Hack, slash, splatter. Red Rogue first attracted my attention with its striking colour scheme, espied while playing a work-in-progress build entered into IGF 2012. Everything is teetering on the greyscale, except for blood and blood is as red as Rudolph’s nose. Bump into anything and the dungeon is spattered with that lovely redness, even if your victim is the tiniest of spiders, innocently dangling from the ceiling. Now complete and available for absolutely no money whatsoever, the game is a side-scrolling roguelike, packed with monsters and potentially lethal unidentified trinkets. There are two modes – a realtime ARPG type hack and slash, or a turn-based voyage downward for the those who like their roguelikes to be more like rogue. Jolly good.
The turn-based mode doesn’t divide the dungeon into big blocks for movement. Instead, it’s like a strobing display of violence that pauses whenever the player chooses to sit back for a moment and admire their handiwork. Or to ponder the tactical situation, although I’ll admit that I’ve mostly just been running around like a headless chicken until some nasty beast actually cuts my head off, at which point I briefly lament and then start again.
I only just learned that this is an actual sequel to Rogue, set in the same world. That’s neat.
It’s a splendid freebie that everybody should try, even your cousin Horatio who still hates computer games because you bought him Superman 64 for his birthday all those years ago. Your friends Jimmy Linux and Frederick Macintosh won’t argue though because Red Rogue is available on their favourite operating systems as well as Windows. Hurrah.