We've posted about Sword of Fargoal [$3.99] and its iPad counterpart Sword of Fargoal Legends [$6.99] numerous times now, even including it in our Best iPhone Games of 2009 listing. The thread on our forums has been going strong since March, and is filled with close to 2000 posts of people suggesting new features and telling tales of their adventures, with the developers participating constantly in the discussion.
From reading comments we get on articles, as well as endlessly pouring over our forums, it seems above all what our community seems to unanimously love is any developer who sticks with their game, and there is a short list of developers I can even think of who have done as much with their games as the Fargoal team has done over the life of Sword of Fargoal. Since its initial release on the iPhone, all kinds of new items and treasures have been added, along with new monsters, sound effects, potions, dungeon levels, and graphical effects. New traps have been thrown in, as well as multiple difficulty levels to make the game both more forgiving to new players and more brutal to veterans.
This latest update adds high resolution graphics, allowing players with iPhone 4's to enjoy the game at full Retina Display resolution. If you've been following the development of the game, specifically its pre-iPhone origins, it's really great to see how far Fargoal has come while still maintaining a retro feel. The original Sword of Fargoal was a 40x30 dungeon tile game with monster sprite graphics that ran on the Commodore 64, which can be seen in the bottom corner of the following comparison screen shot::
On the horizon for Fargoal in future updates is a complete overhaul of the random dungeon building system. Instead of the current 40x30 tile area that every dungeon floor is made of, floors can be any length and width. The developers are hoping that this will give Fargoal a much more "architectural" feeling to the dungeon generator. Dungeon generation is also said to be getting more purposeful, with things like guard rooms, store rooms, underground lairs, vaults, oubliettes, and other rooms for players to come across.
There is going to be more environmental interaction and danger outside of combat, and with these two things are coming even more descriptive text to help set the scene a little better. Fargoal will also eventually have an even wider variety of monsters that vary in intelligence and ability. Some will even use battle tactics and strategy, with certain enemies organizing with other enemies when appropriate to quicken your demise.
If you haven't updated Sword of Fargoal recently, now is a great time to do so. If you still haven't downloaded Sword of Fargoal, it's among the best roguelikes available on the App Store, and certainly the most approachable, especially with the recent difficulty settings. Sword of Fargoal is one of my favorite games, and it's really easy to recommend, especially with how committed the developers have been to both updating the game in the past and continue to update it in the future.
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