Posts Tagged ‘Roguelike’

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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Freeware Garden: Roguelight

RogueLIGHT. Not rogue-like. Sheesh...

Seems to me that many readers enjoyed the demanding action of hets, so here’s another tough action-platformer. Roguelight, like everything else in this world, is sort of a rogue-like-like too. In a way. It definitely takes place in 25 levels of procedurally generated dungeons, anyway.

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Diary: Exploring The Watery Depths Of Sub Commander

05:56: NEW ORDERS X LOCATE AND SINK SS Vancouver X TARGET SPOTTED AT 25S 160E

Sub Commander is a free roguelike submarine sim. I first learned about it from Tim’s Flare Path write up of the game, and since then I’ve been spending occasional afternoons sending crew upon crew to their watery demise at the bottom of the murky depths. Playing it this afternoon has proven the perfect antidote to the ramp-up of E3 bombast, and so I thought I’d talk you through my dynamically-generated mission to take out the SS Vancouver.

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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.

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Roguelike-like FPS Rogue Shooter Blasts Out With A Demo

Revolvers!

The roguelike-like spirit has meandered across video games history for a few years now, turning old things new with a little roguelike RPG kick, and now it’s hit the unusual host of wonky ’90s shareware FPSs. Rogue Shooter: The FPS Roguelike launched last Friday, looking and sounding like something from the dark corners of a 1996 cover disc but pleasing with procedural generation and oodles of items and stats crafting and all that.

A hearty launch discount brings it down to £3.49 on Steam and a demo’s that-a-way too.

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Spike The Earth: KeeperRL Alpha

Every morning, my inbox contains at least one email pointing in the direction of a less complicated and/or complex Dwarf Fortress. There was a time when I believed in the dream of an approachable Dwarf Fortress with a friendly interface but I’m starting to think that even the slightest simplification invalidates the comparison. Dwarf Fortress is complexity, of simulation and control, and the games that do have something in common with it often have far more in common with more traditional management sims or roguelike adventures. KeeperRL, sensibly and pleasingly, plays more like top-down Dungeon Keeper than Dwarf Fortress with the edges smoothed and the corners cut. The alpha is available and crowdfunding has begun.

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Buddy Systems: The Nightmare Cooperative

it's top-down but the screenshot makes it look like a platform game. Treacherous screenshot.

During an average weekday, I play approximately 14 prototypes or demos, found while casting my Monocle of Sauron across Twitter, or searching IndieDB and the TIGforums. Most days, I end up bookmarking one or two projects and check back on them at a later date. Every now and then, faced with a deluge of AAA press releases for BB games, I decide to share a prototype instead, no matter how early in development it might be.

The Nightmare Cooperative caught my eye because it has the second best name for a game ever, being a description of this place on a Friday night when I want to make dinner and they’re all out of fresh veg. It’s also a single player team-based roguelike puzzler that shows great promise.

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I Very Much Roguelike The Humble Weekly Bundle

While the main Humble Bundle is diverting itself from gaming with a really quite splendid collection of audiobooks, it seems to have snuck out one of the best collections of games so far in its Weekly Bundle. Rather than showcasing games from one studio, this week it’s a collection of Roguelikes. (Everyone who wants to have a fight about the terminology, please do so here.) That’s Paranautical Activity, Dungeons Of Dredmor Complete, Hack Slash Loot, The Binding Of Isaac + DLC, Teleglitch Die More Edition, and Sword Of The Stars: The Pit Gold. Cor.

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Wot I Think: Tales Of Maj’Eyal

TOME is a roguelike. It’s not a roguelikelike or a roguelite. It’s not a platform game with permadeath and procedural bits and pieces. It’s a top-down, tile-based RPG, with a variety of races and classes to master, and a mean streak wider than Rushmore Jefferson’s nostrils. You won’t have to squint at ASCII imagery or memorise a hundred key bindings to play it either – TOME has integrated tile graphics and a dapper interface. Here’s wot I think.

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Hone Your Lovecraft: Eldritch Creator Spills Sales Figures

A face you can trust.

It’s sometimes hard to gauge from the outside exactly how successful an indie game has been, so I’m always interested when developers release figures. David Pittman, creator of Lovecraftian first-person roguelike Eldritch, has done just that. In a post-mortem posted on his blog, the former 2K Marin developer outlined the steps he took in leaving his old job, building the game, and was even kind enough to include some graphs.
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Catacomb Kids Will Win You Over Within 55 Seconds

Here are my thoughts during the first 55 seconds of the Catacomb Kids video:

“Looks nice, but sure looks like yet another pixel roguelike.”
“He’s got a really decent jump. That’s neat.”
“Wait, distractions? There’s more happening here.”
“Oh. Oooohhhh. Oh, okay, yeah, I’m posting about this.

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Interview: Ultima Ratio Regum, A Generated 4X Roguelike

Even the menu image is generated each time.

Ultima Ratio Regum is a “a semi-roguelike game inspired by Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco, Neal Stephenson, Shadow of the Colossus, Europa Universalis and Civilization.”

Ultima Ratio Regum so far procedurally generates a solar system, a planet and its continents, ziggurats, the riddles and block-pushing puzzles that allow you to explore those ziggurats, and the positions of the vines covering the blocks you’re pushing. It’s beautiful.

Ultima Ratio Regum is one of a few ambitious, long-term projects which I think represent the most exciting things about indie game development, about PC games, and about what technology can do for the games of tomorrow. I emailed Mark Johnson, the game’s solo developer, to talk about all of the above.
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Always Bet On Spelunky Death Roulette

In Spelunky we trust.

First there was Salty Bet, the 24/7 Twitch stream where AI-controlled fighting game characters do battle with one another in front of an audience who can bet on the winner with fake money. Now there is Spelunky Death Roulette, a similar wrapper for a group of Twitch streams where viewers can use fake money to bet on how they think the player will die.
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Wot I Think: Bionic Dues

Not dudes, dues. Think about it. But not for long.

Five minutes of Bionic Dues was almost enough. I was attracted by turn-based tactical mech combat but swiftly repelled by confusion and comedy voiceovers. I quit. Later, just before bed, I decided to try again, reasoning that while Arcen may not be on a winning streak, their games are usually more interesting than this one had seemed. I never did make it to bed that night. Here’s wot I think.

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Hands On: Eldritch

Not enough games feature librarians as central characters.

As Nathan mentioned this morning, Eldritch is from the hands of David and Kyle Pittman, formerly of BioShock 2 and Borderlands fame. But hey, maybe all they did was make those games crash? We don’t know! So I’ve taken a look at Eldritch to see if their pedigree counts for anything… Oh, it does. It’s really rather good. They probably didn’t make those games crash.

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If Girl Talk Made Games: DoomRL And GMDoom

Together at last!
I have two, TWO, things about Doom to show you. This is like being an archaeologist in the jungle and discovering a skellington, but the skellington’s heart is still beating and then, oh noes, there’s a ball chasing me and I’ve dropped my hat and give me back my whip Alfred Molina! This Doom reporting is tough work. No wonder all the journalists from that period are scarred and flinch whenever they hear the game’s name. For the brave, there are two Doom mashups that you should be excited about.
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Way Down In The Hole: Sword Of The Stars – The Pit

Roguelikes! Everybody worth their salt is making a roguelike this week but the cheeky chaps at Kerberos jumped the gun somewhat and started work on their Sword of the Stars spin-off ages ago. The Pit is out now and can be purchased from GamersGate for £7.99 or through Steam for £6.29. There is also a demo, which I’ve dabbled with. It’s from the Dredmor School of Accessible Roguery, with chunky cartoonish graphics and what I think is a sense of humour. My roguelibrary has a sci-fi gap in it so I’m willing to give the lasers and spacestations a fair shake, but I’ll most likely end up craving something more complex.

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ASCII And Ye Shall Receive: 7 Day Roguelikes

If you play as many roguelikes as I do, peoples’ email addresses begin to look like a vulnerable hero trapped in a corridor and surrounded by terrifying monsters. These most complex and cruel of dungeon crawlers may be destroying my ability to communicate electronically, particularly with anyone going by the name ‘DoUgLAS’, but my desire for them cannot be satiated. In the coming days, there will be an influx of new roguelikes, springing from the creative cauldron of the 7 Day Roguelike Challenge. Running from the 9th to the 17th of this month, it’s a fairly self-explanatory event. Make a roguelike in 168 hours or die trying do what I do and wait ’til other people have done the hard work, then just play them.

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