The first seven day roguelike ever written was called Dungeon Monkey. It was hardly worthwhile to play but an interesting performance art at the same time. For ARRP 2010 another game by the same author was released: Dungeon Monkey Unlimited. It is much more developed and has nice graphics. Furthermore it is one of few party roguelikes.
First you should make at least four characters. Character generation consists of choosing a gender and a race. Then attributes are rolled. You can opt to have attributes rerolled until you are satisfied with results. Each set of stats is checked whether it satisfies minimum values for class membership. Weak person cannot be a warrior, stupid one shall not pick mage and only most pious are able to become knights. I believe if you get a set of attributes disallowing any class the game automatically rolls again.
The game has magic system which will put you into some hard choices in spell selection. Each caster has certain amount of spell gems dedicated to precise magic realm and several that can hold any arcane knowledge. All spells require varying amounts of gems to memorize. Some part of spell require gems to be of specific magical realm. For example Confusion needs one lunar plus four others while for Call Beast you must have thee earth and one additional. Individual spells are also nicely done. For example most games make Death Ray a useless thing working only on creatures that were no problem anyway. Here it helps a lot and actually kills your targets more often than not. Of course undead are immune. The trick here is enemies may cast it too and will do so with prejudice instantly killing your best character. Also DMU as a true roguelike and unlike many RPGs will allow you to cast beneficial spells on the enemy so beware. I did exactly that after replacing my ranger’s acid spray with acid weapon. Consequences were dire.
After you start a campaign a climate with setting is picked for you. It may be prehistoric snowy lands, norse themed misty swamps, greek themed dense jungle, a forest in steam age or who knows what else. Then you get some storyline. Game is played both in wilderness and enclosed areas. Monsters and treasure are generated once and more can appear only when you camp. You can click destination on map and party will find shortest route to location and start marching. If any character steps near a monster battle begins. Unfortunately path finding algorithm does not disregard unmapped areas and will happily lead you into ambushes. Right click on a free spot to have camp option. As far as I know map can be accessed only by hitting ‘M’ on keyboard. Other useful shortcut is shift+’Q’ to save and exit to main menu.
Dungeon Monkey Unlimited has plenty of items. Later in game it is advisable to collect only items eligible for identification or gear superior to what you have. You will collect enough money for everything you may desire before arrival at Morgantown. In a point well into the game I stood before quite embarrassing decision. I found magical white dress which boosted both attack and defense but party spell caster (a necromancer!) was male. My munchkin nature prevailed and I gave it to him. Then the random number generator revealed even greater mockery. In second castle there was available for purchase … a magical swimsuit. Now that was an insult! That time I did not buy enchanted item despite its usefulness. You can imagine my joy when later a magic black robe was found for my caster. I immediately swapped the dress for the robe. Everything was all right except … the mage doll looked disgustingly ugly in black robe, white wizard hat, white gloves and white shoes. This is one argument why ASCII games are better. They do not bring forth such problems.
Overall DMU is short and fun game that makes controlling a party of adventurers a painless experience. It is one of the best to date in the latter category.