Monday, May 25, 2009

Beyond Angband... Stone Soup

So.... as of late I've become moderately obsessed with playing various incarnations of Rogue, most especially Angband, a popular version set in the Tolkien universe. A number of us have been playing this totally hardcore, unforgiving, old school dungeon hack/crawl of a game, with most of us dying bitter deaths long before completion. In fact, if anyone has successfully completed one of these games, even with cheating, I'd be very impressed.

Even more recently I discovered what is now my new favorite version of the genre, Stone Soup. This game has a number of very interesting features, that essentially make it, at least in my book, the Fall from Heaven 2 of Rogue games:

- Persistent levels, with the ability to set waypoints to navigate back up to interesting locations
- 25 diverse playable races
- 29 character classes
- 14 optional religions, each with rules to follow to get buffs or penalties for transgression.
- On-line play (solo) with a stat-tracking server
- Most levels beyond the first few feel like huge instances rather than randomly generated generic dungeons. My last character ran into a Gnoll castle on level 5, then a giant Orc cavern in Level 6... then suffered hot flaming death after he opened the door to the main Orc God temple. Very cool.
- Ultra-smooth, graphical inventory system, taking some of the pain of Angand away
- Auto-explore function which greatly speeds time between battle action
- Plus a lot more... part of the fun is discovery.

Anyway, if you're looking for a good time killer, give it a shot. I strongly recommend the tiled version (pictured above) for its good looks over straight ASCII.



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