The iPhone has become home to a number of retro ports and retro-styled games, but few come close to the amount of care that went in to Sword of Fargoal [App Store], a recently released classic dungeon crawling adventure game. The original creator Jeff McCord teamed up with Paul Pridham (of Saucerlifter fame) to create a greatly enhanced version of Fargoal, a game originally designed 30 years ago in BASIC.
From our in-depth look at the game:
In a nutshell, the game places the player within the top level of a deep series of dungeons with the quest of seeking out the legendary "Sword of Fargoal" and escaping with it from the depths of said dungeons. Complicating matters is the fact that the layout of each dungeon level is randomly generated when the player enters it, and that the dungeons are all initially bathed in darkness, revealing themselves only as the player explores. Those lucky enough to locate the sword have only 2,000 seconds to find their way out of the dungeons which, even on the way up, are randomly generated…. Not a proposition for the meek.
Along the way, the player encounters a vast array of enemies, both human and not-so-human. Battling these enemies, the player builds experience points which allow the character to level, increasing his fighting abilities and hit points. As well, various spells can be found throughout the dungeons that aid the player in completing his quest: Invisibility, Drift, Light, Regeneration, Teleport, and Shield.
Sword of Fargoal is in essence a perfect retro port. The various graphical and interface improvements from the original do a great job at bringing the game up to today's standards while still maintaining a delightful vintage flare with gameplay that stays true to the game's roots. If you've never experienced a roguelike dungeon crawler, Sword of Fargoal is a great place to start as it's by far the most accessible.
While the limited-time $1.99 sale is in place, I highly recommend giving Fargoal a try if you're at all interested in retro games, especially if you like randomly generated games that provide nearly infinite replay value. If you're looking for an even more classic roguelike, check out Rogue Touch [$2.99] although both games are worth owning if you like one or the other.
App Store Link: Sword of Fargoal, $1.99