Posts Tagged ‘Roguelike’

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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Anti-Skyrim: Iron Age Roguelike UnReal World Goes Free

me, yesterday

This unfortunately-named roguelike (it’s never wise to call your game something that sounds like a 1990s Epic fansite) had a brief mention from Adam back in 2011. This scares me because Adam’s still the new boy in my mind, and now it seems he’s been working here for going on two years. I digress! UnReal World is an iron age-set roguelike about survival, and the difficulty thereof. Though lo-fi, it’s a brutal affair, with the frozen early Scandinavian Finnish environment as likely to do you in as wolves and roaming warriors are. It’s now gone donation-based, which means you can download and play it for as long as you like for free, hopefully then sending a few groats the developer’s way if you enjoy it.
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TOME Is Where The Heart Is: Happy New Roguelike

In 2013, I resolve to convince as many people as possible to play Roguelikes and I’ll be particularly targeting those people who have never delved into the devious dungeons of ‘@’ before. It’s OK to admit that you’ve avoided them in the past because they look intimidating/crappy. TOME could be the gateway game you’ve been waiting for. It’s a variant of one of the core roguelikes but when it reached version 1.0 recently something miraculous happened. Firstly, it actually reached 1.0, which is on a par with the parting of an ocean given how many of these wonder-works are fated to grow forever, passing from designer to designer. But more amazing still, TOME has neat graphics and a friendly interface. Download it immediately.

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Life And Limb Loss: Epilogue

I just lobbed a fire bomb at a couple of crossbow-wielding blobs but I got it all wrong and ended up on fire with one of my arms hanging off. Thankfully I’m a cartographer so I can quickly make my way back to a healing shrine using a safe path, essentially teleporting myself to the dungeon level’s spiritual hospital. Once there I found that there were too many enemies nearby, hunting me, so I couldn’t perform the ritual and heal myself. My arm dropped off. Doesn’t matter. It’ll grow back. I’ve been playing Epilogue, a roguelike that snubs orcs, dwarves and the like, and instead creates an ever stranger world, one that changes from level to level. There’s a very sizable demo here, and a video and more thoughts below.

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Not Too Distant Target: Sword Of Fargoal 2 Kickstarter

Roguelikes strike you down TWICE

I wasn’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye (not sure I ever was to be honest) when Jeff McCord started work on Gammaquest II, the game that would become one of the first roguelikes, Sword of Fargoal. Flash forward from the non-twinkling eyes of my parents to the dark hollows around my own ocular cavities. I am tired, I am drifting above the ocean in a metal tube, I should be sleeping but instead my eyes are glued to a tiny screen. I tap it, it shrugs and my avatar dies again. It is 2012, I am flying to London from Vancouver, and I am playing Sword of Fargoal on a phone. It occupies me for the entire journey. Now there’s a Kickstarter for a much-expanded sequel on Mac, Windows and Linux as well as iOS.

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All Systems Are Go: FTL Launches Today

FTL is out today! At long last. I reckon there’ll be a fair few people reading this who are about to receive their first Kickstarted game and that’s quite exciting, as is FTL itself. I’ve already shared some of my thoughts on the beta version but it does seem as if I’d been drinking vinegar that day. Skimming back through my words, I don’t seem quite as enthused as I actually am about the game’s finer points. When fires rage and crew members panic from room to room, FTL is a delicious brew, random elements combining to create a heady commingling of anxiety and roleplay. It’s a new form of ARPG. Available direct from the developers, on GOG and Steam shortly.

Space Skulk: Steam Marines

Here’s a wee free dram of roguelike-like for those who enjoy such things of an evening. Steam Marines is a squad-based, turn-based space-based game in which four tiny doomed people wander through a starstriding vessel and get killed by robots. Even though they do die a lot they’re not weaklings, able to smash through metal walls just for the sake of it. Covering entrances and exits seems to be the best way to advance, luring enemies into crossfire. Different weapons and speeds make it important to know each squad member, and there are movement units within each turn, which along with the multiple characters is reason for the extra ‘like’ on roguelike. Trailer with glorious music below.

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Winner Makes All: Mercury’s Roguelike Experiment

Mercury is “an experimental winner-generated arcade roguelike”, which immediately made it sound more exciting than “a massively anti-aliased cover-based shooter set in a warehouse on the moon” when I read about it first thing this morning. It’s a free game in the early stages of development, which, because of its brilliant conceptual twist, makes it the perfect time for the good people of RPS to enter its dungeons. Mercury is “winner-generated” because after each cycle of play, the two players with the most points are allowed to make new content for the game. So what started as a single class, single enemy, single item dungeon crawl is becoming more complex and chaotic as time goes on. Try the beta now or read more below.

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Impressions: FTL Beta

FTL didn’t just have a successful Kickstarter, it was stratospheric. Having asked for enough to finish off their roguelike spaceship sim, the two person development team received enough mony to build an actual interstellar vessel. Thankfully, they stuck around on Earth long enough to finish off the game, which should be out next month. In the meantime, here are my thoughts on the beta.

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Crazy Like A Roguelike: ElonaPlus

Resurrect all roguelikes, goes out the cry, even the ones that have not died. Fundraising for further ADOM development is already under way and Indie Games Magazine notice that Elona is now back as ElonaPlus. The team working on the game are new and they’re mostly fixing bugs, although there are apparently several new features. It’s hard to tell what’s new since Elona already contained pretty much everything, including Big Daddies, alien bodily infestation and the ability to have children. Glorious madness. The new version is here and there’s a useful Wiki too.

Roguelike Resurrection: ADOM Seeks Funding

The money is to make it into a 3D action adventure

ADOM is one of my favourite games, mostly because when people talk about how brilliant it is I sometimes think they’re talking about me. Then they say something like, “ADOM’s insistence on killing me with savage beasts is quite distressing”, and I’ve never killed anyone so it’s at that point I realise they’re talking about another more more murderous Adam, or Ancient Domains of Mystery. The latter is a glorious roguelike that I’ve been playing since I was fifteen. Development ceased in 2002, as creator Thomas Biskup presumably couldn’t devote his entire life to the game but, if he can Indiegoget enough money, he’ll return to development with a small team to help improve the game. Obligatory video below.

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Falling From The Top Of The World: TowerClimb

Spikes...why'd it have to be spikes?

Cheerfully described as a “roguelike platformer”, TowerClimb is like Spelunky in reverse, although that’s not to imply it’s a copycat. It’s a compliment, and also the quickest way I can think of to describe TowerClimb’s abundance of style and the smartness of its execution. Currently in beta, the game throws the amusingly named stalwarts (Walter is my greatest climber) at the bottom of a randomly generated tower, filled with dangers ranging from the disjointed architecture itself to giant rats and bats. Jumping, climbing, hanging, fleeing – all are integral but the main thing to be done is to die. Paying $5 now provides immediate beta access and a copy of the game once it’s deemed ready for a full release. A trailer and more thoughts lie broken on the cold, hard floor below.

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The Many Faces Of Roguelikes: Seven Days Of Rogue

The bloody sword is the player character. Seriously.

Preamble alert! The 7-day Roguelike Challenge is not new but this year it has drawn a record number of entries. More than seventy roguelikes were created, by individuals or teams, in the seven days allotted. Back in 2008, when the excellent Fatherhood was an entry, there were only nine successful submissions. I deeply regret that I don’t have time to play seventy roguelikes but that is the truth of it, so I am grateful to Andrew Doull of the stirring Roguelike Radio for providing me with a shortlist. It didn’t stop me playing a few others but it’s always good to know where to start.

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+1 Vs Infinity: Me Against The Mutants

To Infinity and beyond, as long as it isn't more than about 700 pixels wide

One of many 7-Day Roguelikes created for this year’s challenge (which Mr Smith will be presenting a more fulsome guide to in the not-too-distant), free browser-based game-ette Me Against The Mutants further complicates the risk of perma-death with the concept of ‘Infinities.’ Either you’re trapped in a repeating angular vortex or you need to create one of your own in order to get the drop on dangerous enemies. Drag a square and anything it will be replicated to fill the screen – including you.
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DoomRL Is Now 90% Handsomer

I'm psychically imprinting the Doom soundtrack into your head via this Alt-Text

Tiles are the most exciting thing you can say to a rogue-like likerer: it means that their most-liked of genres has been updated with graphics. DoomRL’s graphical update has been hanging around since 2007, when Spelunky maker Derek Yu promised he’d add them. Now, in 2012, the year of the Mayan apocalypse, he’s finally done it. I’m not saying that this update, which also brings with it some music and mouse options, is the harbinger, the beginning of the end of the age of man, the time we’ve all known was coming yet did nothing to prevent, the year everything changes and the world fights back. No, really, I’m not saying that at all: you’re twisting my words horribly. Stop it! What I am saying is DoomRL has had its biggest update. It’s free, it’s cute in a ‘aw look at him shotgun those flying eye-balls’ kinda way, and there’s a nice video of it below. I’ve no idea where you got that apocalypse stuff from, weirdo.

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Party Of Three: Mysterious Castle

the dwarf is strangely unenthusiastic

I wrote about Mysterious Castle just before Christmas, at which point I was living in a modern apartment. I now live in an old house so logic dictates if I write about it again, by summer I’ll be living in something even more like a castle. Hopefully not a Sinister Oubliette.

The game is a grid-based, tactical spell and sword ’em up set in a randomly generated isometric world, populated with monsters to slay with turn-based tactics and the occasional village of friendly folk. There’s a demo (Win/Mac) and the full release follows a ‘pay what you want’ model and you can even want to pay nothing. There are reports of Windows 7 64 bit incompatibility at present, so worth checking the demo first.

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Beaming: FTL Is The Star Trek Game I’ve Always Wanted

FTL FTW
Every fantasy you’ve ever had to reroute power to the shields exists in FTL. I know because I just pulled power from the sick-bay to boost my shields while I attempted to flee a hostile enemy scout. If you don’t have those fantasies yet, then soon it’ll be all you can think about. FTL’s random, rogue-like space-faring nastiness just got me into an unwinnable fight against an unmanned scout ship: if I destroyed it, it would automatically send out a distress signal to inform the rest fleet that I’d just Captain Mal-led him. So instead of going for a death blow, I had to stoke the shields and retaliate by hitting their weapons, keeping us both alive while my FTL drives powered up. No-one was hurt so far; the sick-bay was expendable. Recuperation would have to happen post-battle.
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Impressions: Hack, Slash, Loot

They are not dungeon defenders, they are dungeon invaders

Hack, Slash, Loot, which released yesterday, is dungeon crawling in a very pure form. Between the hacking, slashing and looting you’ll be doing a bit of walking, sure, maybe even reading the occasional scroll, but there’s not much else to distract from the bare necessities. It may well be the simplest roguelike I’ve ever played, with actual visual approximations of the things you’re looting, hacking and slashing, a point and click interface, and no inventory to manage. There’s equipment in abundance, but it’s a case of choosing what you want and leaving the rest on a dank floor somewhere. There’s a sizable demo and the full game is £6.64/$9.99 on PC/Mac/Linux. More thoughts below.

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Diggle Deities: Dungeons Of Dredmor DLC

I'm thinking of an alternative and more terrifying ending for Ring right now

It was announced in the recently expired month of November and now, on what should be the day before release, Dungeons of Dredmor’s first expansion has been trailerised. As well as containing graphic closeups of the most formidable eyebrows in gaming, the video provides details on the contents of Realm of the Diggle Gods. New enemies, areas and equipment are present, as one would expect, but did you expect a Werediggle skill line? I didn’t because my imagination is clearly limited and limp. How about eye lasers and the ability to create a character who is a “Vampiric Pirate Hunter-Vegan that dabbles in Demonology”? Oh, and belts! Sounds good. Watch below.

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Vegans of Virtue: Dungeons of Dredmor(e)

Good to see the devs are as inept at playing it as I am

Not all dungeons require a cross-country trek or a cheeky spot of fast-travel to access. Dungeons of Dredmor was a light but appropriately vicious roguelike which charmed both John and I earlier this year, and creators Gaslamp Games have not left it to fester away on a darkened corner of Steam. As well as a steady trickle of patches, they’ve announced some real-money DLC is incoming, as well as a new patch which, among other things, doubles the number of avatar genders on offer. I did some pretty impressive maths to arrive at that conclusion, let me tell you.
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