|Platform||Linux, Windows (source available)|
In a land beyond seven seas and seven mountains denizens of rec.games.roguelike.development newsgroup gathered to agree on a best start date for newly designed challenge. One of them announced:
A Seven Day Roguelike (7DRL) can be written at any time. However, a general agreement was reached that it would be fun to schedule a specific week for a challenge. This allows the various authors to know that others are also desperately tracking down a bad pointer reference on the 167th hour.
Now, we must choose a week.
However, a potential attendant did not respond with a week choice. He wrote:
In a bad case of impatience, I started my seven day project last night at about 23:30 GMT.
Thus first official seven day roguelike has been born. A week later it was presented to public as MPR7DRL. Martin’s Dungeon Bash (MPRDB) 1.0 was debugged version with some additional features. With time game evolved.
Notably MPRDB bears quite a lot similarites to Rogue. Dungeon is discovered in exactly same fashion. One square of visibility in cooridors while whole rooms are revealed upron entering. Dungeoneering hero is described by only two main attributes: body and agility.
Your character can wield a weapon, wear an armor piece and put on a single ring. There is not much incentive to swich weapons. You will do it when your old one is no longer usable or you found better thing. Changing armor may be viable when facing enemies with special attacks. Some protective gear grant resistances. Rings on the other hang get swapped quite often. Fire ring is most powerful and scorches undead and warriors well. Frost ring is slightly less effective but unmatched against dragons. Chosing best equipment for fight is important to conserve hit points and food. Matters can get complicated when several different monsters gather in a room.
Identification subgame is very short in MPRDB. There are few items with unknown effects but some things are included just to make discovering newly found stuff by use a risky tactic. You do not want to put on a ring of doom or drink potion of weakness because damage done is permanent! After a while identify scrolls will become junk.
Your armor and weapons gradually fall apart from use. This takes some time but certain evil spellcasters can speed this process up by cursing you. It is prudent to carry some spare armor pieces and pointy things. Inventory is limited by slots. It may be tough decision whether to take this runesword or sacred chainmail further. Armor besides granting protection may bestow wearer with resistances. Sometimes it is worth wearing weaker armor with magical
The game pushes you forward by imposing merciless food clock. Starvation is not going to kill you directly. However, hungry adventurers do not recover all their hit points and very hungry ones stop regenerating at all. Curiously Dungeon Bash shows exact numerical food value. You may eat all found victuals since your stomach is virtually bottomless. Rations are not meant to occupy your inventory slots.
MPRDB features missile weapons but sadly those hardly get any use. This is caused by small rooms, low damage potential and 8-directional targetting style. Switching to bow then firing few times (usually just once) and switching back is too tiring for a little gain. On the good side ammunition is not needed.
The game intentionally has no victory condition. Not unlike Berserk! your goal is to survive as long as you can, go as deep as possible and slay many beasts. Finally you will get slaughtered no matter how good you are because enemies’ strenght is scaled to dungeon depth. There have been rumours that at the farthest dungeon levels monsters get so mean and tough that they can smash a mighty hero to the ground with a single blow.
Martin’s Dungeon Bash hits same joy buttons Rogue does. If you like this game you may be interested in experimental version. It probably has a bonus bug but additional features are worth it.
Reviewed for Roguetemple by Michael Bielinski