Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.20

Our gaming section seems to be dripping in nostalgia this month, with text adventures and the release of a major update to this popular Rogue-like adventure. Rogue-style games are another genre that started when the only graphics you could squeeze out of your hardware was made up of the ASCII text characters built into your terminal. And because storage was usually limited, too, the only way to create a huge gaming environment was to develop a way of generating levels and maps randomly. This is what Rogue and its progeny do so well, and why the game is still playable today. After decades of playability tuning, the random layout of each level as you traverse from one dungeon down to the next, combined with the random encounters and the way you power up your character, makes for some compulsive gaming.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup keeps tightly to this old concept, including the lack of any save unless you quit the game and a million different ways to die. It has huge number of characters and attributes to choose from, and a set of quick challenges if you don't feel up to spending infinity descending a set of dungeons. The graphics fit the game perfectly, being a step up from text but remaining cool enough to be seen in an episode of Mr. Robot. This new update adds a Barachim species, upgrades for ogres, two new spells, and new items, such as scarves! And, there are new dungeons to explore, made slightly easier by the noise meter showing your relative noisiness as you creep around the corridors. You don't even need to install the game if you don't want to because multiple public servers let you play the game online, where you can even watch other players and match your woeful score against those who have been playing for decades.

Project Website

One of the best features of Crawl is that you can watch other players exploring live through a browser – it's like Twitch for the 1990s!

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