A Crypt-Crawling Tactical Roguelike: Ananias

Ananias [official site] is a traditional dungeoncrawling roguelike with a streamlined interface. No need to consult a text file or help menu that alarmingly reveals a list of inputs that differentiate between (s)ip, (S)wallow and (q)uaff (‘Q’ is quit), everything can be controlled with a click of the mouse. It’s simplified but it isn’t simple, and the latest update adds new tactical options to bring the best out of the turn-based combat. It’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux (also Android). You can download for free, play in your browser or pay what you like through Itch.

I can just about accept the intro to that trailer because the crypt door opening reminds me of the beginning of Dungeon Master. And the rest of the trailer gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect – tile-based tactical combat and exploration.

Ananias and I hadn’t encountered one another until this morning, when I saw news of the most recent update. The combination of improved pet management and options for combat stances sparked my interest and half an hour later, I decided to stop playing and start writing. There’s no headline feature to highlight, but Ananias is an approachable and tactically interesting dungeon crawler.

The ‘pay what you like’ version contains four classes, while the Fellowship edition (purchased through the same Itch page by paying at least $4.99) unlocks four ‘legendary’ classes. One of them appears to be a frog sage. Use this information wisely.

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  1. Paladin says:

    In France we’ll probably have a hard time taking the game seriously. It sounds like a cross-breed between “ananas” (the French for pineapple) and Banania, a popular dehydrated cocoa/banana drink mostly famous for the racism of its box covers.

  2. Zanchito says:

    Also available for Android pocket computers. I’m finding roguelikes are excellent while in transit from/to work.

    • Zanchito says:

      Damn this lack of edit button.

    • tanith says:

      I dunno. Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup is one of the most difficult games I’ve actually played and I couldn’t imagine playing it on a mobile device due to the large number of keys that you need to play it.

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        Kyzrati says:

        Ananias was designed specifically for mobile, though, as are several other modern takes on the genre, so it works quite well in that medium.

        On the traditional side, there’s a new NetHack remake with absolutely amazing mobile UI, Pathos, which shows what can be done with enough focus on that part of development (certainly not a huge focus in the genre’s early years!). And some other popular “command-heavy” roguelikes are following suite, though aren’t yet as far along in terms of a highly player-friendly UI.

      • Darloth says:

        DCSS has a very reasonable port/version on Android, but it does suffer a fair bit from an unoptimized interface. It can certainly be played, but doing so is fiddly, and you keep needing to bring up the software keyboard for unusual commands and then get rid of it again to see the screen. If you have a bluetooth keyboard or something though it could work fine.

        Ananias was very smooth on Android last time I tried it, but the combat seemed a little simplistic, so I’m very glad to hear of this update and I’ll try it again.

        Other things that work well on Android are Pixel Dungeon (or any of its many forks, most of which add some feature or another or are just less ridiculously hard) and Wazhack.