what it’s really about is surviving for as long as possible and seeing how that compares to your last fatal dungeon crawl.

When death comes, it’s almost always suddenly and horrifyingly. The game does a fine job of gradually and randomly equipping you with things you’re damned sure can get you out of any trouble, but at some point either chaos theory or a reckless decision, such as wandering into the middle of a large room rather than keeping your back to a wall or lurking in a doorway, gets the better of you and BAM. But you cash out with a score, a list of monsters you managed to kill first and, if you’ve been exceptionally clever and lucky, a few trinkets stored in the randomly-appearing big blue locker that the next of your characters to find will be able to access.

It’s been updated regularly since release, with both general new content such as extra items and balance fixes as well as microtransaction stuff like new classes and modes. It’s an example of microtransacty stuff I’m OK with, as it’s adding to the variety and scope of the game rather than having you pay for totally incidental or balance-changing stuff. Haven’t bought all of the extra bits, but the Skellyman Scoundrel class I did, and the somersaulting, bomb-chucking skeletal rogue was totally worth it.

It’s also capable of being supremely silly, as the Finger of God spell in the pic above suggests. You’ll also find the likes of rocket-toting robots and evil giant Popes in there. It’s a good time.

So, on the Mac App Store now for $4.99, or on portable iThingies for free . If you have a Mac, go get. If you don’t, pray devs Dinofarm Games and Fusion Reactions do the smart thing and get it on Steam or suchlike soon.

Here’s some weakman footage of the Mac version while you think it over/wait:

Obviously looks better outside of a camcorder.

Thanks for the tip, Dzamir.

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78 Comments »

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  1. metalangel says:

    This might mark my first foray in the Mac App store, which I had forgotten existed.

  2. Lewie Procter says:

    What’s this, some kind of new Starcraft expansion?

    • jonfitt says:

      It’s a weepy indie flash game about a lady who owns 100 different kinds of rouge. Or something.

    • Renzatic says:

      It’s a game where you play a lady who has to spend a bunch of money on cosmetic products so she can put on too much lipstick as an ironic statement against the capitalist exploitation agenda the cosmetics industry perpetrates upon women on a daily basis.

      Hip and trendy as hell, in other words. Pretty much what you’d expect from iOS game. Also it’s an iOS game I rather enjoy.

      And on another note, I refuse to call it OS 10. It’s Ossix, and will always be Ossix as far as I’m concerned. At least til OSXI comes out, then I’ll call it Oskzi.

  3. Dzamir says:

    Wow, I actually suggested an article to this awesome site :o
    I’m now a complete man!

  4. LegionUK says:

    A Mac Story!

    F2R has ruined this site!

    • Porkolt says:

      What a shame.

    • Premium User Badge

      ADinVA says:

      I was on the fence about this whole F2R thing but, look, they’re already shortening the first paragraph to push content into the 3rd paragraph and beyond. Consider me gone!

    • Frank says:

      Free-to-Roam? (Like free-to-play, but you leave your PC for a Mac?)

    • DrazharLn says:

      Free “2” Read, Frank.

  5. Frabble says:

    Interest in said game requires PC version.

  6. Kaira- says:

    Now, just to wait for the eternal debate whether Macs are PCs, and what, in fact, a PC is.

    • thegooseking says:

      Macs are not PCs but neither are PCs.

      End of debate before it started?

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      Scum. That’s what they are: scum.

    • Grygus says:

      PCs and Macs are both PCs. That doesn’t mean we’re misusing the term when we talk about PCs and Macs, however; a Mustang and a Pathfinder are both cars, but in a discussion about cars you’ll most likely separate the car from the SUV. Having terms that change meaning in context is common, especially as you become more technical on the subject. Call an aircraft carrier a “boat” in front of a sailor sometime.

    • Jhoosier says:

      “Call an aircraft carrier a “boat” in front of a sailor sometime.”

      I did that once. I…I…don’t want to talk about it.

      But yeah, I have an iphone. Trying to get it as we speak, though I have to deal with the whole, over 200Mb-issue.

  7. ColOfNature says:

    Wot, no Linux support? Bah.

  8. Brendy_C says:

    Did anyone else read this entire post in their heads as a whisper?

    • Temple says:

      This post does not exist. You did not reply.
      In fact someone should download the lot and use it as evidence when they wipe their archives of all trace. Though with the F2P model that would probably be illegal now.

    • GoldenPants says:

      Ssshhh. They will hear you.

  9. orranis says:

    I don’t care whether Macs are really PC’s or not, I’ll never willingly deal with Apple products. I can’t take them apart without almost approaching the Enough Dakka Barrier.

    • JFS says:

      Wot?! Is there such a thing as “Enough Dakka”???

    • Chunga says:

      That’s no real ork, Boyz! There’s never enough Dakka or red painted half crumbling vehicles with too big guns on them!

  10. Temple says:

    *sits down, prepares to share his ignorance*

    So, you can run windows on Macs these days??? Can you run Mac software on a pc???
    Of course all I really care about is emulating an ipad and getting some of their delicous games.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I once accidentally downloaded a load of .dmg files and spent three hours trying to get them to work. They didn’t work.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Some people do build the so called “Hackintosh” but as OS X drivers are very narrow in the hardware they support while Windows & Linux are conversely very wide you have to have a very specific set of components to build a non-Apple PC capable of running OS X. There are whole sites of enthusiasts dedicated to it though but it will probably cost you about half what the equivalently powered Apple machine would.

      An actual emulator would be way more difficult seeing as OS X is essentially a Unix system. Virtualization would probably be far easier in most cases but I haven’t looked into that (yet).

    • Heinrich says:

      It’s possible to run software between the two, IIRC. Wine has a couple of ports which let Macs run most Windows software, and I believe Virtualbox is capable of virtualizing Mac OS X, though I haven’t tried that one. To the extent of my knowledge, the only emulator for the iPad is the one included in the dev kit, which costs way too much to be worth it. I think.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Hackintoshed OS X on VirtualBox is functional but not pleasant. There are no guest extensions so it integrates with the host about as well as DOSBox and there’s no 3D accelleration magic. I can’t imagine it being much use for games.

      And of course the worst thing is having to use OS X, which is a terrible system. Shout at developers to support an actual useful platform instead.

  11. Walsh says:

    Burn the heretic!

  12. Thunderkor says:

    This is the one game I have on my iPad that I consistently go back to. It’s also the only one I’ve paid any real money for. PC and Linux versions would be great so that those of you without iThingies or MacThingies could enjoy it as well.

  13. Premium User Badge

    LieutLaww says:

    This is worse than the CQ debacle in EVE i say we surround the RPS offices and pew pew them till they give in to our demands !!

    • Temple says:

      One riot a day. We are still rioting over the F2P model being introduced. Or being introduced without enough hats I’m not sure.

      (why yes I am at work on a late shift by myself how did you know? What do you mean TOO many posts?)

  14. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Is there an Eye-pad emulator out there?

    Er, I promise I’ll get the BIOS file from my own Aye-pad. Because I totally have one.

    • Esc says:

      Yeah I’ve actually got one installed right now. It comes with the developer tools for iOS.

      All you need is a mac to run it on :)

  15. pipman3000 says:

    no thanks i prefer oranges

  16. Tei says:

    The PC only has two faults:
    – Is not whearable
    – Not waterproff
    You can’t do PC on the bus, or on the shower. So I have a iPod, and I run on it DungeonRaid, TinyTower, geoDefense, … I may add this 100 rogues thing to my collection.

    • Radiant says:

      I f’ing love my ipod.
      the games on it are lovely.

      I have a phone that makes phonecalls and an ipod to rub on my genitals.

    • Premium User Badge

      Buzko says:

      @Radiant: Bless you, sir. Had I an internet, it would be yours.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Do the Genius Bar minions object to the mild aroma of scrotum?

  17. somini says:

    Why would some one not being bribed by Apple go through the hassle of porting a game from an EyeDevice and only bring it to lesser Computers? Why?

  18. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    If you don’t want me here I can just.. leave.. and never read RPS again.. hmm. Wait. Now you made me feel like a player of EVE! Although I hear fellow mac users are worse of in EVE as well.. *sigh*

    Oh and if you ever feel like you’re missing something, go look up one of the many games available for windows and not for mac os. I’m still sorely missing out on Audiosurf, for example.

    Anyhow. Gaming news!

  19. bick4ord says:

    This game still crashes randomly on my iPhone 3G – would not recommend if you have an older iPhone

  20. Reddin says:

    While I really like this on my iPhone, but I do not really feel the need to play it on my laptop/pc, since there are a lot of deeper, and IMO more rewarding roguelikes available.
    But it is definitely a great little roguelike, and if you have an iDevice you should definitely try it.

    Now I hope Desktop Dungeons gets around to doing the opposite thing. I like it a lot, but I would like it a lot more on a portable device.

    • jonfitt says:

      I feel like I want many Indie games to go the other way. I want to play them on my iThing not on a PC.

      Space Chem is a case in point. It would work brillo on a touch screen and I would have to brown-out a small power station to boot my PC and play it.

    • Koozer says:

      I’d prefer them on my GBA, or the DS. Spelunky, Desktop Dungeons, Word of Goo etc. etc…

  21. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Cheers for pointing this out Alec. I’ve recently got an iPod touch so I’ll give this a whirl, it does sound like the type of thing I’ll rather enjoy.

    I’ll let you off this time, but woe betide you if you recommend something for IThingies that looks shite
    (especially if it costs actual money!), then you’ll see my ire!

  22. Koozer says:

    Oh what a cruel twist of fate that Android, the platform closest to PC, has such an abysmal selection of games. On the plus side, it isn’t Apple.

    • Shuck says:

      According to the numbers I’ve seen, even though there are a huge number of Android phones out there, their owners aren’t big app/game buyers, so it’s not a very attractive platform to develop games for.

    • Nathan_G says:

      This bothers me. My pal with an applephone is always harping on with the ‘android, lame’ sentiments, and I say ‘Just because it has better applications, better games, and more of both, doesn’t make it better!’

      Talk about impotent rage.

    • Kaira- says:

      I’d say Maemo would be the closest mobile platform to PC, but then again, it’s quite dead, sadly. >:

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Dawes says:

      I’d say that Windows Phone 7 is closer to the PC than either the iPhone or Android, not least of which because it runs XNA, as does the PC (and XBox360), and so makes porting games between them a much more realistic possibility. Its game library is growing with increasing speed and has some pretty good stuff available now. Additionally, it also isn’t Apple.

    • Tei says:

      WEll…

      #mdobele
      Age of Zombies had a 92% piracy rate in Asia on Android last week. More illegal downloads in one day than TOTAL sales to date.

  23. Nathan_G says:

    I own a Mac solely because I need Logic and Final Cut and I resent this beautiful machine every day of my life. I don’t have the inclination to delve deep into that dark world of Hackintoshing so I just bit the bullet/sucked the cock and bought a mac.

    But hey, it’s a powerful fucking machine and I run Windows 7 on a partition so I can still read RPS ;)

    Oh, something relevant to the article?

    I want to play this game.

  24. keithburgun says:

    Hey all. Lead designer of 100 Rogues here! Thanks so much for the coverage, Alec! It feels really good to be appreciated – especially appreciated so much that you have to break your own rules to cover us!

    Just so you all know, I’m a PC gamer myself, and our next game will be an Android game that will then quickly be ported to the PC. It’s called Auro – if you go to our site, dinofarmgames.com, you’ll find a little bit of information about it. It’s a pretty radical departure from roguelikes in a lot of ways.

    Thanks a lot guys!

    • jonfitt says:

      Thank you for the great game. I bought it back when it wasn’t free based on the recommendation of I believe, Giant Bomb.

    • RCGT says:

      Thank you for developing for Macs! Please keep doing it! I’m tired of missing out on indie games because of platform issues.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Any chance of 100 rogues for Android devices?

  25. reticulate says:

    I joined the Cult of Jobs about three years back, and honestly the machine has been bulletproof.

    Good to see some Mac-specific coverage, but I’m not expecting you blokes to do it regularly or anything. I’d hardly say Mac gaming is an up-and-coming thing, but at the very least the switch to Intel has made life less difficult for developers.

  26. keithburgun says:

    Oh hey, also – go listen to the 100 Rogues soundtrack for free here. Especially if you like Super Nintendo music.

    http://dinofarmgames.bandcamp.com/album/100-rogues

  27. malkav11 says:

    Everything I’ve heard about the game over on Quartertothree was negative. I’ve not tried it myself, as it turns out I don’t really like iOS as a gaming platform.

    • keithburgun says:

      Hey malkav11, lead designer of 100 Rogues here. I’m gonna tell you a secret – I actually hate iOS as a gaming platform myself. However, we created 100 Rogues with all of those things that I hate about the platform in mind, and I think we did a pretty good job of avoiding most of the problems.

      Worth noting, by the way, that this announcement is about the Mac version. Playing the game with a mouse is quite good – if you like Diablo, you’ll probably like this. Of course, I’m probably biased =].

      Also I’m curious as to what Quartertothree had to say bad about the game. Was it about the bugs/instability? Because that was a problem early on, but the game is now over a year old and it’s extremely stable and smooth. Generally the game has gotten very positive reviews otherwise.

  28. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Whatever.

  29. MythArcana says:

    Why the developers didn’t use Unity is beyond me. I don’t (or ever will) own iAnything, so hopefully they will realize there is more to the market out there than stuffy, proprietary, expensive, limited, and trendy platforms. Macs definitely have their place, but this poor game won’t be making an appearance in my house until some flexibility is implemented.

    • RCGT says:

      Well, that’s them told. In the meantime I don’t suppose you have anything to say to the millions of Windows-only games out there?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      “Well done, you chose to be developed on a platform with majority market share”?

      Shouldn’t he be saying something to the developers, though, as they’re more likely to be sentient?

  30. Blob-World-Eye-Weary says:

    Really just started playing nethack again a week ago, and now i’m moving up to slashem. Now another rouge for me to waste all my family time on.

  31. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    So I got no macs, but there’s plenty of Pc roguelikes out there. Are there any, that, like this, won’t make me cry just by looking at them? I don’t mean graphics, I mean built such that non hardcore-roguelike-enthusiasts can actually enjoy playing them.

  32. sexyresults says:

    Played it on my eyephone a lot last year :)

  33. Ian says:

    Time for another roguelikes thread, mereckons.

    If it’s not ZangbandTK or Desktop Dungeons I’ve not played it. Or what few others I have tried I’ve bounced right off.

  34. Bassism says:

    100 Rogues is great, great fun. One of my favourite games on my iphone.

    Also, totally appreciate the sly Mac-flaunting.

  35. Tulse says:

    Indeed.
    A roguelike on Mac?
    Not a roguelike for me
    Indeed :(

    Looks good, but I only have a PC and an android phone. I may have to play a few rounds of Crawl tonight to compensate.

  36. hamster says:

    I think the game is a little bit unbalanced. The item drops are so variable and can make such a dramatic difference in survivability. For example, you might end up getting THREE normal unenchanted swords which is essentially useless (you only need one; the other two can’t be sold) or you get get some enchanted weapon of doom. Alternatively, you might be supplied with tower shields or the like only just after you’ve committed to putting skill points in anything other than heavy armament (prerequisite for tower shields/axes/hammers). So yeah, there’s a pretty big element of chance.