inethack screen

Last night, iPhone developer Dirk Zimmermann released iNetHack [App Store] for the iPhone, a port of NetHack 3.4.3, released in 2003.

For those unaware, the open source NetHack is one of the better known "roguelike" dungeon crawlers, which places the player, who assumes one of many available fantasy roles such as knight, barbarian, wizard, rogue, valkyrie, monk, and samurai, and his/her companion (usually a kitten, a puppy, or a pony) at the top level of a deep dungeon populated with all manner of creatures that go bump in the night.  The mission?  Retrieve the Amulet of Yendor which resides at the lowest level of the dungeon and bestows upon the successful adventurer the gift of immortality.  Along the way a number of sub-quests must be completed.  Few are up to the challenge....

inethackBeing a roguelike, iNetHack has much in common with the similarly-inspired Rogue Touch [App Store], one of my favorite iPhone games.  But, while Rogue Touch is well-evolved, and feature-rich, iNetHack is rather rough around the edges right now.  Some gamers, myself included, have noted a bug that freezes the game when certain menus are accessed.  The developer indicates that he has addressed this bug in the development build, which will soon make its way to the App Store.  As well, there is presently no zoom feature to bring the action more clearly into view, which makes the game a little hard on the eyes at times.  Hopefully, a future update will enable this rather needed feature.

These various issues can perhaps be partially forgiven, given the fact that iNetHack is a free download.  NetHack is a notable release for the platform with a great many fans.  Salon called it "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer."  Let's hope the author gives iNetHack the attention it deserves and raises it to "must have" App Store status.

App Store Link: iNetHack, Free

TouchArcade Rating

  • donner

    YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!! Please fix the bugs, ad a zoom feature and make the menus a bit more user friendlly - This is truly one of the best games in the world and needs the attention.

  • donner

    YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!! Please fix the bugs, ad a zoom feature and make the menus a bit more user friendlly - This is truly one of the best games in the world and needs the attention.

  • Oggy

    Downloading it now. NetHack rules. Rogue Touch is still my most-played iPhone game by a country mile.

  • Oggy

    Downloading it now. NetHack rules. Rogue Touch is still my most-played iPhone game by a country mile.

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    It is great to see other roguelikes like NetHack finally making the jump to the iPhone! I am honored that Rogue Touch has made a number of peoples favorite game lists (Blake included). During my consulting stint this summer I figured we would be long forgotten, but it is very nice to know that we set the bar for roguelikes and people recognize it :)

    I have been in touch with the developer (DirkZ) and plan on pitching some ideas to help him improve the UI on iNetHack. Anyone with ideas or suggestions should join the forum thread or PM DirkZ or myself (CommanderData). Hopefully people will contribute to this and make iNetHack even better.

    PS- Rogue Touch updates are coming soon, as well as some new games ;)

    • Marcraft

      Great work on Rogue Touch. It's one of very few 1st screen games on my iPhone, and I keep coming back to it. I've yet to beat it (21st floor on the way back up), but I find it's the perfect iPhone game, which, to me, means:

      1. Great for short spurts. Can sit down, resume a game, and know exactly what you're supposed to be doing. This is a problem for me with deep games like The Quest.
      2. Doesn't require tilting/accelerometer. This is nice while standing in line somewhere and not having to look like a dork waving your phone around.
      3. Doesn't require "twitch" reflexes or timing... If I'm in the subway, in a car, etc. I can't really work my hand-eye coordination too well, so this game suits that scenario perfectly.
      3. Doesn't chew up batteries. 3D games tear through my iPhone battery, so Rogue Touch is great if you want to keep your phone on all day.

      Keep up the great work. I look forward to updates!

      Now to see what this NetHack port is like... I fear that Rogue Touch has set the bar too high! :)

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    It is great to see other roguelikes like NetHack finally making the jump to the iPhone! I am honored that Rogue Touch has made a number of peoples favorite game lists (Blake included). During my consulting stint this summer I figured we would be long forgotten, but it is very nice to know that we set the bar for roguelikes and people recognize it :)

    I have been in touch with the developer (DirkZ) and plan on pitching some ideas to help him improve the UI on iNetHack. Anyone with ideas or suggestions should join the forum thread or PM DirkZ or myself (CommanderData). Hopefully people will contribute to this and make iNetHack even better.

    PS- Rogue Touch updates are coming soon, as well as some new games ;)

    • Marcraft

      Great work on Rogue Touch. It's one of very few 1st screen games on my iPhone, and I keep coming back to it. I've yet to beat it (21st floor on the way back up), but I find it's the perfect iPhone game, which, to me, means:

      1. Great for short spurts. Can sit down, resume a game, and know exactly what you're supposed to be doing. This is a problem for me with deep games like The Quest.
      2. Doesn't require tilting/accelerometer. This is nice while standing in line somewhere and not having to look like a dork waving your phone around.
      3. Doesn't require "twitch" reflexes or timing... If I'm in the subway, in a car, etc. I can't really work my hand-eye coordination too well, so this game suits that scenario perfectly.
      3. Doesn't chew up batteries. 3D games tear through my iPhone battery, so Rogue Touch is great if you want to keep your phone on all day.

      Keep up the great work. I look forward to updates!

      Now to see what this NetHack port is like... I fear that Rogue Touch has set the bar too high! :)

  • wegmans

    Is this app's angle appealing to the dedicated fans of the original game? As it looks right now, I can't see this appealing to the masses.. I think it will be more like a cult app! Love to see it succeed though!

  • wegmans

    Is this app's angle appealing to the dedicated fans of the original game? As it looks right now, I can't see this appealing to the masses.. I think it will be more like a cult app! Love to see it succeed though!

  • Bernhard

    ohhh, thanks for pointing me to Rogue Touch!
    just bought it :)

  • Bernhard

    ohhh, thanks for pointing me to Rogue Touch!
    just bought it :)

  • Ravenblack

    I'll play this a bit more before I send in my suggestions. :)

    OT: I hope Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) makes it to iphone as well. It seems that creator of ADOM has an iphone (mentioned on his blog: http://www.adom.de/blog/2009/04/02/concerning-adom/ ) and had thought about it.

  • Ravenblack

    I'll play this a bit more before I send in my suggestions. :)

    OT: I hope Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) makes it to iphone as well. It seems that creator of ADOM has an iphone (mentioned on his blog: http://www.adom.de/blog/2009/04/02/concerning-adom/ ) and had thought about it.

  • http://jet.ro tonic

    Requires iPhone OS 3.0.

  • http://jet.ro tonic

    Requires iPhone OS 3.0.

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    Anyone interested in some ideas of where NetHack could go in the future stop over in the forum thread and see the images I posted from a hack-job of the source (pun intended):

    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=404986&postcount=55

    Some shades of Rogue Touch are easy to paint... an inventory-centric control system like the one I made for RT will be a bit harder to work out :)

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    Anyone interested in some ideas of where NetHack could go in the future stop over in the forum thread and see the images I posted from a hack-job of the source (pun intended):

    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=404986&postcount=55

    Some shades of Rogue Touch are easy to paint... an inventory-centric control system like the one I made for RT will be a bit harder to work out :)