What is your current favorite Roguelike? [Or all things roguelike]


Crawl had targeting before, but the UI was crappy enough that most players never figured out how to do it.

Sword of Fargoal

I used to play a ton of Nethack. I was never any good at it, but I used it as a semi-mindless time-waster.

I keep looking at DF. I’m sure I’ll play it one of these days. I’m scared of getting sucked in for hours upon hours at a stretch.

Pretty much the same for me. Shiren was the first roguelike that ever clicked for me, and it ended up being one of my favorite games of the year.

Keep debating whether or not to import the sequel, but I’m still holding out a glimmer of hope that it will be localized for the US.

Added a whole buncha links to the original post even though you can easily get most of those from any of the major rogue sites. Just thought I could gather all the ones mentioned in the thread and that way they can be all in one spot.


  • It’s graphical (with good reason; following blood trails and identifying the fact that, oh dear, your left leg is missing are important).
  • It has a unique take on the traditional difficulty mechanics found in *bands and their ilk. Rather than measuring in whichever (pvalue or tvalue or whatever) relative to dungeon level, IVAN measures overall character power. You can enter the dungeon and immediately find a phoenix feather whip and a wand of wishing. Equipping the former and using the latter to boost stats or give yourself mithril (e.g.) limbs will certainly make you powerful, but the game will start spawning harder enemies (and since you’ll still be relatively unskilled, that is doubly problematic).
  • It mixes random levels with random levels that have set pieces on them (e.g. level “3” of the starting dungeon). It has an overworld map and generally heavily themed dungeons. It’s ADOM-esque in this respect, though far, far smaller/shorter (though not short or easy). It’s no longer in development but the game can be beaten.
  • It’s got fun little mechanics here and there. A well fleshed out material system (and not just for gear), hit locations (and the complications that come with losing limbs), a wide mix of foes (who can do things like teleport items away from you), and some reasonably vicious AI.

You train up weapons skills via fighting and abilities improve over time via a number of activities (and you can do things to improve your maximums).

Every RL enthusiast should check it out IMO.

I misread this and thought you said your brother recommended MetaCollider. He wrote it, that’s impressive. Not that I am any closer to the developer because he is Tim James’ brother, but, still…

Yeah I did some browsing through a few of his Usenet (maybe?) posts and there seems to be a small community that likes to build little one-off Roguelikes. Might be worth linking to for those that are really desperate for new ideas.

If I remember correctly, the gameplay ideas he threw in relate to trying to maximize a certain “element” of your character by defeating certain monsters, but some of the items and skills you use (useful ones, like healing) tend to reduce that element score unless they match your chosen element. The split between your elements influences how the dungeon is built and what kind of enemies turn up so you have to change strategies sometimes. I’ve only done a few brief playthroughs (terrible brother, I know) so that’s all I remember at this point.

Yeah, I believe there are also 7DRL (7-Day RogueLike) competitions where folks get together and see what they can do in seven days. I have not dug too deep, but I find that fascinating that some of these games spring from something that basic (basic only in the amont of time, I mean. I imagine some folks can do a lot in that amount of time that I could not do in a year). They come out after seven days as complete, playable, and entertaining games.

If you start with some basic standard code for level layout, movement, AI movement, and so on, I imagine you could toss on some basic setting and content and one new gameplay concept or design gimmick in that amount of time. But writing it from scratch in 7 days sounds daunting.

Here is the 7DRL guidelinesat RogueBasin. I read these a few months ago and though, man, if I new anything, this would be cool, but then I remembered that I do not know very much.

Can I use external libraries? Graphics files? Design Documents? Code I wrote in the past? Existing roguelikes?

[li]This is entirely up to the developer.[/li]> [li]It is recommended one has some design idea going into the project.[/li]> [li]You should say what pre-existing code you used. The goal isn’t to see who can retype existing algorithms the fastest. The goal is for people to write playable and complete roguelikes.[/li]> [li]Remember: if you spend seven days patching NetHack, you likely will end up with something that looks a lot like NetHack, so it would thus not be considered very impressive. However, if you spend seven days patching NetHack and create an amazing new roguelike, you will be suitably honoured.[/ul][/li]

Part of me wishes the indie games sites would mention those competitions a bit more often (I don’t read gamesetwatch), but I guess the problem is they are so procedural that they don’t have a concise experience like you’d get with most short indie game competitions.

New releases of classic Angband are now posted at rephial.org. thangorodrim.net seems to have fallen into disrepair recently.

And classic Angband is still my favorite. I’m one of the weird ones that actually prefers ASCII graphics.

I have seen posts here and there. You are not THAT rare or weird. At least as far as I know and as far as your love for ASCII is concerned. Many like the fact that much more of your imagination gets tapped with ASCII whereas the tilesets lock you into those images. As some tilesets are relatively bland, many people’s imaginations are probably better for RLs.

Also, I changed my link in the OP for Angband. Thanks for the heads up.

I don’t mind Ascii (though for something like IVAN it’s not appropriate), but I need a good UI and I wish there were more rogue likes with more modern UIs.

A modern UI doesn’t really make sense for a Roguelike as much as people mechanically think it does. Think of it like a UNIX prompt, where once you’ve gotten over the learning curve, it’s faster to get everything done with the keyboard. It simply makes sense for this style of game.

A strategy hybrid like Dwarf Fortress could use one, and as I’ve commented before, even the keyboard UI needs work on that one.

On the other hand, I’m not quite sure I really know what a modern UI even means.

NetHack is the only roguelike that I’ve won. It’s been a while since I’ve played, but every time a new version comes out, I’m compelled to play it until I’ve ascended at least once.

Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. I don’t entirely get it yet, but I’m impressed by the obvious tactical and strategic depth and the insanely helpful UI. DCSS is the gold standard by which all other roguelike UIs shall be judged.

Shiren on the DS is brilliant. At first glance, it seems like an oversimplified version of NetHack. In actuality, it’s a very deep game. It’s a brilliant example of how simpler rules can lead to deeper gameplay.

TOME for me. I liked the character system and you have no shortage of places to explore. Angband before that. Never really liked the NetHack style of games.

Incursion is the new kid on the block that I am following with great interest. The developer recently started work back up on it and I can’t wait to see what eventually comes out of it.

I’ve been playing Dungeoncrawl for ages (it’s the only roguelike I could ever get into for some reason) and it’s definitely had targetting for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall if it was manual targetting (press x and then move the cursor to your target) or cycling through possible targets.