Next: The Zork FPS


Doom - The Roguelike sounds like a strong contender for Nerdiest Thing In The Entire History Of The World. And, OK, it is.

There are, however, two strong points in its favour.

1: It works. It's not what you'd call a deep game, and it has no lofty goals, but it's more complex than you might at first think. And it really does function quite well.

Thought has gone into how to translate the FPS experience into a turn-based ASCII game, and DoomRL has kept the spirit of Doom without making bad decisions like trying to translate famous levels into 80x24 screens. There are new weapons and old ones, and skills to beef up your character when he goes up levels, and things like shotgun reloading work in sensible ways.

There's even an ADOM-style tactics setting, to simulate dodging around to avoid fire or standing there pouring your own bullets into enemies. (When you pick up a Berserk Pack, you are of course stuck on Aggressive tactics until it wears off.)

2: It's got sound.

Roguelikes, traditionally, are silent as the grave, but DTR has standard DOOM sounds. And they don't seem out of place at all.

I didn't realise how deeply those grunts and snuffles and yells and scratching noises had burrowed into my consciousness until I started hearing them again. After I came to, hunched in a dark corner of the kitchen holding a carving knife and snarling, I was really impressed.

You don't have to have the sound on to play; if you're goofing off at work it's obviously inadvisable, and it's not even possible if you're running DoomRL on some ancient system or other, according to roguelike tradition. But the sound really does help. It lets you know what monsters are out there, and even uses stereo panning to tell you where they are.

There's a Wiki for DoomRL as well, by the way. Oh, and the same author has produced the going-full-circle DiabloRL, and a seven day roguelike (previously) called Berserk!.

I wonder what he'll turn into a roguelike next.

Myst? Civilization? Metroid?

7 Responses to “Next: The Zork FPS”

  1. RichVR Says:

    It's amazing how Roguelikes can draw you in. The sounds in this sucker just brought me back to my old 486 DX 50 days. Thanks for the heads-up on this one, it made my day. Back to playing...

  2. RichVR Says:

    ...with headphones, of course.

  3. matt Says:

    Speaking of the Doom sound-effects, did anyone else notice them in this Doctor Who episode? Very appropriate.

  4. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Yes, the Impossible Planet episode was replete with Doomish touches, but many of the very distinctive Doom FX are in fact from a standard (and I'll bet cheap) stock library, which is why you keep hearing them all over the place.

  5. Slash Says:

    Hey, hello people

    I noticed you noticed MetroidRL :P Well, I havent been able to work on it lately, but a much better version must be available by March... just have been busy with my other project (DrashRL)

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