Goodbye Tolkien, hello Tales of Maj’Eyal (ToME)


I decided to try this today, not sure why. Its great fun.

I’ve owned it for a while and it sat in my backlog. My only roguelike experiences before were Shiren on DS, and Dungeons of Dredmore. And FTL, if that counts.

I like the fact that I didn’t die within 15 minutes. In fact, I’m still on my first serious runthrough and have made it to level 2. So it doesn’t seem too punishing. Really like the interface, text font, and art style. Lots of stats and info, easy to get to, lots of tooltips and hotkey customizing.

So far, seems like a great gateway for a newcomer.


This is one on my backlog too. I’ve got to try it someday.


If you haven’t tried it yet I’d also recommend Sword of the Stars: The pit. Based on the ones you’ve listed I think you’d like it.


I do own it and it too has been gathering dust in my backlog. I remember trying it briefly and disliking the forward-cone of light that illuminates where you’re headed. It seemed annoying, compared to a generally circular illumination.

If that makes sense. Anyway, I’ll give it another go some time. Thanks.


Makes total sense :). Personally I like it because it’s another part of tactical layer that gives the game some depth but I can see why some don’t like it.


Get ready to starve to death and run out of ammo! A lot!


Nah you’ll just get one shot by some thing you don’t have any resistances to and didn’t know about before that happens. :)


I’m pretty early in - I think I’m a level 7 or 8 sword and board human fighter. So far it’s been a cakewalk. I’ve been through the troll forest and headed down into the ruins by the starting town. Does it take a while to get challenging? I picked whatever the normal difficulty was.

It’s a pretty friendly game - not difficult to understand and get into, but I’m hoping the difficulty picks up at least a bit. I also like how it has an attractive tileset as the default.


It depends on your class (and race) how long it takes but yes, it definitely gets challenging.


Yes, the difficulty will indeed pick up. No need to worry there.


Right after I typed the above, I finished up the ruins and on my way to a new area I got ambushed. I burned through 2 of the free resurrects that you get on normal difficulty. I probably used them up because I think you only get two by level 8.


Expansion #3, Forbidden Cults, is now available.

Gird your tentacles and prepare to lose your sanity.


Nice, I will have to eventually revisit this game.


Someone please sell me on TOME?

I love roguelikes such as Brogue, I played a ton of Angband a million years ago. I dabbled in DCSS and can see the appeal. Dungeonmans is nice.

Beyond roguelikes I tend to like thoughtfully-crafted games with focused designs, like Into the Breach and Invisible, Inc. I’d even put Xcom in this category. Darkest Dungeon. Etc.

Everyone tells me I should love TOME. And… I dunno.

TOME is visually stunning… in terms of how unbearably hideous it is. I can’t think of a game that looks uglier to me. Not just the putrid tileset, but the carelessly endless line lengths without any thought given to readability. Everything about the game looks awful.

And the game design, at first glance, looks very… sloppy? Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-y?

I have dinked around with the tutorial a couple times and bailed early to prevent vomiting.

Should I persist?

Is it not for me, or could it be for me?


Now that’s how to use the phrase “visually stunning”!

TOME is all about the detail and variety. I think that can be hard to appreciate when you first start playing. So as much as I hate to say it, you have to play moar. Basically, try a couple of the classes and if their differences aren’t enough to catch you’re interest, the game probably isn’t going to work for you.



If the aesthetic or user interface is a deal-breaker, it’s probably not for you. Things don’t get any better as you go further into the game. Personally, I got used to it fairly quickly, but then I’m an IT guy who is used to terrible interfaces.

I keep going back because there’s so much to do built into the various campaigns, and so many different character races/classes that play very differently.


You could play the game in ASCII if you find the graphical… “style” a problem. And in a smaller window.
After all this time, this game still confuses me, in the way I am confused in front of Pinball FX’s menu: what table to pick?! So I would start a character and then basically suicide like I’d drop the ball in a Pinball FX game, because I want to try the next thing. I think this might be the opposite of tight designs @justaguy2 is universally known to enjoy.


Yes, I do alot of ‘suiciding’ near the start of the game too. It’s completely intentional.


TOME is weird in its mix of old-school roguelike mechanics and full-on RPG mechanics. I can definitely see where its design would turn people off.


For me, personally, TOME is the best roguelike I’ve ever played. But hey, nothing is for everybody.