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Roguelove: ADOM Is Now Available On Steam

Ancient Domains Of Mystery (ADOM) [official site] is one of the first things I install on any computer I own or borrow. That’s been the case since I first discovered the game around twenty years ago. Created by Thomas Biskup, ADOM is one of the great traditional roguelikes, a combination of randomised dungeon crawling and a hand-crafted overworld. There are scripted sidequests as well as a Big Plot to follow, and there are oodles of character combinations.

It’s now available on Steam for the first time, in enhanced form. I roguelove it.

The Steam version costs £10.00 (with a 10% launch discount ’til November 23rd), which seems like a bargain to me given that I’ve been playing the game for two decades without paying a penny. You can still download the free version but here’s what you’ll get with the new release:

“With an overhaul of the graphics, music, new playable races and classes, over 400 monsters, tens of thousands of items, crafting, magic, religion, corruption, randomized dungeons and so much more, this reimagined version is one of the most in-depth roguelikes on the planet.”

The standard tileset included is fantastic – clear, uncluttered and with plenty of distinct graphics for monsters and items. The ASCII mode is included as well for those who prefer the old ways.

There’s also a meaty tutorial, although anyone who is new to traditional roguelikes may find it a little intimidating. A lot of the tips that pop up go into more detail than seems strictly necessary, informing the player about keybindings they won’t necessarily need to learn thanks to the smart graphical interface. There are a lot of inputs in ADOM but the basics are all right there on the screen – right click on an empty space, enemy, object, door or trap and a list of possible actions will appear. Left click to select one. If you’re hungry, the prompt that appears at the top left of the screen can be clicked to take you straight to your available food supplies.

It’s a wonderful game. Perhaps because I know it so well, I find the opening stages a little too easy (although maybe that’s always been the case?), but the difficulty ramps up fairly quickly. There are so many features I forget about as I’m pottering about in the early stages – the Conway’s Game of Life herb-planting, the multiple endings and the chaotic corruption of player characters, the deity system. It’s such a rich game. And Biskup has no intention of stopping now that ADOM has arrived on Steam.

“ADOM on Steam will take ADOM gameplay to the next level by introducing the following features (among others) in the next couple of months:

70+ achievements,
game customization features (e.g. turning corruption off, increasing treasure rates adjusting monster lethality),
ghost creation and exchange between players – be haunted by dead player characters and try to win their treasures,
story mode – save and reload your games,
exploration mode – use a wand of wishes to discover completely new sides of the game,
challenge mode – try to score highest under complex conditions in weekly challenge games,
shared and global highscores (TBD),
point-based character generation (TBD),
star sign selection (TBD),
cloud bases save files and so much more (TBD).”

There were some issue at launch, including a lack of offline play, which was later confirmed to be an issue with the transition from closed beta to full release. I’m happy as a pig in +1 muck with this new version of one of my favourites. Here’s a full list of what the free version contains in comparison to this new release, and you can find that free version here, with downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Adam Smith

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