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Actual Roguelike Alert: Ancient Domains Of Mystery

The purity of the term ‘roguelike’ has been debased and diluted. When I tell you that a game is a ‘roguelike’ you might expect to see platforming, first-person procedural dungeons or, I don’t know, a kart racing game with a cast of death-staring cartoon characters. It’s time to start a ‘Reclaim Roguelike’ campaign and Ancient Domains Of Mystery’s revival is a superb catalyst. The game never really went away but a development hiatus (2003-12) almost as long as Duke Nukem Forever’s actual development cycle (1926-2011) kept it out of the newsrooms for a good while. A successful crowdfunding campaign allowed creator and curator Thomas Biskup to return to development and the game is now riding high on Steam Greenlight and looking better than ever.

Biskup is one of the key figures in roguelike development, having maintained and updated ADOM for almost a decade before pausing for breath. The updated game will include the following, among other things:

After going through Greenlight and being launched on Steam ADOM will be the single most challenging and detailed roguelike game on the Steam platform – all thanks to almost 20 years of open development. Team ADOM intends to build upon this for many years to come: The Steam integration e.g. will enhance the ADOM community experience with both standard gameplay features like shared highscores and achievements as well as with new special features exchanging ghosts between games, cooperative modes for fighting Chaos and more.

The game also has official tile graphics for the first time, which are lovely and clean, as well as the traditional ASCII visuals. With a quest line that’s much more fleshed out than the usual ‘Fetch the Amulet’, ADOM is a more structured alternative to the likes of Nethack, Angband and Dungeon Crawl. The corruption mechanic and overworld are strong and add a unique flavour, but there are also random dungeons, piles of loot and monsters aplenty.

Look to the official site for the latest builds and join the Reclaim Roguelike Campaign today. I’ve had this game installed on various hard drives for more than half of my life. I am old. It is good.

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