Back in the day there was the sword of fargoal, a simple little role playing game for the commodore 64, and I thought it was pretty damned good – so good I’ve written about it several times. In college I ran across several similar games on the old classic macs, and this in turn led to the discovery of roguelikes, a class of computer role playing games with complex interfaces, deep and complex character enhancements, and randomly generated dungeons. I’ve played many of them over the years and written about them occasionally. Unfortunately due to the complexity of their interfaces and their spartan graphics I’ve had trouble convincing many of my friends to give them a try. This post is another in a series that’s attempting to correct that.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a riff on Linley’s Dungeon Crawl. They’re both of a mind when it comes to gameplay elements: strip it down to the core, diving ever deeper into a dungeon that’s overfilled with fiends out to get you on a quest to retrieve the orb of zot at the bottom. They’re similar to Fargoal in that regard, though they layer in a fair bit more complexity, adding things like character classes, a complex inventory system, spell casting systems, and more, but they’re still relatively easy to understand. Stone Soup has grafted on a mouse interface that makes the game mostly playable just using your mouse, and it’s why I mention it here – if you enjoyed Fargoal back in the day, give Stone Soup a try – it’s great fun. Head over here to get yourself a copy for any operating system you’re likely to be running – just make sure to grab a copy with ’tiles’ in its filename – that’s the graphical version of the game. The other files are the ascii (character graphics) versions for purists.