Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Guest Post: The Roguelikes, Part 3( and a half! )

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 18, 2011

I don’t think this is the last one – Brian “Skavenhorde” Critser keeps providing more information on common and not-so-common roguelikes. And I’ll keep posting ‘em.

Hello all it’s your friendly neighborhood rat with just a few roguelikes this week. Been a little sick lately so I had to cut this one short. Plus I’ve been playing the beta to Dungeons of Dredmor like a madman. That game is too addicting and probably part of the reason I’m sick now. Four or five hours of sleep a day is not a good way to stay bright eyed and bushy tailed….or in my case beady eyed and pink tailed.

Dungeons of Dredmor has that “one more turn” vibe to it that Civilization has. Except instead of “one more turn” it starts out with “one more room” then “one more level” and finally when I die I’ll think “just one character before I go to bed”. I’ll do a proper overview of that game a little later after I’ve ironed out some of the details in the game.

So without any more further ado here are the few offerings I have this week:

Rogue SurvivorRogue Survivor is a zombie survival roguelike sandbox game current being developed. It’s still in its Alpha stage, but is playable.

In this roguelike you are one of many survivors just trying to live another day in a world gone mad. You goal is simple you must survive the zombie hordes that get stronger each day.

You will need to gather food and find shelter while dealing with other AI controlled NPCs who are trying to accomplish the same thing. Some NPCs are peaceful and some not so peaceful such as gangs. There are many ways to survive such as getting help from the National Guard or leading your own band of survivors or just making a go of it on your own.

The ASCII graphics have been set aside for tiles, mouse support and some music. The graphics are good, but not cutting edge of course. The mouse support makes learning the game all the more easier for people who are new to a roguelike.

The game world is dynamic and different each time you start a new game. The game offers a day and night cycle, weather, different districts, buildings, sewers (I recommend you don’t go down there when you first start out) and subways.

If you get tired of trying to survive as a human then play as the undead and learn what it’s like on the other side.

This is no shooter zombie game that you have seen a million times before where you shoot a few zombies in the head and reach the end where you will be safe. There is no safe here. The world is destroyed and you need to learn how to survive in it.

This game is a fine choice if you are waiting for Dead State to be finished.

Review:

Play This Thing

URW – UnRealWorldURW is a graphical roguelike-ish RPG which takes place in the far north during the Iron Age.

The game is styled after Finland, but not exactly. The developer didn’t want to make an imperfect copy of historical Finland so they have altered the map and the cultures. You’ll need to spend some time getting familiar with the different cultures in their help files if you want to customize your character or just jump right into the game and let the computer choose for you.

They used real-world historical facts and mythology to make this game. There are no knights or dragons in this. Instead you have peasants, rune-singers and sages. There are also some low-fantasy elements taken directly from Finnish folklore.

In this game you can build your own shelter, hunt, skin and cook your own food, get eaten by wild animals while you sleep  and just about anything you can imagine you would have to do back in the Iron Age to survive.

You have nine different cultures to choose from, different rituals you can learn, many different skills including lore/craft skills which are essential if you want to survive in the wild, different tasks to accomplish (optional) and many many more features.

The game is brutal on beginners, but it comes with an extensive Info Browser that will how the game works and how to survive.

I haven’t played this game long enough to know all there is to this game, but I can say that if you are a fan of Dwarf Fortress I believe you will be a fan of URW.

You can download the shareware version of the game at the homepage and register it for only $3. Let me repeat $3. When I look at AAAs offering DLC for the color black to dye your clothes or for new clothes that are meaningless and then take a look at all this game has to offer I can’t help but wonder why anyone would spend even one cent on those worthless items when there are games like URW.

Please read these great reviews to get a better picture of what URW has to offer. My short summary does not even begin to describe everything there is to do in URW.

Reviews:

Gamespy

5 Resons I bought Unreal World RPG – by Zues

Sandusky Register Newspaper

Associated Content

Information:

Unreal World Wiki

DoomRL – Doom The RoguelikeDoomRL is based on the world created by Id Software’s game Doom. You were sent to investigate the moonbase Phobos, but all hell broke loose and now you are the only one left.

Your mission is simple you are to descend into the depths of the moonbase and destroy the source of the evil outbreak.

This is a true coffee-break style of game. I hate to use that terminology since RPGCodex schooled me in its use when I said that I played Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup like a coffee-break type of game. Stone Soup had all the complexity of Linley’s Dungeon Crawl with the added bonus of having an interface that is easy to understand, but DoomRL is meant to be simple and easy to jump right into. There is a limited inventory, maps are the size of the screen, one item per tile and a smaller amount of keyboard keys you need to remember to play the game.

This by no way diminishes the “fun factor” to the game. Granted it is a simple game and some may say dumbed-down for a roguelike, but in this case since Doom was already a very simple FPS I would say that DoomRL has been smartened-up by simply adding a few features such as traits (perks), mods that amplify various equipment that you’ll find and changing the gameplay from first-person to the traditional roguelike ASCII graphics. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have the depth that other roguelikes have.

DoomRL features include 25 mostly random levels, ASCII graphics, special levels, classic Doom weaponry, unique and exotic weapons, traits, almost all of the Doom monsters, medals and badges, original Doom sound effects and music and finally a sandbox modding option.

DoomRL is currently up to version 0.9.9.1 and is quite stable. If you donate you’ll be able to get version 0.9.9.3 beta.

So if you’re a fan of the original Doom or tired of memorizing dozens of different keyboard key combinations of other roguelikes, then give this one a try. However do not expect a complex and deep game. There are many other roguelikes that offer that.  This game is free and can be downloaded from the homepage.

Essential Reading:

DoomRL Manual

DoomRL Wiki

Review:

Reloaded.org

Here are a few other Roguelikes made by developer of DoomRL, Kornel Kisielewicz:

AliensRL – Aliens The Roguelike – Aliens is a tactical roguelike inspired by the “Aliens” movie and the “Alien Breed: Tower Assault” computer game. The first version was made in 7 days.

Aliens RL is has been at version 0.8 since June of 2010. This release was supposed to be a “resurrection” release with the project back in action, but it seems that DoomRL took the spotlight since there has been no new version in almost a year. AliensRL might get some attention after DoomRL.

There is very little information on this game, but here is an intro for anyone curious as to what the game offers:

AliensRL Introrun from Mighty Mouse of RPGCodex

DiabloRL – Diablo Roguelike – Another roguelike from Kornel with some added help from Chris Johnson and Mel’nikova Anastasia. It also was first made in 7 days. It’s up to version 0.4.5 and hasn’t been updated in awhile. However Kornel has released it as open source under the GPL license. You can get it here.

Berserk – A fantasy survival game made back in 2006 for a 7DRL – seven day roguelike – challenge. It’s loosely based on Kentaro Miura’s Berserk manga. I wouldn’t count on this one being resurrected any time soon. I believe after Kornel switches from DoomRL he’ll be upgrading AliensRL.

The only information I could find on it were at the forums:

Berserk Forums

That’s it for this week.

UPDATE: Didn’t have chance to look at this after it posted, and I missed that this SHOULD have been part 4. But the name stuck all day long, and so I’m gonna leave gaffe almost as it was and call it three-and-a-half.  ‘Cuz it’s more fun that way.


Filed Under: Free Games, Guest Posts, Roguelikes - Comments: 12 Comments to Read



  • skavenhorde said,

    Hope you guys enjoy my trip down Roguelike Lane. I’ll be wrapping up this series in one or maybe 2 more articles. I’ll try to throw a few obscure ones in.

    With that in mind I could use some help. If anyone has come across a Roguelike that you liked please write a comment down on it. I’ll put it in my next article. Any Roguelike at all as long as you played it for a little and enjoyed the experience.

    Apologies for the spelling in some of the words. I was and am very sick. My mind was turning to much when proofreading. I thought I got them all, but I see now that I didn’t. Don’t let that dissuade from trying out some of these fine games all of which are free with the exception of URW which is only three dollars.

    I hope you enjoyed these articles as much as I did making them.

    ~Your Friendly Neighborhood Rat

  • scratskinner said,

    Looks like someone mistook a 4 for a 3, at any rate.

    Also, Brogue; described by the seeming oxymoron “ASCII eye candy”.

  • scratskinner said,

    Also also, POWDER.

    Hope you get over your illness.

    Apologies for the double post.

  • jzoeller said,

    Good post. Now I understand the “2nd” Part 3, hope you feel better soon.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, well, I let the errors through, so my bad. And there’s the second part 3 thing. It was late, and I’ve had early mornings all week.

  • Mhv3 said,

    You could try Incursion: Hall of the Goblin King. It a very detailed d20 roguelike.

  • skavenhorde said,

    Three and a half works for me :) Rogue Survivor and URW were supposed to be in three except, as usual, I wrote too much and had to cut them out.

    Thanks for the well wishes guys. I’m feeling much better except my throat feels like it has razor blades in it. It’s been a pain to teach my first and second grade classes, but I have a smartboard in my class so that helps a lot.

  • getter77 said,

    Triangle Wizard continues to soldier onward even if the release pace has slowed down tremendously in recent times compared to the ridiculous pace Wouter had going.

  • WCG said,

    Neat! I’m going to have to check out Rogue Survivor. But I’m surprised you call UnReal World a rogue-like. It’s a great game, a survival game with all sorts of crafts – and dirt cheap, too – but I would never have considered it a rogue-like.

    But what’s in a label, anyway? Nothing important, that’s for sure.

  • GhanBuriGhan said,

    This overview should be archived somewhere in easily accessible form. I don’t know anything like it. Good work Skavenhorde, although I have too little time to dig into Roguelikes (except for Nethack on my iPhone, which I enjoy playing occasionally).

  • skavenhorde said,

    @WCG I did say “roguelike-ish” RPG. Maybe should have made it heavy on the “ish” :P

    I threw in URW because it has the roguelike feel to it in that it is beautifully complex, random environment and hard as heck to stay alive :)

    To everyone else thanks for the suggestions. I’ll take another look at Triangle Wizard and I had already planned on throwing Incursion in there as well. Though those two will have to be purely research based since I’ve only played a little of Incursion.

    Thank you so much for reminding me about Triangle Wizard. There were some posts about it awhile ago at rpgwatch, but I have forgotten about it since then. I will definitely write something about that one. It might not make it in the next post, but the one after that for sure.

    Never heard of Powder before. Will have to do a little digging about it and add that one as well.

    @Ghan You can click on guest posts in the “file under” Although if you want The Roguelikes Part 3 you’ll need to click “general”.

    It’s funny you mentioned an archive because easy access was one of the reasons I did this. I’ve been doing this in one form or another over at rpgwatch in the forums, but got sick and tired wasting my time because if I wanted to go back and see what I wrote I couldn’t remember the name of the thread I put the lists in.

    Here I can just keep clicking “older posts” till I find it again.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    For now, I’ve fixed the “Guest Posts” category on Part 3 (that was how I screwed myself up on numbering, actually…), and I’ve now added a “Roguelikes” category for future use. ‘Cuz this hasn’t been the first time nor the last time we’re going to talk about ‘em.

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