Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You hear combat in the distance.
You feel a sense of loss.
You hear something die in combat.
Brogue is a freeware roguelike with attractive ASCII graphics, intuitive mouse controls, and monkeys who will steal your heart and your portions.
Why are you still here?
Oh, I can go on. I love how it looks. ASCII graphics are normally plain even if they’re readable, but Brogue simulates gases and liquids in a way that fills your screen with colour and makes each level of its procedural dungeon come alive.
I can say more. I love its unidentified potions and scrolls. They’re common features in traditional roguelikes, but here their effects are more fun than fatal. Your allies will turn into enemies and vice versa, the ground beneath you will collapse and send you tumbling downward, the entire map will be revealed in a shimmering light, high level enemies of all kinds will be spawned in every corner. These are complications, but the effects are beneficial or funny often enough to make a mysterious swig often too delicious to pass up.
I could do this all day. I love its mouse controls, which sit as an option alongside keyboard shortcuts. The advantage of the mouse is that you get descriptions of everything as you hover over and click on objects in the scene, meaning there’s never any need to be stymied by an as yet unseen glyph.
I can’t stop. I love its monkeys, the game’s mischief makers. You’ll find them scurrying around on early levels, but they’re difficult to kill because by the time they’ve stepped within melee range, they’ve probably already nabbed something from your pockets and run away again. Best to avoid them where possible, unless you come across one being held prisoner in a cage by some industrious kobolds. Wipe out the captors, open the cage, and the monkey may become your sidekick – a faithful ally who’ll fight by your side, dutifully leap off cliffs to keep pace with you and, yes, tragically perish in your defence. I feel a sense of loss.
Play it play it play it.