ARRP 2010 – Cataclysm

Hours at a computer have caused your strength and perception to decline…
but your mind couldn’t be better honed.

Forget Alphaman, Cataclysm is a open-ended free form roguelike ambiented on a post-apocalyptic future; you can play the current alpha version by SSH and delight with the wonderful detailed world. Be sure to explore the subway and the sewers!

Let's drink the last cola of the world
Let's drink the last cola of the world
Ah! a liquor store is never out of place :)
Play in the sewers, boy!
Play in the sewers, boy!
Ah! a liquor store is never out of place 🙂

ARRP 2010: Cracks and Crevices

Title screen of C'n'CC'n'C fight

Version 0.5 has two quests available. Completing the second results in victory. You have very limited turns before your first quest “Adulthood” begins automatically. Villagers kick you into the crevice and expect to stay there two days. Look to the right side of status bar for date and time.

Strong point of Cracks and Crevices is unified ‘u’se key which greatly reduces time needed to get into the game. While interface is well done (not counting a few bugs) playing experience is not as smooth. C’n’C is actually real-time. If you do not make a move during a specified interval character is assumed to be resting. Depressing effect it has on tactical play is very visible. Even on easy setting (up to 3 seconds per turn) one tends not to think when fighting because waiting too long will give opponent a free turn.

Combat is much less dynamic than expected. Most attacks end in misses and armor system is plain deflection. With two points of armor you can windshield kobolds. With four you do the same to orcs and so on. Accomplishing second quest consists of getting enough armor to be invulnerable and patiently bashing away until you opponent dies.

Definitely C’n’C is in a state where only hardcore roguelikers or those who wish to help author develop the game would want to play it. If you do press ‘3’ to heal at the temple for free. Hopefully next version will be easier to get into.

C'n'C slaughterhouseC'n'C end game boss

It has more serpentine heads than a snake pit

Hydra Slayer

Author Z
Language C++
Platform Linux, Windows; (open source)
Version 6.0

Hydra SlayerSeven Day Roguelike Challenge in 2010 was very fruitful. There were fifty games released. Some of those are inspiring enough to have a successor. Math: the Roguelike is successful in this regard. Hydra Slayer is another game based on kind of mathematics but was written in even shorter timeframe. First version appeared after one day of coding and another of playtesting. Its uniqueness to the world of roguelikes is based on two factors.

During two months of its existence Hydra Slayer had astounding number of seventeen releases! And that is not counting archives uploaded just to fix really minor bugs which did not have own version. Such development speed is virtually unheard of in this game genre.

Hydra SlayerSecond but no less important factor is theme and scope of the game. Hydra Slayer focuses on a tiny fraction world but fleshes it well. As a student of long forgotten profession you venture deep into Hydra Nest to make yourself a great career. Your goal is to slay all hydras on a level. To kill one you need to behead it. The trick is you cannot use your shortsword (-4) if target does not have at least four heads. Same rule applies for blunt weapons and shield bashes. To use a trisector (/3) on a hydra it has to have number of heads divisible by three.

To further complicate the task hydras have tendency to regrow heads which frankly is not news to anyone. Slayers would be well advised to use weapon imbued with element most effective at defeating chosen beast. Swinging a flaming claymore at a fire hydra will only get you double the quantity of heads you cut. However attacking with a bone bastard sword may give it opportunity to regenerate only one more.

Hydra Slayer

Fortunately there are many items left by previous warriors who were well provisioned. They did not have knowledge of hydra slaying art which you have. Runes of decapitation, runes of cancellation, scrolls of transmutation and potions of power juice are some of things you will find. There is no point describing them here because help system in game is neatly designed.

Main strength of Hydra Slayer is unique theme and easily understood interface. A fine coffeebreak game. After defeating ancient hydra you can ascend and score but also go down for more challenge. Sadly it becomes boring rather quickly.

Heimdall blows his horn

Ragnarok:ForestOne of few fantasy roguelikes set in norse mythology. Once a commercial product, now a forgotten freeware gem. The game starts when Fimbulwinter strikes. It is sure sign of incoming Ragnarok. Chaos engulfs known world while Jotuns and Valkyries prepare for the epic battle. Gods benevolent to mankind are outnumbered and underarmed. Norns have proclaimed their defeat. However, legends tell about a human hero who shall help the Aesir fight and perhaps tip the scales of battle. Thus your journey begins.

Click to read the full review

Hack and slash!


Typical roguelike game has wide array of commands to remember, plethora of stuff to use and multitude of mysterious creatures. Add ASCII graphics with several other minor gameplay quirks and you have succesfully scared away another newbie. Over is largely unfinished but it has core elements of roguelikeness implemented. Just a few keys, almost no complexity. This makes it ideal to recommend for newcomer to the genre.

Click to read the full review

Welcome to Martin’s Infinite Dungeon!

Author Martin Read
Language C
Platform Linux, Windows (source available)
Version 1.7

Enlarge…Notably MPRDB bears quite a lot similarites to Rogue. Dungeon is discovered in exactly same fashion. One square of visibility in corridors while whole rooms are revealed upon entering. Dungeoneering hero is described by only two main attributes: body and agility.

Read the full review.

Roguetemple’s Spotlight: Spelunky

Jhon Spelunky, a young, memory-less, snakephobic archeologist,
thirsty for adventure and treasure,
jumps into a cursed ruins complex full of traps and snakes…
looking for the ultimate artifact.
The amulet of Yendor.

Jhon Spelunky enter the ancient ruins

This is a great way to start our biweekly Roguelike Spotlight, bringing you the latest and most exciting releases on the roguelike world!

Today, I give you Derek Yu‘s SPELUNKY, a great game which albeit still on development, I am sure you all will enjoy!

Hold on for a second!

My goal was to create a fast-paced platform game that had the kind of tension, re-playability, and variety of a roguelike.  In roguelikes, the gameplay tells the story, and I wanted to give Spelunky that type of a feeling… but make the player rely on their reflexes rather than their brain (or knowledge of what 50 billion command keys do!).  If there’s a best of both worlds, that’s what I was trying to go for.

Did he suceed?

The reward for the trouble

This is much more than a procedurally generated platformer… besides the sweetly randomly generated levels there are many more things that take it close to a traditional roguelike! the fate of that promising character can change in less than you think, from a stuffed archeologist, shotgun and bombs packed, to giant tarantula food or a spike-teared bloody corpse!

Thrilling action!

The game features a smooth dificulty curve while still keeping things difficult; it is also full of surprises and puzzly situations where you got to make use of your available items, and by the way, you must make good use of them, as you may end up in a dead-end situation.

Following, the roguelikeness evaluation for Spelunky:

  • High Value Factors
    • Random Environment Generation: Yes
    • Permafailure (including Permadeath): Yes
    • Turn Based Interaction: No
    • Single command set: Yes
    • Freedom: Yes
  • Middle Value Factors
    • Discovery mechanics: Yes
    • Single player: Yes
    • Lots of content: No
    • Complex non-trivial world and object interactions: Yes
  • Low Value Factors
    • High ramped difficulty: Yes
    • Monsters are players: Yes
    • Character-based display: No
    • Hack and Slash: Yes


What? Why? HOW?? :(

Derek Yu provides us with a worthy cross-over experience, his experience in the indie scene cleary applied to this product. Graphics and Sound are retronice (what else could you expect from the creator of Aquaria?).

SO, download the game, browse the wikiashare some levels and… DISCUSS! 🙂

Cyber burglar in the matrix

Decker logo

Author Shawn Overcash
Language C++
Platform Windows, Linux through Wine; (source available)
Version 1.09

A young talented hacker desires fortune. He has a plan how to earn it but it needs time and is going to take a lot of work. Unknown and underequipped but slowly making himself someone in this world.
EnlargeMoney is earned by completing contracts. A client demands that a number of objectives is met upon leaving the target system. Then you get paid, sell any additional valuable information you gleaned “by the way” and your reputation gets slightly changed. If the contract was challenging you also receive skill points.

Read full review


Crunched Source CodeOoooorrrrcs!
: Jakub Debski
Language: C++

Grievously wounded after retrieving the famed +3 Crystal Crown of the Orc from the perilous orcish mines you find yourself trapped in a valley of death. Millions of orcs of all kinds to the west, a moonlit darkness to the west into the lands of man. It is time to run, you are being hunted!

A basic, yet challenging game, Ooooorrrrcs puts you in the place of an unlucky adventurer who must go west, west and beyond. The horde of grizzly orcs currently pushes forward (thus you dont even Dare to go back), your motion is all forward by reflex. Some power up herbs and some scattered orc weaklings will let you build your forces and phasedoor yourself into freedom, step by step your blood stains the ground and your strengths fade away. Will you make it?

I will survive

After THE-HECK-OF-A-LONG run, the brave hero: Slash the Orc Slasher, survived, got to his hometown and stored the valuable artifact on his collection!

Gameplay: Challenging, addictive
Technical Highlights: Non trivial combat, map scrolling to the left, spells, collision resolution.

SteamBand Review

A Scandinavian HussarAndrew Doull, roguelike developer and mantainer of roguetemple’s friend blogsite: Ascii Dreams, has finished a review for the outstanding Angband variant: SteamBand!

Steamband is a Steampunk / Victorian / Pulp variant of Angband, A roguelike ASCII dungeon exploration simulation game. Steamband was based off the 2.9.3 version of Angband source code.

Check out the review, reproduced here at roguetemple with his permission.

Be sure to check too the Verbose Dumps if you want to get a feeling of the game, and the excellent fan-art by ponpoko.