Rogue (Going Back)

Source: Cashmoneys
Price: £2.09
Where To Get It: Steam

So… Rogue. The original Rogue, or, more accurately, one of the Epyx releases of this, the progenitor of the roguelike genre. Oh boy, what a historical artefact this is.

I am a little miffed this isn’t the graphically pleasing version that was released on the Atari ST and Amiga, but… What can you do?

There are two secret rooms here. But me spending the time to search for them would mean my hunger meter runs low. Time to move on after murdering this Kestrel!

Anyway, yes, the original Rogue. If you’ve ever played a roguelike, you know the deal: A procedurally generated level is made, you move in a turn based fashion, so do the monsters, you hit things (or shoot things), you don’t know what a potion or scroll does until you use it (in a run, because it doesn’t stay the same between runs), once you die, that’s it, and the number of things that can kill you is pretty high.

Funnily enough, as one of the earliest examples… Rogue is dull as dishwater. Its generation is boring, its enemies are few until later levels (although enemies constantly spawn), its difficulty is very much random (sometimes, you’re just going to die of hunger because you haven’t found edibles in time), and, beyond the excitement of potions and scrolls, there’s… Really not a lot to keep track of, or use, or play with.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a death to be sneezed at. Slimes are bastards in Rogue.

Hit points. Strength. Weapon bonuses and types. What enemies do. Is there a secret room. That’s… Pretty much it.

So, it’s good as a historical curiosity, and an example of how far the genre has come, and branched out, and evolved… But… That’s about it, honestly. As mentioned, it’s not even the one with tiles as an option over ASCII, so… Recommended to people who love the history of roguelikes that somehow don’t have Rogue?

That’s… Kind of a small demographic, really.

It always starts with chainmail. That’s a gateway into adventuring, and next thing you know, they’re 20 levels deep and looking for a +8 sword.

Remember, just say no.

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