Category Archives: New Roguelikes

Lone Spelunker by Barking Dog Interactive

Are you sick of hacking thru endless dungeons looking for ancient artifacts to save the world? take a look at Barking Dog Interactive’s in-dev game: Lone Spelunker.

A great adventure awaits for you

A great adventure awaits for you

In Lone Spelunker, you explore dark caverns in a turn-based, puzzle fashion, hoping not to die by falling from a cliff into a horrible dead. And you do all this just for a reason, to take cool selfies of yourself, deep under the ground.

The entrance to a cave, right into an underground puddle

The entrance to a cave, right into an underground puddle

In these caverns, you’ll find no goblins to smash, no magic loot nor evil balrons… it’s only yourself and your curiosity, hoping to discover as much as possible of the cave, while using your tools at hand carefully and patiently.

This shaft was about 230 mt deep. That a long rope!

This shaft was about 230 mt deep. That a long rope!

The movement commands may seem overwhelming at first, but they are rather easy to get accustomed to after a while; you’ll be mostly moving around, jumping and griping into walls, hammering pitons into the walls and shooting ropes from them, ziplining and rapeling  to move quickly between the vast, beautifully rendered underground locations and lakes.

For your first sessions, I think it’s a good idea to keep the instructions on a separate screen all the time, so you can refer to them when needed.

To prevent getting lost in the caverns, you can use the map (though some players may consider it cheating) or a gyrotheodolite / baromether to find your latitude and depth.

To prevent getting lost in the caverns, you can use the map (though some players may consider it cheating) or a gyro-theodolite / barometer to find your latitude and depth.

This game is beautiful, it’s completely rendered on colored ASCII, and you will find it lacks a “look” command because most of the things in the screen are just aesthetic. With the exception of the solid rock, mud, water, your ropes and the hammer-able walls, the rest is just beautiful and colorful underworld.

Careful! any misstep could lead to horrible death!

Careful! any misstep could lead to horrible death!

You can play the game on any computer since it’s web accessible, just create an account and start playing. Have in mind however, that the game is currently in open beta, so some things may not work perfectly.

There's a website where you can share your selfies and discuss the caverns with other players

There’s a website where you can share your selfies and discuss the caverns with other players

The games comes with a set of both randomly generated and fixed cavern complexes; for the fixed caverns you will find they have a list of challenges you may want to complete. They consist basically on finding something special and shooting yourself a selfie with it. The randomly generated caverns, on the other hand, allow yourself to take selfies just for fun, in the cool locations you’ll find underground.

You'll have to plan your moves carefully to get into some locations

You’ll have to plan your moves carefully to get into some locations

As the game is still on beta, you’ll find some small details (for example, I was unable to change facing since Alt + Left caused my Chrome browser to go back, thus deleting my adventure :/). These are however small details since otherwise the game is very enjoyable right now.

The caverns seem to be based on real world locations, you will also learn a bit about spelunking, with the game taking you to wikipedia from time to time for reference.

The caverns seem to be based on real world locations, you will also learn a bit about spelunking, with the game taking you to wikipedia from time to time for reference.

I felt the game could have better lighting effects for both aesthetics and gameplay, I guess the developers choose to leave it this way for practical reasons. Also, providing ambient sound and sound effects (with lots of echo?) would add a lot to the atmosphere.

Now here comes the mandatory question: would you consider this game a roguelike? certainly there’s no hack and slash here, but its turn based (almost completely, with some things like oxygen drop happening in real time), grid based, single character with permanent failure and procedural environments. There is no conflict/combat nor inventory (and thus no resource management), and there’s little in the way of random action outcomes (although sometimes you could save yourself from death by doing a “miracle grip”). But most of the factors are here, plus it’s got ASCII display :)

Play Lone Spelunker now for a different cavern crawling experience!

Reviewed by Slash, priest of Temple of The Roguelike

ARRP 2010 – Cataclysm

Hours at a computer have caused your strength and perception to decline…
but your mind couldn’t be better honed.

Forget Alphaman, Cataclysm is a open-ended free form roguelike ambiented on a post-apocalyptic future; you can play the current alpha version by SSH and delight with the wonderful detailed world. Be sure to explore the subway and the sewers!

Let's drink the last cola of the world

Let's drink the last cola of the world

Ah! a liquor store is never out of place :)

Play in the sewers, boy!

Play in the sewers, boy!

Ah! a liquor store is never out of place :)



ARRP 2010: Albion

Albion, from Triangular Pixels,  is a good looking blend of roguelike, cRPG and Tactics-like (for example: FF Tactics or Tactics Ogre) elements. It’s developed on Java and playable via JWS.

It had its first public release on the ARRP and looks pretty solid. They seem to be building on the basics and will evolve with character development and friendly towns from there. Theme is light and classic, yet it can be fun to play even in its current status.

Character Creation

Character Creation

The Party

The Party



Adventuring, more :)

Adventuring, more :)

Return of the DarkGod, the Fourth Age

For many years people have patiently waited for ToME3 to be released,
for many years I have tried.

But I always burned out of developing it too fast.
It was a pile of old crappy code I could not stand working on anymore…

Until now…

Surprise! DarkGod has risen…. and has announced his new creation!


T-Engine 4 is a complete, from-scratch, LUA-based remake of the T-Engine 3, and comes with the full ToME 4 module, for your enjoyment!

The engine has started its long road to stability, but things look nifty, and I’m sure it will rise high with the support of the ToME community.

Further info at this roguetemple post and the official site

PIPER, a roguelike console!

Something amazing just got to my inbox, a roguelike computer, packed with a fully playable game!

The PIPER from a side

PIPER is a PIC16F876 microcontroller single board computer, battery powered,  that can be easily programmed to run a “light” roguelike game version. Eight user buttons are provided and a graphical LCD (KS0108 driven, 128×64 pixels) is used as screen.


Speaking seriously…why do this useless thing…My answer is clear: because it was difficult. First computer games were done with even less resources and with much more effort. Also this is my small contribution to those *true* programmers that spend hours and hours in games like rogue or Nethack.

You have been killed!

Take a look!

microcontroller single board computer, battery powered,  that can be easily programmed to run a “light” roguelike game version. Eight user buttons are provided and a graphical LCD (KS0108 driven, 128×64 pixels) is used as screen.

Mini-Inverview with Topi Ylinen

Peleron’s Brilliant Rebirth (or PBR) is a pseudo-roguelike CRPG by Topi Ylinen. With the project just recently becoming publicly active again, I shot Mr. Ylinen an email with a few general questions about his ambitious project.

What kind of development cycle do you foresee for PBR going forward after it has apparently been quite a long time since the last public release?

“I’m hoping to get a bit more frequent and better thought-out/conceptualised updates from now on. The rather long delay between versions 0.103 and 0.104/0.105 was due to a number of reasons. Although there were a couple of players who completed the Master Dungeon and helped me iron out certain problems, the initial versions (0.100 – 0.103) didn’t attract quite as much attention as I had hoped. (On the other hand, I can hardly blame the players when pretty much every other spell you attempted to cast used to say “unimplemented spell effect”, not very exciting, eh? The most recent 0.105 release at least fixes that.)

Then I started implementing the second starting location, Voldival. I drew a huge town map on a large sheet of paper and then started building the maps, one after the other. I had also started sketching out the quest code and it was turning out to be much bigger design challenge than I had anticipated. All things factored in, at some stage I simply lost motivation. Real life kept pressing me hard, and I directed my energies elsewhere.

Then, after a time, I returned to PBR and decided to take a different approach. Rather than try to implement a dozen different kinds of new features (like quest code) at once, I should first try to make the ones that do exist playable. And also keep adding new areas to explore at the same time. The current 0.105 release fits this pattern: it is a “spells” release (meaning that it implements almost every remaining spell in the game and a lot of new ones) and also adds one more predesigned dungeon to explore. The actual list of changes is of course much longer than that but that’s mainly because the version has been “in the works” for 2 years!

The next version 0.106 will be a “skills” release. It will implement almost all skills that are available to beginning characters, including the rather complex ones like Alchemy and Smithery. The only skill that probably will not be implemented is the Disarming skill since monsters don’t currently “wield” their weapons

That would need to be implemented first, and it is not a high-priority feature addition.

Version 0.106 will also properly implement the two high-level skills that one of your characters can learn upon assuming the high-level profession currently available in the game

Not sure yet whether 0.106 will include any new playable areas. And no schedule for 0.106 yet.”

What spurred you to go at things from a party based and CRPG mindset instead of the usual solo venture?

“The simple realisation that many of my favourite computer games were actually party-based CRPGs. Having a party of characters instead of a single character added a layer of strategic complexity that I greatly appreciated, even if my party configurations often turned out to be rather stereotypical ones. Like, “melee tank – thief – priest – wizard”.

In many ways, I didn’t initially set out to build a roguelike – I was making relatively complex CRPG with lots of character development and strategy options. The user interface is of course 100% traditional roguelike; that’s mainly due to my personal background. A roguelike user interface felt natural to me, and I knew how to code it, so I used it. But the underlying game – the game system and the game world – could be just as easily used in any other kind of CRPG concept, e.g., in a Baldur’s Gate style game, in a realtime first-person CRPG or even in an MMORPG. Come to think of it, it might actually make a heck of an MMORPG – the game world is definitely unique and different (after all, the game world has been a personal labour of love since the late 1980s), and the game system would allow for a lot more depth and strategic complexity than the prevalent MMORPGs of today (that I know of) do.”

Are there any Roguelikes or RPGs in general you have drawn good ideas or just general “stuff that works well” from?

“I don’t consciously examine other games with the intent of finding new ideas, but I used to play a lot of CRPGs and related games when I was younger. There were games I didn’t like that much but I thought they contained some neat concepts. Then there was a handful of games that I enjoyed thoroughly, and I would be lying if I said that no detail in PBR was influenced by those games.

Eventually, of course, I’m aiming to remove the “foreign” game world material – this means especially the two predesigned dungeons – and replace it with stuff that is better aligned with my own Ikoniel world. I used an external source of inspiration for those two predesigned dungeons simply because I wanted to quickly create something playable, and detailed dungeon planning & design from the scratch can take a lot of time.

When I started building the game, I didn’t immediately start planning & writing the actual code. Instead I took a paper notebook and started planning how the game mechanics should work if it were a pen&paper RPG. My initial inspiration for the game system owes a lot to a well-known CRPG, but I wanted to take it one step further. What I ended up with was a game system that – with its complex calculations, modifiers and special cases/conditions – would have probably been too complex for an actual pen&paper game (well, except for the old Rolemaster or Advanced Squad Leader veterans, I guess), but in a CRPG that is not an issue when the CPU takes care of all that for you.”

Favorite Roguelikes personally?

“I’m a very traditional kind of guy, really. Nethack and Angband are the ones I have played the most. I like Nethack because of its details and relative depth (but hate the arbitrariness – your success depends too much on blind luck, my first ascending character found a Wand of Wishing near the beginning!), and Angband because of its epic scope and feel. Angband is also better for strategic planning since once you know the game, you know how to play and develop different kinds of characters effectively. In Nethack you would be worrying about the food all the time. There are still random elements in Angband that can cause unexpected YASDs, but that’s the fun part of it, isn’t it?

Moria was the first roguelike I ever played, and even though Angband (when it was released) quickly superseded it for me, I still have very fond memories of Moria. Like when I encountered my first invisible opponent. I couldn’t see it – that was scary! Eventually I took it out with some well-placed ball or bolt spells and felt like I had achieved a great victory.

And then of course there are the numerous NH & Angband variants. Can’t say I have played them all. But I liked some of them a lot – especially the ones that changed the basic game content so much that it felt like a fresh new experience, like Cthangband did. The sense of discovery, again!

Adom is probably the newest(!) roguelike I have played. I never quite got into it, I just kept dying and couldn’t get the hang of it or how I should have played it. The same problem with Omega. They are probably great games, they just weren’t for my kind of a player.

One very different (semi)roguelike that deserves to be mentioned: Alphaman! The post-nuclear holocaust roguelike. I played it just briefly and, yes, kept dying all the time, but I had a great time with it.”

Graphical tileset/sound/music planned to exist at some point after everything is fully situated?

“Yes. My todo list says under category 4b (“Not essential for the core game, will/could/might be implemented when *everything* else is completed & working”)
“- Add graphics
– Add sound”

Thanks for your time Mr. Topi Ylinen!

The homepage for the project is located at

– Getter77, 05/04/2009

Roguetemple’s Spotlight: Spelunky

Jhon Spelunky, a young, memory-less, snakephobic archeologist,
thirsty for adventure and treasure,
jumps into a cursed ruins complex full of traps and snakes…
looking for the ultimate artifact.
The amulet of Yendor.

Jhon Spelunky enter the ancient ruins

This is a great way to start our biweekly Roguelike Spotlight, bringing you the latest and most exciting releases on the roguelike world!

Today, I give you Derek Yu‘s SPELUNKY, a great game which albeit still on development, I am sure you all will enjoy!

Hold on for a second!

My goal was to create a fast-paced platform game that had the kind of tension, re-playability, and variety of a roguelike.  In roguelikes, the gameplay tells the story, and I wanted to give Spelunky that type of a feeling… but make the player rely on their reflexes rather than their brain (or knowledge of what 50 billion command keys do!).  If there’s a best of both worlds, that’s what I was trying to go for.

Did he suceed?

The reward for the trouble

This is much more than a procedurally generated platformer… besides the sweetly randomly generated levels there are many more things that take it close to a traditional roguelike! the fate of that promising character can change in less than you think, from a stuffed archeologist, shotgun and bombs packed, to giant tarantula food or a spike-teared bloody corpse!

Thrilling action!

The game features a smooth dificulty curve while still keeping things difficult; it is also full of surprises and puzzly situations where you got to make use of your available items, and by the way, you must make good use of them, as you may end up in a dead-end situation.

Following, the roguelikeness evaluation for Spelunky:

  • High Value Factors
    • Random Environment Generation: Yes
    • Permafailure (including Permadeath): Yes
    • Turn Based Interaction: No
    • Single command set: Yes
    • Freedom: Yes
  • Middle Value Factors
    • Discovery mechanics: Yes
    • Single player: Yes
    • Lots of content: No
    • Complex non-trivial world and object interactions: Yes
  • Low Value Factors
    • High ramped difficulty: Yes
    • Monsters are players: Yes
    • Character-based display: No
    • Hack and Slash: Yes


What? Why? HOW?? :(

Derek Yu provides us with a worthy cross-over experience, his experience in the indie scene cleary applied to this product. Graphics and Sound are retronice (what else could you expect from the creator of Aquaria?).

SO, download the game, browse the wikiashare some levels and… DISCUSS! :)

First <1KBRL Challenge

So, the First <1KBRL Challenge is over.

A total of 14 entries were produced

You may think it is pointless to make efforts to work a game on less than 1KB of source code nowadays… if i am a bit possitive, the best you could think would be “hey, it’s fun for the developer… let him be!” or “well, thats a pretty cool way to waste whatever work could go into a REAL game”.

I have news for you, and I can’t really explain it. The entries you are about to be reviewed have something, may be having such restriction in the quantity of code to create “playability” makes the developer of the game do what really matters into the game, no place for plot, no place for the simplest of effects, no place for munchkinism, no place for cool, complex algorithms or a full-live-world simulation. It is all about The Game.

I didn’t have the pleasure of living through the ages of classic gaming, but I think this is as close as I can get. My best guess (and great hope) is things were like this before. It is a shame everything has changed so much (natural de-evolution, one day soon we will be able to play games like these <1KBRLs inside a “real”, photorealistic videogame).

Play the games, you will really enjoy them. Also, be sure to tell the author he rocks, and fight with your friends for the highest score or equivalent. Use the roguetemple forums when needed.

So, without further ado, I announce the start of the 1st <1KBRL Challenge reviewing cycle, which start with an really interesting entry: Ooooorrrrcs!

A couple of simple applet roguelikes

Ants and DogsMr. Will Thimbleby has released two interestingly simple applet roguelikes at his weblog, the first, dubbed Ants and Dogs, is a basic roguelike which you can probably use for showing off the genre to newcomers, as it contains all a basic roguelike must contain.

Ants and Dogs 2: The revengeThe second one, Directional Ants and Dogs on the other hand, shows off interesting features such as directional FOV for both players and monsters, as well as hearing and running.

He has also released the source code for both of them as public domain, they are nicely structured and easy to read!