I am in love with a little thing called Rougelike games.
These days video games are a big deal, with huge budgets rivalling movies with scores of people working on them for year. They look prettier and prettier each year and take a beast of a computer to run.
The opposition to these are rougelike games.
In rougelike games the focus is off of the looks and onto the gameplay. Infact, so little care is given to the graphics that they just use ascii characters.
Also many things considered normal in most games, like saving, are left out. If you die in a rougelike, you’ve probably lost that character for good.
It may sound all bad but really it isn’t, these can be produced by single person teams and can have really rich gameplay experience. They are to most game, like what book are to movies. Without the graphics telling the player what to see their imagination is allowed to run free.
In my favourite rougelike at the moment, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
, I like playing a Spriggan Enchanter. Which is a fancy way of saying a leprechaun that knows magic.
Now, all that the computer gives me as feedback is, “you just cast sleep. Goblin failed to defend itself.”
But what I see is a leprechaun darting around corners, seeing a goblin and quickly casting sleep at it. The goblin totters and begins to fall over. The leprechaun leaps out from behind the wall and legs it towards to goblin, slitting it’s throat before it hits the ground.
It’s even better because the god that this particular spriggan worships grants powers through the use of card decks. If you sacrifice enough things to him then you will be granted a deck. When you see an enemy you draw a card, not knowing what it is before hand, and it contains a spell that will be shot at that enemy. It’s very heart of the cards.
My very favourite rougelike of all time isn’t even really a rougelike in the sense that it’s not even an RPG but a managment game. It’s called Dwarf Fortress. I think the best way to introduce people to this funny little thing is to just link to the most famous DF story “Boatmurdered”. Remember the Dwarf Fortress motto, “Losing is Fun.”