TOME Is Where The Heart Is: Happy New Roguelike

In 2013, I resolve to convince as many people as possible to play Roguelikes and I’ll be particularly targeting those people who have never delved into the devious dungeons of ‘@’ before. It’s OK to admit that you’ve avoided them in the past because they look intimidating/crappy. TOME could be the gateway game you’ve been waiting for. It’s a variant of one of the core roguelikes but when it reached version 1.0 recently something miraculous happened. Firstly, it actually reached 1.0, which is on a par with the parting of an ocean given how many of these wonder-works are fated to grow forever, passing from designer to designer. But more amazing still, TOME has neat graphics and a friendly interface. Download it immediately.

If you didn’t download TOME immediately then please do so now, unless you’re at work, in which case it’s acceptable to wait until your lunch break. Take your lunch break immediately.

For a veteran dungeon diver such as myself, cynicism may creep in. Sure, it looks good, but when was that ever the point? And, hey, there’s an optional mouse-driven interface but doesn’t that mean the whole thing must be so dumbed down that it might as well be a third-person shooter? I haven’t played enough to figure out precisely where TOME fits in my personal Roguelike charts, but I am impressed by how much variety it offers and the simple fact that I can almost definitely convince lots of people to try it. So far, like the best fantasy RPGs, I feel like it offers new worlds full of mystery and danger, and those are two of my favourite things.

I chose to be some sort of magical elf on my first attempt and found myself in a land of living crystals. When I died, after about five minutes, I started again as a human with a sword and a shield. Magic had failed me but cold steel wouldn’t. That character began his quest in a trollmire, which looked like a forest except instead of squirrels and butterflies it was full of writhing masses of worms and, would you believe it, various types of troll. Although there’s plenty of randomness, there are actual quests other than ‘go down’, and different races and classes have different objectives and areas to explore. Try them all! Except the ones you have to unlock. Work out how to unlock those instead by trying the others.

TOME isn’t horribly confusing and it even has a tutorial but if you do feel a twinge of anxiety when it confronts you with its many possibilities and options, breathe, relax and experiment. The only wrong choice is ‘quit’. Perhaps you’ve dabbled before. You can admit that here. Nobody will judge you, least of all an actual judge with a wig and a gavel. Maybe somebody was passing a paper full of Dredmor around behind the bike sheds one day and you took a drag on it and thought, hey this isn’t so bad, I expected ASCII after-phlegm and an interface that punched me in the lung but the whole experience is far smoother and more pleasant than I’d ever have imagined. TOME is more traditional than Dredmor but is just as easy to use and to understand. It’s also free, though lacking in humour and gargantuan eyebrows.

To add icing to the already delicious cake, the T-Engine4 on which TOME is built is ready for more modules right now. It’s begging for them, whether they’re totally new worlds, additional quests and scenarios, or something in between. It’s a general purpose Roguelike engine and could spark a revolution, providing a simple means of creating and collating turn-based adventures. I’m already tempted to hibernate for much of 2013 just so I can see how many people embrace this and what they produce.

I’ll probably write more soon, when I’ve spent more time with TOME itself, but I couldn’t resist making this my first news post of the year. It’s such a thrilling and potential-packed way to start what dunderheaded analysts are already failing to call ‘The Year of the Roguelike’, and it could mark the opening of a fantastic floodgate.


  1. JackDandy says:

    Downloaded it and started playing.

    It seems really fun! But for some reason I don’t like the extensive character development options. It kinda slows the game down. But I’ll get used to it!

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      Adam Smith says:

      I kind of feel the same at the moment but I’m persisting and generally speeding through choices at the moment then living (and dying) with the consequences.

      • b0rsuk says:

        You’re doing a great job of hiding your feelings. I can’t remember a single RPS update about DCSS.

    • Faldrath says:

      Same here, but I feel this is just temporary as we’re actually learning the skills/stats, etc. Once we’re familiar with them and can actually plan builds it won’t be a problem anymore.

      • lasikbear says:

        You can also remove the last 4 points in your main skills and last 3 in your general skills at any(?) time (except of a few that “permanently change the world” such as the alchemist gem related skills).

    • Yglorba says:

      Remember, there’s an in-game live chat. You can use that to ask build questions; people are usually very helpful.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        That really is the greatest feature ever in any roguelike, frankly.

        Also, everyone should donate at least $5.

  2. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I loved Dredmor, and I like roguelikelikes like* FTL. I am a big superficial person and cannot get past the primitiveness of your typical roguelike, and I don’t really know very much about the genre outside of the most well-known games. What other visually non-crappy roguelikes are out there and worth playing?

    * jesus h

    • Moth Bones says:

      Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. Aside from being an amazing game it has a generally well-designed and appealing graphical Tiles variant. You can download it or play online WebTiles, where if you’re lucky you might acquire a friendly and helpful spectator. link to

      • aliksy says:

        I like the navigation functionality in stone soup a lot. You can autonavigate to any floor you’ve been to, and there’s an ‘autoexplore’ button that’ll start walking around the floor until you find something interesting or the floor is fully explored.

      • dE says:

        I’m some guy on the internet and I endorse: Stonesoup.
        Get that one. Go on. You’ll either curse us or love us about 12 months from now.

        No seriously, Stonesoup is a very well balanced Roguelike with a lot of comfort options that are easy to get used to and hard to forget about in the next Roguelike. I haven’t followed it ever since they removed the most popular races in favor of cats and octopus. I should probably get back to it.

      • Geen says:

        Stone Soup is fantastic, it’s no Dwarf Fortress or Nethack for me but it’s MUCH more accessible while still retaining the brutality and randomness of roguelikes.

    • mechabuddha says:

      Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup is pretty awesome, with graphics and a mouse interface. I keep coming back, even though I’m terrible at it and have never gotten past level 7.

      EDIT: Ninja’d me, Moth Bones. I forgot about the web version with the spectate mode – you can learn a lot by watching experienced players.

    • malkav11 says:

      DoomRL. It’s got all the classic Doom weapons, enemies, and environmental features, plus weapon modification, robust ranged combat, a perk system for levelling, special premade optional levels, challenge modes you can unlock, and as of a recent version, gorgeous tiles by Derek Yu (who made Spelunky).

      • tobecooper says:

        I’d second DoomRL. It’s such a magnificent roguelike.

        Also, Desktop Dungeons. Alpha is free and fun. Beta is looking really good.

        • Arren says:

          Second the recommendation for Desktop Dungeons. The devs are impressively responsive to the community* during this protracted beta period, and the gameplay is an appealing hybrid of coffee-break puzzle-like choice-sequences with Roguelike trappings.

          $10 to pre-order….. indubitably worth it, ladies and gents.

          * The core of the community is quite devoted to the game, and the obvious benefit of their ongoing influence on its development is a large part of what eased my withering cynicism — which by default I bring to bear on the world — enough to support the idea of Kickstarting games.

    • b0rsuk says:

      By all means, try POWDER. It’s inspired by Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, but has enough ideas of its own. It’s better designed in many places. My favorite part is the developer saying he doesn’t implement spells which don’t require new code. POWDER is also quite short, which is nice because it doesn’t take forever to complete (and start a new game, of course).

      POWDER’s deity system is unique. There are around 5 gods, ALL of which are active at the same time. And unlike in DCSS where they feel much like spellbooks and basically increase piety with kills, godsin POWDER require you to behave in a certain way. One god hates spellcasting, another doesn’t approve violence at all. Yet another wants you to make as much noise as possible. Xom has a very unstable personality and changes his preferences from time to time. You will not satisfy all gods, no matter how you try. But a good standing with one god will make him (usually) protect you from others.

      POWDER is also notable for best writing in a roguelike game.

  3. Asherie says:

    This is my 2nd favourite after Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. Great job bringing it to peoples attention :)

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      Adam Smith says:

      Stone Soup is my number one at the moment. I spent a ludicrous amount of time with it last year.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Stone soup is amazing, probably one of the games I played the most, ever.

        The only things I don’t like about it:
        – As you learn the game, the “time-to-find-new-and-exciting-stuff” increases progressively. And since in Roguelikes, you learn by dying horribly, many of my sessions end abrubtly just as I was starting to feel powerful, because I face a new monster I know nothing about, or I enter a branch I was supposed to save for later and die in five moves (I’m looking at you, Elf dungeon). At that point starting a new character is a bit discouraging since I want to take my revenge on the whole race of critters that killed me, but reaching them will take a long, long time and several more characters.
        – It’s common to most roguelikes, but I often end up wishing that the places I’m exploring feel a bit more real or lived in. So, creature lairs and monsters that actually give the illusion of having occupations besides waiting for a hero to bash.
        – Managing your inventory becomes a chore mid-game, as you try to find gear for every type of resistance and weapons to kill every monster, and have to stash loads of stuff and do back-and-forth trips to your stashes on limited food.

  4. Valvarexart says:


  5. elfbarf says:

    My New Year’s resolution was to finish games that are in my backlog. ToME is preventing me from doing so.

    I highly recommend the “oldRPG” tileset for those who aren’t fond of the default.

  6. SooSiaal says:

    Teleglitch next then please? Been hearing some good things about it, but love to see more opinions about it.

  7. Yemala says:

    I have played DCSS /extensively/ in the past, started on TOME about a week ago – and it’s growing on me. It feels far more choice/tactic driven than DCSS and similar, mostly due to the lack of excessively consumables and interesting character choices.

    I hope it catches on enough to have a slightly better wiki – all of these sorts of obtuse gaming experiences really do need decent documentation, and it just isn’t QUITE there yet.

    That being said, I’ve lost dozens of characters, sworn at my monitor, lost dozens of hours to it, and even convinced my wife to give it a go.

    • elfbarf says:

      Some things could definitely use a bit more documentation. Like how “stun” doesn’t actually stun the enemy. Instead, it slows, reduces physical damage dealt, and places abilities on cooldown. Once you learn that, you’ll begin to notice how useful it is as opposed to thinking that it’s broken.

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        FhnuZoag says:

        Yeah, it’s actually really worth playing the tutorial, especially the advanced tutorial. There’s a lot of non-obvious mechanics. Like the tier system with the stats. (Short version, if your attack stat is a lot higher than their defense stat, you make especially nasty stuff happen to them… The same can happen to you.)

  8. JimDiGritz says:

    Well, I spent a ridiculous amount of my weekend playing this, ticks almost all of my Angband/NetHack boxes.

    I’m particularly interested in the open source T-Engine4 (link to that they built this title on… whilst I enjoy a good high fantasy setting if I had the chops I would be busy writing a Fallout type post-apocalyptic version, maybe like an updated Alphaman on TE4…

    PS I’m donating some PayPal cash to these guys right away!

  9. Faldrath says:

    One thing to mention is that the game has a chat server, and people are actually quite helpful in there, so that makes it even easier to learn.

    • mckertis says:

      “One thing to mention is that the game has a chat server”

      Another thing to mention, is because of that chat server people didnt bother to create a decent wiki, and documentation on some things are pretty-much non-existent. Not to mention that it really takes your attention away from the actual game, having to read all that.

  10. HexagonalBolts says:

    I can get to level 15 or so fairly easily but from that point I always seem to randomly die to some hugely powerful enemy, has anyone got any suggestions for getting past this point?

    To new players I’d recommend: clearing out as many low level areas as possible even if you are too powerful for them and putting quite a few points in constitution to increase your survivability

    • mckertis says:

      Shield runes and talents. Have at least two available. Other than that – there arent any sure general ways for protection. Oh, and dont go randomly opening the vaults here and there, be prepared that (rarely) insanely powerful bosses could be generated in a perfectly ordinary vault. More powerful than “story” bosses, for sure.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      I guess my main tips would be: right click on anything odd you encounter (i.e. anything with a purple halo), and make sure you always have an escape option. Classes with summons get it relatively easy, because you can send out a summon to fight the thing while you cower in safety. Sometimes, something is just too tough to fight, and then you should just bypass it.

    • AIAndy says:

      It depends a lot on the class you choose. Some have quite powerful defensive skill choices. But apart from that infusion/rune choices can provide survivability for all. For most classes you will buy an extra inscription slot with the first category point at level 10 (or at game start if your race is cornac).
      Stuns and dazes are very dangerous so having a wild infusion that can cure physical effects instantly is important and you usually start with one. More than one can help.
      Then some healing/regen or shielding inscription to keep your HP buffer near max.
      Last inscription slot should be a way to escape like a teleport rune or movement infusion (movement infusion says it lasts one turn but you can move very far in that one turn).

      Still, sometimes you will die and ToME is a long game so I recommend playing on Adventure instead of Roguelike, so you have some lives to spend on a tad of risk.

  11. DarrenGrey says:

    To anyone who finds it slow-paced, try out the Arena quest in Derth (town near Trollmire) to unlock the Arena starting option, which is a lot more fast-paced than the main campaign and good for experimenting with new builds.

    Also, the game is pushing to get through Greenlight at the moment, so a vote or two would not be remiss!

    I’ve made several modules myself with the engine, and it is really cool and powerful. The creator is running a competition this year to make a game in the engine, with a top prize of 500 euros.

  12. x. says:

    Oh! You should’ve mentioned that this new ToMe is the old Tales of Middle Earth. At first I thought it was just an acronym ripoff.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      ToME 4 basically rewrites the entire game from the ground up. It’s really very different from the old ToME.

      • Dervish says:

        ToME is indeed a completely different game (as far as the subgenre is concerned), and maybe the dev dudes don’t like being forever associated with Tolkein copyright, but a bit of history to avoid confusion is in order.

        I was certainly confused when I searched for ToME after not playing it for a few years. Shame that the old site is gone–I really liked the “even more Tolkein lore” Theme module for old ToME.

  13. mckertis says:

    “t’s a variant of one of the core roguelikes but when it reached version 1.0 recently something miraculous happened. Firstly, it actually reached 1.0”

    And what does that even mean ? He could “reach” 1.0 any time he wanted.

    “But more amazing still, TOME has neat graphics and a friendly interface.”

    And that fact doesnt have anything to do with the game being 1.0.

    ” TOME could be the gateway game you’ve been waiting for.”

    Except…its pretty bad for a gateway roguelike. If it is, in fact, even a roguelike, which i dont necessarily agree that it is. It has the same basic problems as Dredmor had, a million needless damage types and resistances, and cooldowns. The blasted cooldowns. But more importantly, i wont accept this game as a roguelike, because in GOOD roguelikes you die because you made a mistake and you learn from that mistake. In BAD roguelikes, like TOME, you will almost always die from being one-shotted by something you have zero chance to do anything about. You dont learn anything from dying in TOME. Some enemies attack you in ways, that arent even represented (yet) in a log, so you have no idea what even killed you at all. Just a few betas away, bosses could be generated, that could actually be completely invulnerable. Not just 100% resist all, but actually, really invulnerable, to everything. And final bosses are so cheap, many classes have literally no chance in hell, without extensive mandatory grinding in farportals for uber equipment.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      v1.0 is a lot more balanced. There’s been a big balance push lately, with insta-kills and such removed and the log giving better feedback. Plus the developer is very receptive to further suggestions of changes.

      But if you’re not learning from your deaths in ToME then quite frankly you’re not paying attention. A big part of the game is knowing when to fight or flee. Not everything can be killed without significant risk, and there are lots of escape options available.

      In general though if you don’t like a sea of stats then ToME may not be the game for you. It’s not a traditional roguelike in many ways (which is good in my opinion – I like to see the genre progress rather than duplicating the games of the past) and is far more focused on points-based character building and tactical turn-based battles. There’s no long-term resource management, scumming for xp, looting for potions, etc.

  14. Oozo says:

    Nifty. Could well be the first roguelike I play since “Castle of The Winds”.

    Considering how much I liked that game back in the day, it’s pretty surprising that the roguellike-bug never really did bite me, actually.

  15. lordcooper says:

    Tempting. Is there anything to it beyond the standard dungeon crawl though?

    • DarrenGrey says:

      It has a crapton of lore in the game, if you like that sort of thing. Fairly static world overall, but a nice variety of locations beyond the tradition roguelike dungeon type. The overworld is pretty big, with several continents if you get far enough in the game. The game is very deliberately combat-focussed though, so 90% of your time is spent killing things and nabbing their loot.

      • lordcooper says:

        I guess what I’m really asking is, is there any point in killing and looting beyond being able to kill and loot bigger and better things?

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          FhnuZoag says:

          You can’t really talk to the monsters, no. But the class system does dole out a lot of interesting skills, so there’s a sense where you are buying more flexibility and interesting new stuff instead of just bigger numbers. The levels are quite varied too.

          There is a plot, but it’s not much more than an excuse to kill stuff and get stuff.

          • lordcooper says:

            Ah fair enough. I guess I’ll give it a bash after a little more CK2 :)

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      FhnuZoag says:

      ToME does a lot of new and interesting things. Off the top of my head:

      – Optional multiple lives system.
      – Auto-explore for boring levels that you just want to get through
      – No potions, instead you can equip restorative runes to a fixed number of slots, which work on a cooldown system. This is actually really neat – it means you can’t just plough through an encounter with enough potions, you have to instead keep track of whether your regeneration is enough to keep you alive, whether it’s better to pop that curative spell now or later, and whether you can buy some time for your abilities to reset with some kind of delaying/disabling attack or running away.
      – Chronomancy that is *actually time travel*.
      – Infinite pseudo-inventory for picked up items. (Think of the Torchlight pet inventory system, but infinite in size)
      – Class based skill system, that you can expand by buying skills even from other classes (assuming you have done a sidequest to unlock them)
      – Summons system with an ability to switch character control with your summons in many cases
      – Toggles for self buff abilities instead of having to recast them each time.

      • malkav11 says:

        In general there are no consumable items in ToME. Potions are replaced by infusions, scrolls by runes (both of which slot into permanent slots on your character, operate on cooldowns, and typically scale based on your stats). Wands and rods and such have per item pools of power that they consume in some quantity to power activated abilities, and this power pool regenerates over time. (They also often put all similar items on cooldown.) The especial beauty of this system is that it means any other piece of equipment can also have an activated ability.

        • squidlarkin says:

          That’s really strange to hear. To my mind one of the defining features of a roguelike, even roguelike-likes like Shiren the Wanderer, Zaga-33 and Binding of Isaac, is the careful war of attrition involved in managing consumables. So TOME must really be going for a different sort of experience.

          • malkav11 says:

            ToME doesn’t have the sort of long haul attrition of resources, or careful hoarding of rare one-shot save-your-ass items, that many roguelikes do. But the nonconsumable versions it uses mostly operate on fairly long cooldowns and depending on the power may make other powers of the type cooldown slower, -set- other powers of the same type to cooldown, or not recharge power fast enough to be used more than a couple of times in most combats. And you have limited slots for these abilities. So it’s more of a long term weighing of what’s most useful to keep available and short term tactical decision-making. I think it’s pretty spiffy.

  16. Runciter says:

    This gentleman has made many TOME videos, especially geared towards beginners.

    The first ones were done several versions before 1.0 but the advice is still applicable.

  17. Noburu says:

    Cant wait to try it, but apparently the site is overwhelmed right now. It takes forever to load and then once I get the DL going it caps out at 20 odd something Kbps. Will check back later.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      Heh, I think RPS need to warn developers that they’re about to nuke their site with an article :)

  18. Felixader says:

    Hm. For some reason the game doesn’t work for me. I always end up getting a a white or black screen after the initial picture with a mage in a mine and a loading bar stopping 81 something percent.

  19. Corporate Dog says:

    It’s definitely my go-to roguelike. In its more recent iterations, I’ve found that the RPG ruleset even resembles a turn-based ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ on steroids if that appeals to any of you.

    Adam mentioned that TOME is begging for modules, and that’s not just a poetic choice of words… it actually IS begging for modules, via a contest:

    link to

    • AIAndy says:

      Yeah, ToME is somewhat of a crossover of roguelike mechanics with traditional turn-based RPGs. And the class skills are extremely varied and usually there are several ways to built a character.

  20. Maldomel says:

    Will download right away.

  21. JD Ogre says:

    ” It’s also free”

    Actually, it’s not free. There are locked features for those who don’t pay up. People who pay up get custom character tiles, a cross-character stash (the “Item Vault”; its size is 1 slot per 2€ paid), “Exploration Mode” (infinite lives mode for those who just want the story), and the Stone Warden class (exclusive to Dwarves, an Arcane/Nature melee class that dual wields shields).

    • malkav11 says:

      Actually, it is free, with a couple of perks if you are generous enough to donate. There is no charge to download or play the game, and the game is not designed around any of the features you list. The custom tiles are purely cosmetic (and it’s not a multiplayer game). The exploration mode is not meant for serious play and you don’t get the “real” version of achievements with it on. I’ve never yet had a reason to use the item vault (and I don’t even know how you access it, to be honest). And the Stone Warden is one of approximately 20-some classes, exploring each of which would take hundreds of hours. It’s admittedly much more significant than the other donator features, but all donators are getting is early (possibly buggy) access – the plan is that the Stone Warden will be put into the regular game after a time and a new donator class will be made available, etc.

  22. Githian says:

    I recently discovered roguelikes when I played Z.H.P. on PSP (yeah I know, probably roguelike “veterans” hate it) and I’m always interested in trying new ones. So bring forth 2013, the year of Roguelikes!
    Right now I’m trying this game and it looks nice. If anything, the customization is kinda overwhelming, but that’s a plus in my book.

    Also, first comment on RPS. Woo.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    How many Rogues would a Rogue-like like if a Rogue-like-like liked Rogues?

  24. Freddybear says:

    I dabbled in ToME 4 a while back. Almost made it through with a dwarf fighter once. I even dabbled in the LUA code a bit, and submitted a change to the maze generator. But like all games which I like, I got bored and went off to play other games for a while. It’ll be interesting to see where Darkgod has taken his tale since I saw it last.

  25. DarkGod says:

    A download mirror has been setup to fasten downloads; have fun ! :)

  26. DarkGod says:

    And if you think the game is worthy, you can push it on steam greenlight BTW link to

  27. iGark says:

    My personal problem with roguelikes is that I can play them, and I enjoy them, and then I die and have no idea about what to do to fix it on my next life. It’s not like first person shooters where you can (depending on the quality of the FPS) restructure the order in which you kill enemies or just be better, or RPGs where you can respec or grind more, or strategy games where you know not do whatever it is you just did. I’m just left confused.

    My only real experience with this is Dungeons of Dredmor, however, and Torchlight in which I never died unless I tried to fight things above my skill level.

    • DarrenGrey says:

      You’ve maybe played the wrong roguelikes then :) ToME lets you respec within limits, and usually it’s clear that you should have healed or ran away earlier. Running away is the most powerful mechanic in roguelikes ;)

  28. MadTinkerer says:

    ” It’s OK to admit that you’ve avoided them in the past because they look intimidating/crappy.”

    HERESY!!!!! Text is pure! Text is sacred! Text is all we need to communicate, so why waste cycles on sprites and polygons and…. eccchhhh…. windows? Who needs non-symbolic graphics, I ask you: who?

    If you do, please reply without using text.

  29. eddparsons says:

    Yay, new players!

    Glad to see ToME getting some RPS love.

    I’ve been playing for a year and am still completely addicted.

    Easily my Game of 2012.

  30. Gothnak says:

    ToMe was great when it was still Middle Earth and one of the modes was to play as a ghost. In that mode, you started at the BOTTOM of the most difficult dungeon and had to get out. If you picked an alchemist you also got one potion of Detonations, enough to kill a single mature dragon.

    With this in mind, the game degenrated into a hilarious clinb up and down stairs until you are in a room with an item that you can scoot across to and back without dying. Of course, every item at that level was insanely powerful, so reasonably quickly you’d kill a dragon and be powerful enough to face other creatures. Invariably you’d get overconfident, head 6 squares away to grab that interesting looking ring, and get killed by an Umber Hulk charging through a wall.

    I think the best i managed was 6 levels above the starting level, getting across a room to another set of stairs was a rare event.

  31. namad says:

    great article, except that TOME is not new.

  32. TheIronSky says:

    “Download it now.”

    Downloaded it years ago. It is great, though. I love a good roguelike, and I’ve probably put more time into this game than Binding of Isaac (which I now want to play).

  33. Eschatos says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the graphics for Tome are ugly as fuck? I’d rather have ascii style characters than what they got right now.

  34. Inzimus says:

    tried it out a couple of times, but nothing that will draw my attention away from UnRealWorld or Dwarf Fortress Adventure mode for that matter…

  35. fuakinjuicy says:

    TOME is a bad entry point into roguelikes for new people. While yes, it does feature graphics and colors, it’s also way more hopelessly convoluted, with big pointlessly inflated numbers that appeal to the spreadsheet crowd. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is probably a better suggestion for new roguelike players (and old RL players, come to think of it). It also just so happens to probably have the best tileset

    • fuakinjuicy says:

      TOME is basically the japanese RPG of roguelikes. And the fact that you have to run through the game countless times to unlock all classes (or just use a simple config change like most normal people) is pretty dumb

      • malkav11 says:

        Elona, or the Mystery Dungeon series of commercial roguelikes, would be the JRPG of roguelikes. And while I don’t want to disparage Crawl – I’ve spent little time with it and never managed to get anywhere meaningful in that time – I don’t think it’s any more suitable for a complete roguelike novice than ToME. It also has a bewildering array of systems, a UI I think is significantly less intuitive (though ToME’s is admittedly not terrifically intuitive either), and a much steeper learning curve – if nothing else, ToME starts you out with multiple defensive powers and on the default adventurer mode has a limited number of extra lives. That said, Crawl is certainly much closer to the classical roguelike gameplay with modern enhancements.

        A novice would probably be better off with a simpler, more streamlined game like DoomRL or a commercial roguelike. Unless of course they want to dive right into what makes the genre special, in which case, by all means, try ToME, Crawl, etc.

        On the unlock system: ToME has a decent range of class and race variety up front, but it deliberately starts you with the more straightforward options and then provides more and more complex and weird character options as you progress deeper into the game and can thus presumably handle yourself better. You could theoretically unlock almost everything in one, maybe two playthroughs tops if you were thorough and stayed alive. You’re just probably not going to manage that the first time around. If you don’t like the whole concept of unlocks, I suppose it could be problematic, but that’s why you can edit a config file and unlock everything. Me, I think it lends spice and makes it feel like I’ve made progress even if I die stupidly before the endgame.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      TOME is the best possible roguelike to introduce new players to. Those “inflated numbers” are what people want in games. TOME is fast-paced, with tons of content to find. It has achievements. It tracks your stats.

      In short, it has all the modern features that people who poo-poo roguelikes are always whining about.

  36. RvLeshrac says:





    Are you donating yet?