Posts Tagged ‘Roguelike’

How Unexplored generates great roguelike dungeons

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Unexplored [Steam page].

“Dungeon crawlers are very much the hero’s journey, where you start off as a nobody and end up as the big hero,” says Joris Dormans, creator of realtime dungeon crawler Unexplored. “Or at least that’s the plan.”

Unexplored creates great hero’s journeys. As Adam said in his Wot I Think, it consistently generates some of the best ever roguelike dungeons. They often feel like they’ve been laid out by hand, organic caverns giving way to rooms and corridors, each space sprinkled with foliage and architectural details, as well as puzzles, traps and obstacles to cross. And the thing that makes them feel so satisfying to crawl is something that calls back to the fundamentals of level design, and even architecture in general:

THE MECHANIC: Cyclic design Read the rest of this entry »

Vamp Roguelike Golden Krone Hotel Now In Early Access

Golden Krone Hotel [official site] is a traditional turn-based top-down roguelike in which you play as a vampire hunter. And then, because fighting monsters tends to turn one into a monster, you play as a vampire. But you can switch back to non-vampire mode if you play your cards right, and might even find other forms to inhabit. I played before release and had a splendid time, particularly enjoying the way that sunlight moves across rooms, frying vampires and providing protection for the still-living.

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Golden Krone Hotel Is A Vampire-Slaying Roguelike

If I fancy a session of old-fashioned honest-to-goodness roguelikin’, I usually turn to one of the pillars of the genre, games that have been around forever and a day. I’m talking Ancient Domains of Mystery, Nethack, Dungeon Crawl, Angband. I’m always looking for something fresh to add to the circulation though and Golden Krone Hotel [official site] is a definite contender.

You’re working your way through the wings and floors of a hotel, seeking a master vampire. Along the way you fight all manner of undead creatures and other creeps, and can even turn into a vampire or werewolf yourself. There are potions to identify, equipment upgrades to collect and spells to learn, but perhaps the most notable feature is the modelling of lightbeams shining through windows and a day/night cycle. Vampires burn in the sun, you see. Read the rest of this entry »

Roguelike, Roguelikelike, Roguelikelikelike, Or Rogue?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been on the cutting edge of the ludic lexicon since 1873. We coined ‘Minecraftbut‘, ‘Zachlike‘, ‘Uppie‘, and more ’em ups than is reasonable. We were there on the front lines, staring at trees, when ‘walking simulator‘ was seized as positive. And it’s only mostly for funsies that we/I distinguish between Roguelikes, roguelikes, and roguelikelikes.

Everyone calls their game a ‘roguelike’ lately, it seems sometimes. If you’re a developer concerned about the serious harm your flippancy may be doing, relax! Simply turn to Ben Porter’s tool How Roguelike is your game? and discover whether you’ve made a Roguelike, a Roguelikelike, a Roguelikelikelike, Roguelikelikelikelike, or just plain Rogue.

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Mecha Roguelike: GearHead Updated

GearHead [official site] is a fantastic, free roguelike in which you can build and customise giant robots, and then pilot them through random missions that fit together to form a plot with a proper beginning, middle and end. I first played it over a decade ago and have always assumed we’d covered it at some point in our illustrious history. Not so.

Now is the perfect time for some coverage though because creator Joseph Hewitt has just released an update after a nine year hiatus. I may as well admit that I’m in no position to analyse the changes, not having played the game for years (I’d forgotten there was a more spacey sequel; the original is superior) but I’m excited to jump back in.

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The Twelve Years Of Nethack: Version 3.6.0 Out Now

How many games that you’re playing today are likely to be on your hard drive twelve years from now? I’m not going to pretend that I’ve kept a copy of Nethack [official site] installed at all times for the last twelve years but I did reinstall as soon as I saw the news this morning. That’s the news that the venerable roguelike, which has been in development for almost thirty years, received its first update for more than a decade yesterday. Excitingly, this may be the start of a new development cycle, with frequent updates.

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Free Broguelike: Forays Into Norrendrin

Forays Into Norrendrin [official site] is a streamlined roguelike dungeon crawler, perfect to fit between the gobbets of work on your desktop, or long dress-up sessions out in the Commonwealth. It’s similar to RPS favourite Brogue in that it doesn’t use elaborate tilesets to communicate the particular sights, sounds and stenches of its dungeons, relying instead on ASCII figures and lovely snippets of flavour text. It stands out from the pack thanks to heavy use of status effects and exhaustion – it’s free.

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A Free, Short Roguelike: The Ground Gives Way

The developer of The Ground Gives Way [official site] describes the game as “a coffeebreak roguelike with a lot of stuff”. Having only started playing this morning, when the latest release came to my attention, I can’t vouch for the amount of stuff but I have been enjoying this clever ASCII dungeon crawler. The setup is as simple as the title suggests – you’re walking around minding your own business when the ground falls away and you land on your backside in a subterranean cavern system. There are monsters, there are loads of items to collect and there’s a hefty tutorial to teach you the rules. It’s free.

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Elona+ Is A Wild And Weird Roguelike

In Elona+ [official site], your backpack can crush you to death. In most games, the worst that is likely to happen if you’re overburdened is a reduction in your speed but in this excessively strange Japanese roguelike, the weight will drain your health or cause you to trip, fall and break your face open as you try to navigate some stairs. It’s a game in which you can make money by busking with a grand piano but if you’re not particularly talented, don’t be surprised if your audience stones you to death.

Yes, you should be playing Elona+ and what better time than now? Version 1.49 and the relevant English translation have just been released.

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Roguelike Mega Collection Torrent Has 700+ Free Games

Free games are great and roguelikes are the best of all games, so a torrent containing more than 700 of the blighters is a lovely thing to discover on a Thursday morning. The collection is the work of ‘foamed’, a Reddit moderator and roguelike curator, and it’s more than a big pile o’ fun. As well as containing some of the greatest games ever made, this is an important archive – there are variants and minor games included that are no longer available elsewhere, and as long as there are seeders, any future disappearances will be protected until our computers turn to dust.

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Premature Evaluation: Caves of Qud

We’re at a weird place in videogames - and possibly in culture in general - where certain tropes have ingrained themselves around the notion of mutation which diametrically misrepresent how it works. I’m not saying that’s entirely a bad thing - Caves of Qud would be a lesser game if it didn’t indulge the fantasy of being able to sprout multiple legs and quills, while farting out a cloud of sleeping gas. Yet it’s peculiar that we have seized upon and so widely propagated such a fanciful interpretation of a process that, when considered as part of evolutionary adaptation, is defined by its sloth, incrementality and a total lack of governing agency.

Each week Marsh Davies sniffs out advantageous evolutions among the many horrendous deformities of Early Access, and comes back with any stories he can find and/or succumbs to a gruesome fate in a Darwinian dead-end. This week, every which way he turns is a genetic cul-de-sac in Caves of Qud [Steam page], an uncompromisingly old-school Rogue-like set in a doggedly lo-fi post-apocalyptic sci-fantasy world, heavy on simulation and mutation both.

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Roguelove: Cogmind Takes Rogue To Space

It’s weird to think now that Rogue was one of those special treats I would get to play on my grandparents’ 386. Rogue, Prince of Persia and Alley Cat. All fantastic. Now, with Cogmind [official site], I’m getting flashbacks to those days, but everything is green and there are guns. Cogmind looks similar to the original Rogue – a Roguelike, you might say – but it’s got a bunch of tricks up its sleeve, such as a Captain Forever-style system for re-building yourself with the parts dropped by destroyed enemies.

It’s just launched a public alpha, which you can purchase if you like the look of the trailer below.

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Fishy Horror And Noir Mysteries: 7 Day Roguelikes

this is the primordial creek-soup in which all of my fears coalesce into the form of a thundering great carp

The Seven Day Roguelike Challenge has been a reliable source of weird and wonderful experiments for years. This year’s event has now come to an end and while entries often receive extra polish or fixes after the deadline has elapsed, you can read about and download the games right now. I’ve only played a handful but will check back when the voting results are in. For now, I’ve picked out two games that represent the breadth of entries well. Creek Hero is a survival horror game that plays out like a handsome roguelike adaptation of Spore’s first stage, and NoirRL is a semi-scripted ascii detective adventure.

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Likeable Roguelikelikes: Humble Roguelike Bundle

Given that one defining characteristic of Rogue, roguelikes, and roguelikelikes is that you can return to them over and over and enjoy a new experience each time, a whole bundle of them sounds like overkill. Well, that or a squillion hours of mirth for only a few quid.

The Humble Weekly Bundle: Roguelikes 2 launched last night with anywhere from three to six roguelikelikes depending on how much you fancy paying. They include the likes of Road Not Taken, Heavy Bullets, The Nightmare Cooperative, and A Wizard’s Lizard.

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Multiplayer Roguelikelike Crawl Unleashes Co-op Hydra

These wounds!

It’s a while since we covered the multiplayer roguelikelike Crawl but we’re no less enticed by the concept today. It’s still in Early Access but released its v0.3 update on Thursday.

In case, like me, your brain entered a dungeon last year and never came back, here’s a refresher: in Crawl you and one to three friends take turns controlling A Hero and do exploring, fighting, looting and levelling. You know, Hero Stuff. Meanwhile everyone who isn’t controlling A Hero is setting traps and using various monsters to try and bring the quest to a premature and preferably messy end. And in the game.

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Wot I Think: The Depths Of Tolagal

Dark Souls is the only other game that has made me think about shields quite as much as I have over the last two days. In most games, once the blasted things have been equipped they’ll merrily absorb damage until the end of time. Not here. Not in The Depths of Tolagal. Deceptively simple in appearance, Tolagal has some of the smartest turn-based tactical combat I’ve ever seen in a fantasy hack ’em up, and that alone makes it worthy for consideration as one of the great modern roguelikes.

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Doom And Demonology: Tales Of Maj’Eyal DLC

Tales Of Maj’Eyal (TOME) is a proper roguelike rather than a roguelite or roguelike-like. I have nothing against Diet Roguelike but we’re reaching the point at which the new FIFA might chuck in a perma-relegation mode and claim to have roguelike tendencies. The truth is, I’m chuffed that aspects of Rogue have infiltrated the wider world of gaming but sometimes I like to retreat back into the ADOM/Hack/SLASHEM bubble so that I can send some serious time getting my ASCII on. TOME has tile graphics rather than venerable ASCII but it’s one of the modern giants of the genre, capable of absorbing entire weekends of my life. Today, it expands.

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Family Misfortunes: Children Of Morta

Children of Morta is attractive in a way that few games manage to be. You might think it’s going to be a retro pixel art thing at first but then you see the animations, you see how every single one is packed with more frames than an entire NES cartridge. There’s hardly any information about what the game is on the official site but it was described to me as a ‘narrative-based roguelike’. As well as looking the part, it appears to have a family-based class system, nifty hacking and slashing, and rad birthday parties, complete with cake and jiving. All of that is present and correct in the video below.

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Desert Island Risks: Wayward

Survival and crafting are strongly linked concepts in gaming. Here in the real world, I survive by writing about toys (and the occasional art-toy), an onerous duty that is deemed worthy of financial reward. I use the dosh to buy chips and fizzy pop, and somehow that seems to be enough to keep my tiny engine running. Truth is, I’ve never crafted anything in my life – I had to phone a friend to help me out last time I bought a piece of furniture from Ikea. If I found myself on a desert island, like the player character in turn-based survival sim Wayward, I’d walk around looking for a Wifi hotspot until the landcrabs ate me. The game is free, in beta and a damn fine example of the type.

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