Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 2

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 4, 2011

Brian “Skavenhorde” Critser continues his investigation into popular or influential roguelikes here, in part 2.  The dude has done some serious dungeon-delving for this report, and it shows. He’s been privately sending me links to some more interesting roguelikes he’s found over the last few months, some of which have been included in my indie game news round-up articles if there’s anything new happening with them. But I’m really happy to let him share his discoveries with everybody else.

You can read Part 1 here.

I’ll be continuing my list of Angband variants (which there seem to be an endless amount) and NetHack variants.

Before I begin there is a newbie guide for Angband that I didn’t mention in the previous article. I found out about it while researching the many variants to Angband. You can find it here.


XAngbandXAngband is a ZAngband variant from Japan. It’s author says it’s easier than the other variants with main features such as ego stores that sells excellent arms, increased ego item powers, new classes, new items, rearranged 2 magic realms and added 1 new one which assists in melee attacks and lastly races.

There are 15 races most of which you would find in Angband with the addition of a few others like the mindflayer and nibelung. There is now an added class called sniper. As you may have guessed this class specializes in shooting like the archer. Unlike the archer class they do not fire as quickly, but can deal more damage.

The schools of magic are Life, Sorcery and Combat Realm. Under Life you have Book of Common Prayer, High Mass and Godly Insight. Under Sorcery there is Beginner’s Handbook, Master of Sorcerer’s Handbook and Tome of Destruction. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what’s in the Combat Realm because the link to it is gone.

List of Life Realm spells

List of Sorcery Realm spells

TinyAngband: From the same author as XAngband. It’s just a shortened Angband. You only need to go down to level 27 and kill the big bad foozle. (Editor’s note: Only 27 now, is it? Piece of cake! Yeesh…)

MAngband: We have for your playing pleasure a multiplayer Angband. I mentioned in the beginning of these articles that I was somewhat new to the joy that are roguelikes, well what I never expected to find was that someone took one of these complex games online.

It’s real-time instead of turnbased and while on your adventure you can meet up with other players. Diablo 2 eat your heart out.

MAngband’s Newbie Guide – A MAngband guide similar to Chris Weisiger’s Newbie Guide, but in the words of it’s author, “It has simply been “MAngbandised“.

Sangband: Skills Angband is one of the few variants that didn’t get abandoned during development and seems to be finished with the 1.0.0 Final release or well it was until October of 2010. Sangband is now up to 1.01 build 129.

The homepage doesn’t really tell you much, but from what I can gather from searching around the forums and other sites, Sangband offers new spells, monsters, items, outside combat experience awards such as drinking an unknown potion, monster AI and interface changes on top of a ton of other changes.

Final 1.0.0 game or the latest game

Oangband: Opinion Angband offers rules changes, more classes, better monster AI and items. The emphasis seems to be on deadlier and smarter monsters. There is no homepage, but you can get it here.

NPPangband: What little information there is on this one says that it takes ideas from other Angbands and tries to incorporate them into this one while rebalancing it to take into account these new changes. The only reason I mention this one here is that the next variant is based off of this one. The current version is Beta 0.5.0

Ironband: An ironman game from the variant NPPangband. You can never go up stairs, only down. You start in the dungeon and can never go to town. There are no classes. You create the character you want by increasing logical stats, like in Dungeon Siege. There are fewer SP, cheaper spells and no spell regen. Definitely not a game for newbies like myself. I’d give this one a try only if I was bored out of my mind with the other roguelikes out there. That may happen in about 50 years or so.

Entroband: A variant of Hengband that attempts to improve it. No homepage or much information on this one, but you can get it here.

DaJAngband: Monster list are redone, new magic effects, dungeon features and a lot of new character classes and races. When I say ‘a lot’ I mean it. With 18 races and 20 character classes to choose from the replayability of this variant seems endless. Plus as a nice bonus you can change the display to a tileset in the game. It’s as easy as a click of the mouse to go from ASCII to a choice of three different tilesets. However, I could only get one of them to work.

There is supposedly an online help file, but my Windows 7 operating system might be playing havoc with its ability to read it. I couldn’t get that working either.

Overall it seems like a nice variant to vanilla Angband and it’s one of the few that are still being updated.

CatHangband: Cat-and-the-Hack Angband. This one change the rules, new items, new races and interface changes. An almost complete list of all the new features can be found here.

Hellband: Based off of CthAngband. The setting for this Angband is that of Dante’s Inferno. You travel down into hell and need to cross the Infernal City ‘Dis’ to slay Lillith and Lucifer. Appropriate monsters and items are added to this Angband.

That’s the last of the variants I’ll be listing. I hope I got most of the more popular and interesting ones, but there are just too many to list for the purposes of this article.


Slash’ Em: Slash’ Em stands for “Super Lots of Added Stuff Hack with Extended Magic.” Now how could you not love a title like that? It adds new characters, graphics, monsters, items, spells. Basically you think of something and they’ve added it to the game.

UnNetHack: It features more randomness, levels, UI improvements and game play related changes. The homepage has a list of all of the many changes.

Falcon’s Eye: Falcon’s Eye is a Nethack variant that gave the game something unique. It gave it some nicely done isometric graphics with real-time lighting. It makes a huge difference when going from ASCII to actually seeing your character and pet in all their isometric glory.

In addition to the graphics the game offers a mouse-driven interface, sound effects and a MIDI soundtrack. It does all this while keeping all of NetHack’s features.

The developer of Falcon’s Eye, Jaakko Peltonen, hasn’t worked on it in some time. However, you can still read about it and download the game over at the Falcon’s Eye website.

Sporkhack: A Nethack variant that you play through a server. Some of the major changes include a new dungeon leves generate rooms, knights can be chaotic, new items and changes to some of the old ones, new spells, monster and a lot of little tweaks here and there.

Vulture: Vulture is an isometric graphical interface for NetHack, Slash’Em and UnNetHack that is still being worked on. Like Falcon’s Eye it isn’t so much a variant as it is a nice facelift.

That’ll do it for this time around. In the next article I’ll be covering something I know more about like Crawl, Crawl Stone Soup, Ledgermain, UnReal World, Rogue Survivor and a few others.

Filed Under: Free Games, Guest Posts, Roguelikes - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • scotticus said,

    Wow. Just wow. I think this almost qualifies as a thesis on Rogue-likes. I wonder what PhD he’s working on to have accumulated all this research?

    Outstanding work, Skavenhorde!

  • skavenhorde said,

    Thanks, but unfortunately the only degree I’m currently working on is the one I give myself when I finish the book C++ Beginner’s Guide.

    When Jay asked for help I figured this was an interesting topic that some people might enjoy to read and if not then at least it was something I was interested in learning more about.

    My knowledge of roguelikes was sadly limited to ADOM, Legerdemain, Rogue Survivor, Stone Soup, some of UnReal World and a little bit about the Nethack Falcon’s Eye. But now I’ve learned about more games than I will ever have time for.

  • Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 1 said,

    […] Commentsskavenhorde on Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 2scotticus on Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 2Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 2 on Guest Post: The […]

  • cowgod said,

    Sangband’s actually up to version 1.02. The angband site hasn’t updated the version number.