Game Recommendation: Dungeon Crawl – Stone Soup
I first downloaded this game a few months back, but blew it off to play some irrelevant MMO. That was a bad idea.
Then, at the beginning of August, I actually sat down and played it. That was a good idea.
Well versed gamers might be familiar with Nethack or DoomRL or one of the other popular roguelikes, and Crawl is basically the same thing. The high points are the skill system, magic, mutations, some of the more interesting gods like Nemelex Xobeh, and Crazy Yiuf. It’s hard to say why I latched onto Crawl instead of some other roguelike , but I don’t regret it – it offers a surprisingly streamlined, accessible experience, especially if you play the Tiles version. Commands are easy to remember and look up, the manual is full of information you need to know, you don’t end up worrying about kicking cockatrices, and so on. In return for all these conveniences, the game cranks up the difficulty (although I’ve heard that it leans slightly towards the easy side of things for a Roguelike, assuming you aren’t going for a full clear). If you’re not careful, expect to die frequently on such beloved personalities as:
- Sigmund, the scythe wielding magician who is allegedly the most lethal unique monster in the game.
- Yaktaurs, who come in packs and can eviscerate higher level characters with their crossbows.
- Orbs of fire, which deal massive damage to unprepared players, harming not only their HP, but their very genetic makeup, leaving players screaming, berserk maniacs who teleport around uncontrollably and maybe physically stronger if they’re lucky.
- Your own ghosts, who take everything you loved about your characters, make them significantly more powerful, and turn it against you.
Clearly this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you can encounter in the game, but anyone wanting a walk in the park should go play Black Ops or something. Still, I’m guessing it’ll be quite a long time before I can retrieve the end item (the Orb of Zot). Anyways.
The main site for the game is here. The original version (Linley’s Dungeon Crawl) has much higher version numbers, but hasn’t been updated since 2002. In the meantime, the main developer Linley Henzell has written a variety of shoot’em’ups. I checked out one of them (Overgod) and was amused to see that the highscore list was by default populated with the pantheon of Crawl.