(3) Sat Oct 13 2007 13:54 Roguelike Roundup:
Quick takes on a bunch of roguelike games I've played recently.
- This is the third time I've mentioned Lost Labyrinth in a Roundup, and that's because they keep changing it. Its Linux port is back and there are now presets for the enormous list of character-creation attributes. It also seems a little better-balanced than previously. Full of even more random stuff--last time I played, I got trapped in a throne room by a jolly king who wouldn't let me leave. Seriously. PS: casting spells in this game is a pain.
- POWDER has a really simple interface due to being originally written for the GBA. Has all the moving parts of your more complicated roguelikes, though, like self-polymorph.
- Now a bunch of Java Roguelikes based on old games, put out by Slashie.net. All of these do a good job of translating the original gameplay into roguelike terms. To play them on Linux you'll need to delete a DLL file that comes with the download, or Java will crash. (??)
- First, CastlevaniaRL, the best of this group. Captures the atmosphere of the Castlevania games, complete with incongruous candlesticks that you smash for prizes and poorly-translated narration from Castlevania II. WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE, indeed.
- DrashRL seems to be an Ultima-type roguelike. Or Ranadin-type, which I never did find the Java remake of that game. Anyway. Kind of boring, but cool "floating orb" graphic.
- ZeldaRL is okay but the color curses interface makes it look like Zangband, totally changing the mood to a non-Zelda mood.
- MetroidRL was pretty disappointing actually. You know what we need here is a Kid Icarus roguelike.
- Not from Slashies.net but a similar idea is DiabloRL, which is Windows-only and won't work on WINE. There's a whole 7-Day Roguelike project that spawns most of these weird games, kind of like the IF MiniComps except they often get fleshed out later.
One ludeme shared by most of these games is non-regenerating HP. I find this ups the difficulty greatly in a roguelike, where you can't rely on dexterity to evade enemies, so I tend to go for magicians or other characters who can self-heal, like the allegedly reformed vampire in CastlevaniaRL.
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