I’ve seen Roguelike games mentioned by a few Dopers here, so I felt I would start a thread about them.
For the uninitiated, Roguelike games are inspired by the UNIX game, Rogue. There is generally a significant component of randomness involved (dungeons, quests, treasure, monsters), often the ability to play with ASCII character graphics, a very high level of difficulty, and unforgiving death (whenever you save, the game automatically quits. Whenever you restore, your savegame is deleted). Some of the most popular are Nethack (http://www.nethack.org), ADOM (http://www.adom.de), Crawl (http://sourceforge.net/projects/crawl5/) and Angband (along with its numerous variations, at (http://thangorodrim.angband.org/). You can see the influence in more mainstream computer and console games too. Diablo and Diablo 2 had very strong Roguelike (and Gauntlet) influences, and in the Lufia series, there is a place called the Ancient Cave which is based on Roguelike design principles. There are many others, but those were the most famous I could remember. Everquest recently released an expansion pack with the random dungeons (and from what I hear, high difficulty level) of a Roguelike.
Right now, I personally am playing ADOM. My favorite characters right now are Gray Elven Wizards, Gray Elven Archers, Hurthling Monks, Dwarven Weaponsmiths, and Dwarven Farmers (This is in approximate order of difficulty). I’m playing a patched version of 1.1.1 that eliminates some of the… um… misfeatures of the original release (like rats that are stronger than some of the minor deities), and am slowly making progress. Unfortunately, whenever I play Gray Elven Wizards, I have a high probability of killing myself, by having a magic missile or a lightning bolt bounce through me numerous times. Such issues have killed off my most promising characters, and one would think I’d have learned by now. But I haven’t. The farthest I’m generally getting right now is past the Animated Forest, where I generally die on the trip back (often when I foolishly try to take on the Dwarven Halls). It’s a very addicting game.
Last year, I was all about Nethack. I ascended with a Valkeryie first, and then, deciding that it was mostly because I got lucky, did it with a Samurai (whom I was much more satisified with). Were I to go back to the game, I’d probably try either a Priest or a Knight (both of whom I’ve gotten quite far with, and got killed only because I made a horribly, horribly stupid mistake). I heard Wizards are a very easy class, but I’ve never personally been able to keep them alive long enough to really see some action. Later, I might give them another shot if I get bored with other things.
I never really got into Angband, but I’m having a ton of fun watching a computer program play the game for me. I’m also very depressed, because it generally plays the game BETTER than I do.
Any other fans of Roguelike games here? Share your experiences!