Roguelike Games


Roguelike games are turn-based single-player computer games with ASCII graphics in which you are an adventurer who is exploring dungeons, killing monsters and trying to succeed in a difficult quest. The dungeons, monsters and items are usually generated randomly, which gives roguelikes a great deal of replay value. Petri Kuittinen's Guide to Roguelike Games has more information about roguelikes.


In Nethack you are an adventurer on a mission to recover the Amulet of Yendor for your deity.


Slash'EM is a Nethack variant with lots of extra classes and races, new special levels and other new features. It can also be downloaded from Ali's Slash'EM page; if you are in the UK you'll find this page much faster than the official Sourceforge site. I have written a collection of Slash'EM spoilers; links to them all can be found on my page of differences between Slash'EM and Nethack.


In ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery), your aim is to save the world of Ancardia from the invading forces of Chaos. ADOM has a much more complex plot than Nethack or Slash'EM, featuring many useful unique NPCs and multiple ways to win the game, but its user interface is not as friendly as Nethack's. For example, if you read a scroll and it isn't automatically identified, there is no way to name that type of scroll, unlike in Nethack.


In Linley's Dungeon Crawl (Crawl for short), your aim is to retrieve the Orb of Zot. The Crawl gods are much more distinct than the gods of Nethack and ADOM - there are several gods who like the character to dedicate kills to them, but the pacific Healer god actively dislikes this. The Crawl races are also well distinguished, both by physical features such as Centaurs being very fast but unable to wear boots and needing more food than average to survive, and by their aptitudes for different skills. For example, a Minotaur is very quick at learning to use weapons, while a Deep Elf is very slow at this but much quicker at learning magical skills. The original Dungeon Crawl has not been updated for years and most Crawl players now play the Stone Soup variant.