In late 1986 I spent a great deal of time gaming on my Atari 520ST.  I received a number of games for it that Christmas, but one in particular stole weeks and months of my life away.  It was Rogue, the famed dungeon crawling adventure published by Epyx and dating back to 1980.  A nice thing about Rogue is that it and its variants have been ported to most every computing platform in existence.  And ever since my first taste of that classic, I've gone out of my way to secure a copy for basically every machine I've owned.  That said, it's with a heavy heart that I've carried around a Rogueless iPhone 2.0 these four and a half months.

And now, thanks to Gandreas Software, my plight is resolved.  Rogue for the iPhone just hit the App Store [link].  And it's free.

Wikipedia describes Rogue's gameplay.

In Rogue, the player assumes the typical role of an adventurer of early fantasy role-playing games. The game starts at the uppermost level of an unmapped dungeon with myriad monsters and treasure. The goal is to fight one's way to the bottom, retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, then ascend to the surface. Until the Amulet is retrieved, the player cannot return to earlier levels. Monsters in the levels become progressively more difficult to defeat. Rare is the adventurer who will again see the light of day.

Features as listed by the developer:

  • Playable in either "ASCII" mode, or graphics mode (just rotate the device to switch)
  • Obscure keyboard commands replaced with a simple taps for movement, or a handy command picker.
  • Commands can also be activated by a unique gesture based command - want to search for a secret door? Swipe across the top of the play area (all the gestures are shown on the command picker for easy reference)
  • Graphics can be zoomed in/out via pinch
  • Completely faithful Rogue experience (all the levels, monsters, potions, scrolls, etc...)

If you're an adventure fan or a retro fan...or both, you won't want to let this classic pass you by.

App Store Link: Rogue, Free

  • Kevin

    looks pretty ancient...

  • Kevin

    looks pretty ancient...

  • http://www.itunesregistry.com mainstreetmark

    Excellent --

    I've told many people that Nethack may be one of the top ten games possible, merely because it uses your own imagination for most of it. The simplistic dungeon only creates some loose mental framework, and your brain fills in the rest.

    This is the opposite of every video game written since Doom came out with a "realistic" environment, and now you don't even have to imagine at all.

    Nethack was closer to reading books than watching movies.

  • http://www.itunesregistry.com mainstreetmark

    Excellent --

    I've told many people that Nethack may be one of the top ten games possible, merely because it uses your own imagination for most of it. The simplistic dungeon only creates some loose mental framework, and your brain fills in the rest.

    This is the opposite of every video game written since Doom came out with a "realistic" environment, and now you don't even have to imagine at all.

    Nethack was closer to reading books than watching movies.

  • aen

    man thats retro to the max! i played that on our first PC, a 086 IBM when I was like 10 years old or so? my mom continued to play even when the first 3d adventures like eye of the beholder came out. this is a must have for me! thanks for the info.

  • aen

    man thats retro to the max! i played that on our first PC, a 086 IBM when I was like 10 years old or so? my mom continued to play even when the first 3d adventures like eye of the beholder came out. this is a must have for me! thanks for the info.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    I've never been very good at the nethack / rogue games, but hey... it'll still have a spot on my phone!

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    I've never been very good at the nethack / rogue games, but hey... it'll still have a spot on my phone!

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  • http://www.f1archives.co.uk/mobile.htm Gregz0r

    I loved my Atari ST in the late and early '90's. Not for this type of game, but the merest mention of it, sends me into nostalgia overdrive. :D
    Xenon 2, Speedball 2......

  • http://www.f1archives.co.uk/mobile.htm Gregz0r

    I loved my Atari ST in the late and early '90's. Not for this type of game, but the merest mention of it, sends me into nostalgia overdrive. :D
    Xenon 2, Speedball 2......

  • Ahiru

    looks WAY TOO retro. talking about boring stuff.

    cmon, look at megaman 9 - fresh and retro at the same time. now this is just boring.. at late 80's i was playing nintendo already..

  • Ahiru

    looks WAY TOO retro. talking about boring stuff.

    cmon, look at megaman 9 - fresh and retro at the same time. now this is just boring.. at late 80's i was playing nintendo already..

  • applesauce25r624

    i love that people are taking the time to bring these awesome games to us

    <3 <3 <3

  • applesauce25r624

    i love that people are taking the time to bring these awesome games to us

    <3 <3 <3

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  • Eric5h5

    It's not boring...this kind of game never gets old. Although I prefer Moria; Rogue is more simplistic, but it's still not boring.

  • Eric5h5

    It's not boring...this kind of game never gets old. Although I prefer Moria; Rogue is more simplistic, but it's still not boring.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    Anyone who wants to talk 'retro', 'old', and 'boring' need only look to Adventure as a game that is still fun today. Heck, it's like saying Chess is way too 'retro'.

    I'm wishing the screenshot shown here was the of the pure ASCII text set, just for added comment fun.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    Anyone who wants to talk 'retro', 'old', and 'boring' need only look to Adventure as a game that is still fun today. Heck, it's like saying Chess is way too 'retro'.

    I'm wishing the screenshot shown here was the of the pure ASCII text set, just for added comment fun.

  • foodle

    God yes! All of you heathens and young tots who complain about it being "boring" have no idea what you are missing. You kids know what the "death penalty" in this game is? Death. None of this wimpy corpse run, lose XP, repair equipment business. Your character goes bye bye.

    Now if only someone would port Moria or Angband.

  • foodle

    God yes! All of you heathens and young tots who complain about it being "boring" have no idea what you are missing. You kids know what the "death penalty" in this game is? Death. None of this wimpy corpse run, lose XP, repair equipment business. Your character goes bye bye.

    Now if only someone would port Moria or Angband.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • Nagromme

    Well... Rogue/Nethack/Moria are like reading a book... if the book consists of the same 12 phrases endlessly repeated ;)

  • Nagromme

    Well... Rogue/Nethack/Moria are like reading a book... if the book consists of the same 12 phrases endlessly repeated ;)

  • Fat Phil

    nethack rocks.

    If you like Nethack et al, you'd probably enjoy Elona (windows only I'm afraid :/)

    http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html

  • Fat Phil

    nethack rocks.

    If you like Nethack et al, you'd probably enjoy Elona (windows only I'm afraid :/)

    http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    Looks interesting Phil, thanks.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    Looks interesting Phil, thanks.

  • aen

    i find myself wasting time with this a lot lately. an option to save the game progress would be nice though...

  • aen

    i find myself wasting time with this a lot lately. an option to save the game progress would be nice though...

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  • dave

    I recently beat Rogue for the first time in more than 20 years of trying. Greatest single moment of my entire life!

  • dave

    I recently beat Rogue for the first time in more than 20 years of trying. Greatest single moment of my entire life!

  • da

    Where's Nethack?

  • da

    Where's Nethack?

  • http://www.itunesregistry.com mainstreetmark

    when I say it's "like reading a book", i mean you have to imagine the environment, whereas in a movie (and modern video games), the environment is imagined for you.

    And all these roguelike games can be much more intriguing, since you have time to plan out (or escape from) an attack. You have to think.

  • http://www.itunesregistry.com mainstreetmark

    when I say it's "like reading a book", i mean you have to imagine the environment, whereas in a movie (and modern video games), the environment is imagined for you.

    And all these roguelike games can be much more intriguing, since you have time to plan out (or escape from) an attack. You have to think.

  • http://professorbooty.livejournal.com/ Dayv

    This is a decent port of a great game, and it really gives me hope that we'll see more complex roguelikes such as nethack or moria sometime soon.

    I have run into a couple of bugs, particularly with directional commands such as zap and throw -- especially throw.  Sometimes throw just accesses the wrong item completely or suddenly jumps to a different command menu (usually asking what item you want to eat). These are frustrating, but the game is still playable.  Hopefully they'll be fixed in an update soon.

  • http://professorbooty.livejournal.com/ Dayv

    This is a decent port of a great game, and it really gives me hope that we'll see more complex roguelikes such as nethack or moria sometime soon.

    I have run into a couple of bugs, particularly with directional commands such as zap and throw -- especially throw.  Sometimes throw just accesses the wrong item completely or suddenly jumps to a different command menu (usually asking what item you want to eat). These are frustrating, but the game is still playable.  Hopefully they'll be fixed in an update soon.

  • Arioch

    Its great to have this on my iPhone now. I have a few other games on my phone but this is the one I am playing more than anything else.

    Well done.

    • Stefek

      Where can i download this game for my iPhone and how to install it?

      • Zwilnik

        Simply buy it from the App Store on iTunes.

  • Arioch

    Its great to have this on my iPhone now. I have a few other games on my phone but this is the one I am playing more than anything else.

    Well done.

    • Stefek

      Where can i download this game for my iPhone and how to install it?

      • Zwilnik

        Simply buy it from the App Store on iTunes.

  • Kathy

    I love this game - I spent many a night in the computer room at university playing this....
    For those of you who've had problems with the throw command I'd recommend trying the alternative finger gestures (e.g. to throw left draw a line from right to left going through the centre of the screen) the same principle applies to thowing in any direction (i.e. always a straight line through the centre, drawn in the direction you want to throw). This prevents those aggravating moments when you find that you had thrown a valuable object.

  • Kathy

    I love this game - I spent many a night in the computer room at university playing this....
    For those of you who've had problems with the throw command I'd recommend trying the alternative finger gestures (e.g. to throw left draw a line from right to left going through the centre of the screen) the same principle applies to thowing in any direction (i.e. always a straight line through the centre, drawn in the direction you want to throw). This prevents those aggravating moments when you find that you had thrown a valuable object.

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