Roguelike. Most people have heard of the term, but few know what it is.
A roguelike is a game based on Rogue, a game developed in the 1980s. It is ASCII based, but some include small sprites as an optional feature. Rogue, and the games that followed, have some goal, whether it be to slay the Balrog of Moria (Moria), retrieve the Amulet of Yendor (Rogue and Nethack), slay Morgoth (Angband and ToME), or something similar. Diablo took the idea of a Roguelike and made it more aesthetically pleasing.
Here is a sample of gameplay of a Roguelike (from Wikipedia):
------ - Wall
|....| ############ # Unlit hallway
|....| # # . Lit area
|.$..+######## # $ Some quantity of gold
|....| # ---+--- + A door
------ # |.....| | Wall
# |.!...| ! A magic potion
# |..@..| @ The adventurer
---- # |.....|
|..| #######+..D..| D A dragon
|<.+### # |.....| < Stairs to the previous level
---- # # |.?...| ? A magic scroll
However, different roguelikes have different graphical conventions. For example, Moria (and thus Angband) use # for walls and . for rooms and hallways, while Rogue and Nethack use # for hallways and | and - for walls.
Here is a screenshot of ToME (a variant of Angband), which uses graphics, and one of Rogue, which does not:
These are so simple that almost anybody can code them. Which is a good thing, because some Roguelikes are open source. Angband, for example, has spawned a hundred
variants, including ToME. Nethack is also open, though it doesn't have dozens of variants like Angband does.Various Roguelikes
Different Roguelikes have different styles of gameplay, too. In my experience:Rogue
- Never played it, but I assume it's a simpler version of MoriaMoria
- Hack and slash. Not very hard to figure out on your own.Angband
- Hack and slash, based on Moria. Harder than moria, but more detailed and more fun. Has lots of variants to choose from.Nethack
- Has hack and slash, but is more complicated than Angband, and includes puzzles (like a Sokoban
level).In most Roguelikes, if you die once, you are dead. So think of it as hardcore Diablo.
Don't be ashamed to use spoilers, especially when you are just starting out. If you have no idea what level an item is found on, or what resistances you absolutely need, just look for the spoilers of whatever Roguelike you are playing. You only have one life; it sucks to get to a certain level, only to die because you didn't know whether or not Potions of Cure Critical Wounds cure blindness.
And what would a Roguelike thread be without a link to the telnet nethack server
, where you can watch and be watched as you or they play nethack.
My current character in the Angband variant EyAngband
is level 27 mystic (combines priest and mage powers), but just put on the "Iron Crown of Gorlim", a cursed artifact, by accident. A mystic needs both wisdom and intelligence to provide mana, so suffice it to say, this character is screwed:
[spoiler:bdc6214784]The Iron Helm of Gorlim [3,+10]
-5 to intelligence, wisdom and perception. It provides protection from the
effects of paralyzation and fear. It gives its wielder see invisible. it
burdens its wielder with aggravation. It is heavily cursed. It is
vulnerable to damage by disenchantment.[/spoiler:bdc6214784]hehe, i just posted this in D&D by accident.