We're big fans of Dinofarm Games / Fusion Reactions' arcade-style dungeon crawler 100 Rogues [App Store]. The game, which we reviewed back in May, is a re-imagination of the typical Rogue-like formula. It features the typical elements of the genre -- near-certain death, randomly generated maps and loot, and a foray into the depths of an enemy-riddled pit -- but delivers it in a way that makes you feel you are playing something else entirely. In our initial review, we found it to be pretty brilliant.

In that review, we spoke of the long list of planned features that the developer had in store for the title. Here, half a year later, it's clear those weren't empty promises. The developer released all of nine updates to the game through October, and two weeks ago released version 2.0, a massive update that enhanced the gameplay in a great many ways.

Some of the enhancements that came with version 2.0:

  • Hell! Another world, with new levels, music, monsters and maps to explore, has been added to the end of the game, appropriately situated between the Dungeon and Satan
  • New Boss: A new, Dungeon-themed boss has been placed between the Dungeon and the new Hell world
  • Amafyst: The Fairy Wizard's basic projectile skill now leaves behind Crystal Caltrops upon impact, each lasting 10 turns dealing damage and slowing monsters that walk on them. Each skill point in Amafyst creates a higher number of more damaging crystals
  • Easy Mode now spans all three game worlds
  • Map Generation: Each map is now comprised of a mix of handcrafted and randomly generated rooms
  • Mob Clustering: Monsters now spawn more tightly in groups, and only spawn in mobs within rooms, reducing the incidence of difficult encounters in hallways.
  • Game Center can now be disabled via 100 Rogues user preferences in the Settings App
  • Stability improvements throughout the game

And the continuing evolution of 100 Rogues is showing no sign of slowing down. The version 2.1 update has been submitted to Apple and should go live later today or tomorrow. And it's a pretty significant update.

A partial list of what version 2.1 will bring:

  • Two new weapons
  • One new armor type
  • End Cutscene now rendered in-engine (Apple's movie player has been entirely removed from the game. Enjoy the greatly reduced update size!)
  • New Bandit Hole 1 music
  • Custom Playlist support via Options Menu
  • iOS 4.2 support (Game Center / Multi-tasking on iPad)
  • Load Times improved throughout the games
  • Many various bug fixes

In addition, a new, third player class will be released by December 15. This new class is known as the Skellyman Scoundrel, which lead designer Keith Burgun describes.

In terms of character, the Scoundrel is a member of the Skellyman race, a race of Skeleton-People created by magic many generations ago. This means that they actually reproduce and have baby skeletons which grow into adult skeletons - they're not undead and they don't come from humans. The Scoundrel in particular happens to be an undead Skellyman, however, as she was killed by her lover in life - he stabbed her in the back of the head with a dagger. She now keeps it in her skull (and it ends up looking like a fashionable ponytail because of its tassle) and stalks the dungeons looking for greater and greater kills with which to satisfy her thirst for revenge. When you get enough backstabs, you can deliver the ability SKELLY VENGENACE, a skill which makes the skellyman pull her lover's dagger from her skull and plunge it into a target. This skill can do *MASSIVE* damage, like you've never seen in 100 Rogues.

This Leap Attacking, Skelly Vengeance-dealing new class is all about stealth, mobility, speed, and dealing great damage to singular targets. It should mix up this already heavily-updated title rather nicely. Hats off to the folks behind the game for so admirably keeping the ball rolling with 100 Rogues, as well as for providing us these exclusive details and (inset) design sketch.

  • Anonymous

    Love Love this Dungeon Crawler - its got a style like no other, and the support and upgrades from the developer(s) are truly first class.

  • Jonah

    How about the bug fixes there folks. This game is the buggiest POS.

    • John H.

      Jonah: From what I've gathered, they've been working hard at fixing the bugs. It's a lot more stable now.

    • rhys

      This sort of opinion needs to keep up with the updates. It _was_ super buggy. The constant updates culminating in version 2.0 has recitified this.

      • thewiirocks

        Eh? I just played the game for the first time on Friday. As far as I can tell from the lack of an available update, I was playing the latest. And I can honestly say that with the exception of Hedge Wars, this is the buggiest iPhone game I've played. Random crashes, character phases through walls, enemies going invisible. It's a bleeding mess.

        It looks like I'm going to have to start over on my iPhone. After I defeated the genie, the acid monsters became invisible and blocked my way to the exit. I cannot move and I cannot fight the monsters. (Trust me, I've tried.)

        I think this is a very interesting game and I'm glad the developers are continuing to improve it. But buggy it is. Not was. Is. Hopefully that will be resolved in the future.

      • EastsideStompers

        Oh, that's exactly what I feared. I don't think I'll bother reinstalling then. Most of those nine much needed up-dates were to rectify the slew of bugs. Seems they hasn't helped much. I'll be sticking to SoF for now me thinks.

      • Keith Burgun

        I don't know what "thewiirocks" is talking about. I mean, for one thing, he thinks the Wii "rocks". "Rocks", really? Anyway.

        The fact is, the game *is* way, way more stable. It is absolutely *not* a mess, this guy is crazy. Give it a shot, I am certain you will agree with me that "TheWiiRocks" exaggerates. About a few things.

      • thewiirocks

        @Keith: Your comment seems to suggest that my issues are trivial in nature. Rather than insulting my choice in username, perhaps you would care to help me out of my current predicament? Here's a screenshot I just booted up the game to take:


        Do you see something I don't? I can't move up or down and the sword no longer does anything. I can bring up the magic menu, but it also does nothing. The items menu works as normal.

        I know there were invisible monsters because I was previously able to touch the sword button and get red squares. Occasionally, an attack would even show damage. (Though mostly it would just appear to attack nothing to no effect.) The red squares were located above and below my character. Initially I was able to retreat, but the second red square cut off my exit path.

        After I exited the game and came back (in hopes of resolving the issue), I was treated to the current situation of being completely unable to attack or move; with even less feedback than before.

        Since you're on top of this, can you please explain how I might continue my quest?

      • Wespaugh

        I could explain to you exactly how this bug came to be and why we missed it, but it probably wouldn't make you feel better about it. I'm very sorry, but for now there isn't any way forward, no.

        What's happened here is the result of saving and loading the game after the fight. The level reloads from the beginning when you do that in 2.0, but your location isn't reset. In the case of those hallways, I make them untraversable to keep you teleporting past the fight.

        A patch was submitted to Apple over a week ago that corrects this. In the meantime, I would strongly recommend not reloading the game during that level if at all possible, though *especially* not between beating him and moving to the next level.

      • Requ13m_


        I would like to point out that I once played as the fairy and teleported beyond the barrier around the boss stage of dungeon by "taking a wrong turn in the portal". I was unable to teleport past this barrier and return to the fight, and had to abandon the game.

        The matyrin' bug should also be fixed with utmost priority, as it restricts the potential of one entire class.

        I also found strange things like invisible scarabs and enemies walking through walls now and then but these aren't gamebreaking.

        Despite these issues, the game has been tremendously fun for me and I wish to express my appreciation to you for continue your work in the game. Obviously this isn't the final product yet but I hope you will continue to push out great updates even after all the bugs have been addressed. Thank you!

      • Wespaugh

        Hand-chosen, safe teleport locations will be used in the next update, and the other boss bugs like invisible beetles have been addressed, as well.

        Known / fixed Martyrin' bugs: occasionally the ability would send your armor negative when the effect wore off (fixed in 2.0), non-animating projectiles (arrows / zombie guts as opposed to fireballs) would crash when reflected by the ability (fixed for next update).

        Have I missed anything?

      • thewiirocks

        The character can also move into walls on occasion. There appears to be a fix in place that allows the character to recenter back on the map when it happens, but it would be better if the game prevented leaving the map at all. 🙂

      • Requ13m_

        Nope that is all so far from me.

        Thank you for listening.

      • thewiirocks

        Sounds like you're on top of it! Thanks for letting me know the bugs are fixed. I'll keep an eye out for the update. (No worries on the need to restart. However, I'll wait to restart until I have the update in hand. ;-))

        If it helps, the specific situation is that I defeated the genie with some acid scarabs still on the screen. The scarabs went invisible, but were still able to block my path and cause me to attack thin air. I ran to the hallway but got boxed in with no way to defeat the invisible monsters. Hoping that a restart would resolve the issue, I exited the program and came back. That's what triggered the current situation.

        Thanks for being attentive to these issues! Always good to know that a developer stands behind his product.

        BTW, why do the levels take so long to load? Is that caused by the level being generated by a maze algorithm?

      • Wespaugh

        Level loads are also improving in the next update, specifically that period right before the 'Tiles Wrought' process completes got about 80% shorter.

  • Billy

    "Apple's movie player has been entirely removed from the game. Enjoy the greatly reduced update size!"

    That's really misleading, Apple's movie player hasn't been removed it's part of the OS. Most likely what was removed was the giant movie file. Don't try to blame someone else when the reason the game's file size was bigger was you're own fault.

    • Simon

      seemed pretty clear they previously ran a captured end sequence & have now replaced it with a scripted sequence using the game engine. maybe awkward wording but not passing blame.

      • Wespaugh

        Yeah, sorry about that, I definitely wasn't trying to blame Apple there. Just trying to figure out a way to simultaneously point out that the cutscene quality was improved, file size reduced, and the issue with the movie auto-rotating wouldn't be happening anymore.

  • Big Albie

    100 Rogues became a solid dungeon crawler with the 2.0 update. I think the game and the devs are underappreciated. It's too bad the timing of TA's article was a bit off with the sale which just ended. I'm sure the article along with the sale price would've helped drive sales this weekend.

  • smog

    well i hope they fix the martyrdom bug and i hope this new char class doesnt come with a ton of bugs, all issues aside i have probably spent as much time with this app as any other

  • Lord Gek

    As a huge roguelike fan I love many of the game's pretty original beasties and skills, but there is no denying its nasty history of botched releases. From what I've seen so far of 2.0 it is their most stable build yet, but like many others, as much as I want more stuff, I get nervous when they add a bunch new stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Aha, seems really not bad, I'd like get and have a try 😉

    BTW, just found a cool list of Holiday iPhone Games of 2010 on appolicious.com, share here: http://www.appolicious.com/topics/431-top-holiday-iphone-games-of-2010
    Games lovers just enjoy 😀

  • juno

    This game makes me fall in love with rogue-like game. I really like the graphic design and the updates.

  • Peter

    The game is still buggy but it's playable and entertaining.

    If you like the rogue style this is one of the best I've found.

  • Nathan

    One must ask, why does a skeleton — lacking flesh — have breasts?

    • Oblonberlin

      lol true true
      maybe because sex sells?!? even when its a skeleton lady ^^

    • Magicmuesli

      I'm more intrigued with the big bone sticking out of her head!

      • Jay Geldhof

        More like it's a "molded" top and they're empty. The character is supposed to be female. Not a easy thing to pull off with a skeleton. And that's a dagger sticking out of her head.
        P.S. IMHO, this is one of THE best games on the iPhone

      • EastsideStompers

        Thanks, I see that now, lol. At first it looked to me like a bone with a very small witches hat sat on top! Logic clearly not one of my priorities: )

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cat-Astrophy/100000838113704 Cat Astrophy

    This game is REALLY REALLY SLOW. They need to forgo animations as an option. It takes damn near forever to deal with a group of ranged surrounding you because you have to not only chase them you have to wait out their spam (BS that you can't melee diagonally one square but they can cast one square diagonally). It's really boring compared to Sword of Fargoal.

  • M Vizzle

    Love this game, cant stop playing, bought it the day it came out!

  • Anonymous

    This is a fun game, but still buggy. Rather, I only just got it right before 2.0, but didn't play it until 2.0, and I've had some crashes. Not a deal breaker, but the bugs are not gone.

  • http://www.700r4transmission.org 700R4 Transmission

    Just came and read, this is wow! I was seek from many blogs, but here is the best, I love it.

  • TFEccles

    I think 100 Rogues gets far to much love. The game is slow, buggy, and the new player classes were promised before release,, and how many months later, they still aren't here.

    Not to say it's a bad game; it has been on my iPod since release.

    • Keith Burgun

      The Skellyman Scoundrel is coming in about 2 weeks.

    • Anonymous

      I think you need to give credit where credit is due. 100 rogues is absolutely brilliant. The entire Fallout series is buggy, but do people beat up as much on them ? There are no more game breaking bugs in 100 Rogues, and slow ? It runs perfectly on my iPod Touch 2G.

  • http://rekzkarz.com REkzkaRZ

    Well, here's my 2c.
    Game is fun. Needs a 'speed boost' on my iPhone 4. It's a really cool game, would be nice to have some more roguelike features, namely --> a bunch of classes, a bunch of skills, random potions/scrolls/books, and and and ...
    Uh, other Rogue-like stuff. See Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. 🙂

  • Vanvan77

    i really like to have a ipad!! i like the ipad if somwone have a ipad to sell you can givet to me if you live in the u s a or somting... well i live in canada

  • Vanessa