The Slimy Lichmummy
The Slimy Lichmummy is among the most originally named roguelike games. Game website proclaims it has been so because someone asked the author: “make a giant slimy skeletal rat bat ghoul lichmummy with a severed hand and floating skull”. And so he did. The game delivers on all of the mentioned aspects: from humble ratmen to elder lichmummies.
Continue reading “Giant skeletal rat bat ghoul lichmummy made real”
Bold adventurer, is it fame you are after? Do you want treasure, fight fierce beasts or just to explore the land? This roguelike game, Fame, does not provide any answers for these questions. An adventurer you are and thats it. A manual bundled with the game also remains quiet about your reasons to wander around the world and whack monsters risking your life many times in the process. I found this lack of introduction incongruent with Fame’s otherwise well done plot. Anyway, who really needs a reason to hunt monsters?
Continue reading “What a beautiful day. Let’s kill some ugly monsters!”
BileBio is a tiny arcade game with roguelike feel. It started as a 1DRL and had some development later. Every game stage has but one aim which is the same every time: reach the stairs alive. The problem is caused by massive plants growing at astonishing speeds. If something would happen to grow on you – it means death, although BileBio does not explain exactly how you die.
Plants in BileBio are combined of roots, flowers and vines. Each part can spawn more of its kind. Roots are indestructible and can spawn new root in any place at the board. They can also burst producing four flowers around it and lots of vines. Flowers grow new plant parts in chess knight pattern while vines grow into adjacent squares. The last two forms can only grow up two times before decaying and withering. Roots sometimes also wither but it is uncommon event. An active plant segment is highlited in red (beware!); decaying segments are displayed in brown.
An elusive thing hinted at in readme is the nectar. Presumably it is worth many energy points and score but I have to encounter one yet. Having reached up to level 31 with 51440 points of score none were generated. None in all games I played. It might be exceedingly rare or not placed due to some bug. Whatever the reason I never found any nectar.
The game presents player with nine abilities to learn at varying costs. These are organized into three branches in which to acquire the higher ability one must have earlier one as a prerequisite. At any time up to three different skills can be learned. Some abilities center around wall usage. Hiding inside one is possible and grants safety for a time. Jumping over a single wall is very helpful in mazes and also cheap. Dash can be quite boon before the growth becomes dense or in short windows of opportunity right after some parts decay. Attacking a plant can be guarantee of survival in some cases but in other jumping over it may be preferable. Finally one can spawn a wall to hide in. The remaining skills have almost prohibitive cost of attaining them. You need to expend sixty points of energy before you can use any and still need more to benefit or fuel previously learned tricks. These are: extra lives (50 energy each), repellent lasting ten turns (costs 10 energy) and energy tripling from nectar (free, but find any nectar first!).
Obstacle and stair arrangement is chosen from a set of twelve handmade maps. Some have multiple exits and plenty of walls to use wall hop or wall walk. Others are mostly empty relying on growing plant life to create variety. Over longer playthrough lack of procedurally generated levels or at least more prepared maps is weak side of BileBio.
There are two factors that factor into difficulty. How many roots are spawned when the stage begins and how fast the plants of given stage get active. At early stages the plant life may die out if helped a bit but with progressing stages the green infestation gets to expand faster and faster.
A specific weak point of the game is unreliable numeric keypad handling. Orthogonal directions are read fine but diagonals are not recognized on every computer. Vi keys are provided as an alternative. That and requirement to compile the game from sources relegates BileBio into obscurity.
To sum up BileBio is a fun thing to try but it is not going to hold your attention for long.
The full list sorted by name is available at the Ascii Dreams. This year there was fierce mobilization among ToME and ADOM players. Ultimately the former won despite ADOM taking lead for a time.
Here is list of all games that broke hundred votes. This number was chosen with premeditation. Like last year the most voted games include some of questionable roguelikeness.
1659 votes – Tales of Maj’Eyal
1445 votes – ADOM
730 votes – ADOM II
687 votes – Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup
605 votes – Dwarf Fortress
454 votes – FTL
442 votes – UnReal World
393 votes – DoomRL: Doom, the Roguelike
349 votes – Brogue
280 votes – Dungeons of Dredmor
180 votes – Sword of the Stars: The Pit
175 votes – Torchlight 2
173 votes – Cataclysm
150 votes – The Binding of Isaac
138 votes – Caves of Qud
135 votes – X@COM
133 votes – TomeNET
130 votes – Sil
It is time for another Roguelike of the Year poll hosted by Ascii Dreams. Would be voters need to brave almost three hundred checkboxes! With many indie and commercial developers picking up the roguelike formula for their creations the number is likely to go even higher in future.
The assortment of games varies greatly in roguelikeness. Some clearly belong under the label. Many embrace the nature but are willing to move away from the genre core. Quite a few stray so much they are really roguelike-likes at best. Even further on the scale is a peculiar group of games. These have so few things common with roguelikes that calling them such has no merit. However, which titles fall into the last category will vary from person to person so it is good that Ascii Dreams poll stays very inclusive.
Since the amount of titles to vote for is so great readers may find themselves not recognizing the majority of them. This is caused mainly by the sheer numbers of games. Add to this the commercial titles which can be truly appreciated only by those who purchased them. Mix in games available exclusively for mobile devices and the result might be irregular vote spread. Is this going to visibly affect the results? Soon, we shall see.
A compiled list of all entries is now available.
We had exactly one hundred challengers of which sixty two succeeded in time. This sounds good when compared with previous year when only about half entrants returned with something to show. You may have read elsewhere that number of successes was sixty three. This is incorrect. One challenger made an 8DRL which is not bad in itself but does not count as success within the rules.
Another observation is challengers omitted posting to rec.games.roguelike.development USENET newsgroup in several cases. The rules state clearly to be counted you have to post to aforementioned newsgroup when you start programming. Next, if you do not manage to complete the challenge successfully you are expected to post about the failure to the very same newsgroup. Thirty eight challengers failed to return with finished games in the time. Seventeen entrants did not post at all. Another four posted but in other places. That was not as bad though. Finished games are to be posted to rec.games.roguelike.announce newsgroup. Completion of only seventeen titles were proclaimed there which is under one third of all produced games.
The designated places to post are there to make creating various lists like one linked to above possible although it is not the only goal. If one was to adhere strictly to the rules there would be only seventeen legitimate 7DRLs! Postings from 7drl.org and announcements from rgrd were also counted but this makes things harder and unnecessarily delays efforts of the 7DRL committee and can easily cause misinformation to spread. For example exact number of successes this year.
To cope with this there are plans of sign up system. If everything goes well next Seven Day Roguelike Challenge will be better organized.
This year brought sixty-three completed 7DRLs. The number seems overwhelming at first but to play them all one merely needs to try 1,21153846153846153846153 games a week for the next year. Not all are willing to show such dedication. For those, a team of evaluators was assembled to give all the roguelikes a once-over. Their work is now complete. The committee proudly presents you the results. http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2012/ However, if you dive deeper into assigned scores you will find even they disagree on what exactly is most worth playing. For example second place is occupied by no less than five titles.
Each 7DRLs was judged under six categories. Score for each rank is either 1, 2 or 3 where higher is better. Getting a 2 is a adequate achievement in first five categories. The last criterion is called roguelikeness. Here 3 means roguelike, 2 is for games only partially fitting the genre and 1 for the rest. Note reviewers used their personal opinion on what constitutes a roguelike. Thorough explanation of the categories can be found under results table.
The Honorable Members of the Committee
- @ Todd Page, Robo-ambassador
- @ Michał Bieliński
- @ Risto, Mysterious Northern Coder
- @ Michael Curran, Knight Burzmali
- @ Z, The Hydra Slayer
- @ Jice, Marquis of Doryen
- @ Slash, Priest of the Temple of Roguelike
- @ Jeff Lait, Serf in Zincland
- @ Darren Grey, Scholar of the roguelike world
- @ Joshua Day
- @ Ido Yehieli, Lord of Tametick
- @ Joseph Hewitt, Ataraxia Overlord
- @ Oddmunds, Knight of Tametick