The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

iNetHack2

The term "roguelike" gets thrown around a lot nowadays (i.e. Hodappy Bird [Free] is a roguelike), but once upon a time roguelike was only used to describe a fairly specific type of game. It all started with the grandaddy of them all, 1980's Rogue. That groundbreaking game led to many, ahem, Rogue-like games that kept most of the core concepts of Rogue intact but put their own spin on the formula. One of the most revered of these spinoffs is 1987's NetHack.

inethack2

Once upon a time, around August of 2009, an excellent iOS port of NetHack was released, called iNetHack. It was developed by Dirk Zimmermann and was based on 2003's NetHack 3.4.3, the most recent official version of NetHack to be released. Despite a few quirks and bugs, iNetHack was an awesome mobile port of the classic roguelike, and a cult favorite amongst many iPhone gamers. That is until September 2013 when iOS 7 was released and basically broke the game. Eventually, iNetHack was removed from the App Store, leaving its fans without a portable version of an all-time favorite.

One of those rabid iNetHack fans was Jeff King, and he decided to do something about the broken iNetHack. So he fixed it. After contacting Zimmermann and receiving his blessing, King took the busted iNetHack and fixed it to work on iOS 8 and all the latest iOS device screens, as well as made it Universal to work on the iPad. The result is the just-released iNetHack 2 [Free].

As King notes in our forums, "Really Dirk Zimmermann is the real developer of 99.9% of this and I put in 0.1% to fix it up and add a few things, and get it available again." That means that if you were familiar with iNetHack previously, don't expect a whole lot to have changed. However, there are some nice features in iNetHack 2, like multiple tile sets to choose from, touchscreen gesture controls, customizeable keyboard shortcuts, and file sharing capability through Hearse. (Pro tip: a full options menu resides in the Settings app, not in the game itself.)

Though he's being modest, I'm sure there are plenty of NetHack fans who really appreciate King getting in there and bringing iNetHack back to life. Amusingly, King was actually the last person to post in the original iNetHack thread in our forums, noting the issues the game had on iOS 7. Funny he turned out to be the one to fix those very problems he was complaining about.

inethack21

Besides making people who are already NetHack fans happy, the arrival of iNetHack2 creates an opportunity for a whole new audience to experience this classic. Be warned, though: This game is not easy, and it's not especially noob-friendly. However, there are countless resources out there that can teach you the ins and outs of the game, including links to some directly in the game itself. If you're patient and put in the time you'll be rewarded with a game that you can literally play for years and years to come, and still might never see everything it has to offer. It's so incredibly deep, which is why many people consider it "The Greatest Game You Will Ever Play."

So if you were an iNetHack fan who has been missing having a working version, a regular NetHack fan who's in the market for a mobile version, or a total newbie who likes incredibly challenging dungeon crawlers and RPGs, then you all have a reason to download the new iNetHack2 for free.

  • Maglor

    $$$∧_∧
      (´・ω・`)   n
     ̄     \ ( E)This is Game of the Week.
    フ TA /ヽ ヽ_//

    • Lickzy

      Where was your cat when when we needed one to herald the amazing sale that's happening right now!

  • anabolicMike

    Great game! Amazing game! Get it! All you 12 or 13 year olds smash your PS4 and get a real game.... It's not about the graphics it's about the gameplay

    • Bliquid

      As a gamer i say YES to your suggestion.
      As a bills-paying-father i say NO to your suggestion.

    • T-REZ5000

      Tbh only 12 and 13 year olds would actually have the time to figure out how this game works. If I would have known about this when I was that age it would probably be one of my all time favorites.

  • irettillib

    DawnHack is everything I ever wanted for NetHack visuals.

  • Womble

    Omg wow thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  • Praymettin

    Well said. And also NetHack is always completely free bound by its own agreement, which also means NO IAP.

  • Colten Moore

    Is there any chance at all of a return of SLASH'EM? Of the two ports, both done by Zimmerman, SLASH'EM was by far my favorite, and one of my most played games of all time, and I was devastated when it fell off my iPhone when I upgraded, because I wasn't paying attention and didn't back it up. I'd love to see it again!

  • icepulse

    Anyone know how I can change the tileset? Can't seem to find an option.

    Thanks.

    • dancj

      You have to go into the iPhone Setting and find The game in the list at the bottom.

      • icepulse

        Thanks!!!!

      • Chq

        Crazy.

      • irettillib

        @Chq - you wouldn't believe what it takes to use certain tilesets with the official PC version. I have to say this is the most accessible incarnation of NetHack I've ever played.

      • dancj

        And yet it's still really inaccessible.

  • dancj

    I couldn't get into this at all - but then I couldn't hack the original Rogue at the time either.

  • Nergal

    This game is a little overwhelming for a newb. I am enjoying it but there's a lot to take in and figure out. I've done some research, obviously needed to start playing this, I'd say. But I'd love a beginners guide or gameplay instruction

  • jForsythe

    I read that you can change the graphics how can this be done, or was that for the first one cause I remember how I could on that one. I looked in options but no go.

    • dancj

      See my answer to icepulse above.

  • Press2Play

    Yawn!!

    • Praymettin

      Is a pokemon move which puts the opponent to sleep next turn 😉

      iNetHack is endless fun.

      • Press2Play

        Sorry for falling asleep coz been playing this game in like the whole day that's why I doze off and didn't notice I......ZZZZZzzzzzz.

  • agaetis181

    Prison Life has been at the top for days and as soon as this comes out it gets gotw? Wut

    • nini

      It'd be a lie to say TA is obsessed with Rougelikes, you get the feeling they're the sort of nerd who lurks in the tabletop gaming section of your comic book store.

  • Nycteris

    Fantastic pick!!

  • thiagovscoelho

    I had the nethack app before, kind of forgot to reinstall it after I lost all my apps in the updating accident, did remember Brogue though; I'll be getting this one as well

    • irettillib

      I would love if Brogue came out with a universal app that implements pan/zoom functions similar to this.

  • akolade

    Dev here.. Thanks TA for the Game of the Week selection! Totally unexpected. I'm glad to help get it back available for people to play again.
    New players definitely should give Nethack a chance.

    The command system (aka every key on the keyboard) is daunting at first but once you learn the few basics ([d]rop, [t]hrow, [w]ield, [W]ear, [s]earch, [e]at...) you are off to a good start.
    I've been playing Nethack for over 20 years (yikes) and keep coming back for more.

    • irettillib

      Have you ever ascended? I've been playing on and off for ~4-5 years and I'm still pretty terrible.

      • akolade

        I've seen people ascend with iNethack before.
        As for myself... let's not talk about that.

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    How terrific that this ugly old thing is getting some attention! I would not have known about it otherwise, thanks very much TA for putting it on the front page. Free is a nice addition even though I would have paid for it.

    Also interesting to me is the idea of a programmer finishing someone else's work. The Marathon trilogy for iOS is in a similar state and the developer has put his source on Github if someone wants to make it compatible with iOS 8 and the new screen resolutions.

    If you want a truly "accessible" roguelike, get into the TA forums and complain about the way-delayed Sword of Fargoal 2.

    In the meantime, this is great to have! Thanks again for publicizing it and I look forward to playing it lots.

    • Praymettin

      Sword of Fargoal ios version is really basic, compared to this. Just a faster, colorful dungeon crawler, without enough detail. NetHack features tons of classes, items, spells, class specific quests, special dungeons and an unseen, huge monster roster. I know it is really hard to grasp for new players as well as old ones but it does not need flashy graphics or accessibility to be awesome. It is just good as in plain ASCII, the only dungeon crawler that can give a tabletop RPG feel for me.

    • peterw

      It's literally one of the most popular games ever made? It's survived for several decades when most AAA games are forgotten in a week

  • Chq

    The game made me angry, because of the controls. Had to delete it very fast.

    • akolade

      If you stick with it, it's worth it!

  • Phil Whited

    One quibble with the latest version - some of the menus get obscured by the keyboard, and there's no obvious way to move it. I was rocking along with a solid monk run, went to cast a spell and hit "X" imstead, couldn't figure out how to see the prompt, hit backspace, and BOOM just like that, I'm in Explore mode (no score)...