Ahhh. The quest for the... What Am I Searching for again?
Ahh, Rogue. The name alone brings forth memories of sitting in front of my 8088 PS/2 and wildly tapping the keys battling Aquators, Phantoms and Kestrals.
This game is great. One of the first real "graphic" adventures, it was a giant step forward from Infocom
Interactive fiction. This game was also the granddaddy of "randomly generated" games, such as Nethack
, that very few current games have yet to match.
The gameplay is very very simple. You start out entering the "Dungeons of Doom", and need to progress down through the dungeon to the 26th level to retrieve the Orb. Along the way you'll pick up magical blades, strange scrolls, wands, rings, staves, and food. You're character is portrayed by good ol SMILEY FACE. All the Monsters are represented by the letters A-Z (although you can't see "P", because P stands for Phantom and Phantoms are invisible :) You fight and move using the keypad, and you can pick up and drop items that you find during your adventure.
Being that Rogue: The Adventure Game randomly creates the dungeon as you progress through the game, it also randomly names spells. So if an enchant armore spell is "vof wifan que" in one game, you can be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE it won't be the same the next time you play. Same goes with wands and potions. Wand types (i.e. silver, molybdenum, gold) and Potion types (green, turquiose, plaid) will also be different each time you play. So note-taking will have NO effect except if you take notes on the different ITEMS found in the game, not the descriptions.
The graphics are ANSI style graphics. Therefore, the best you would get is 16 colors and the entire ASCII extended character base to work from. Fortunately, the extended ASCII set has characters that look like walls, and the Monsters are provided by the Alphabet. The game will run on any PC, even PC's running Windows 98 (a miracle in itself)
The only sound available in 1983 was the good old PC speaker, and It just bleeped.
Control is very easy. The numeric keypad moves your character, and also attacks in the direction you press. Can't get any simpler than that. :)
The game, although deceptively easy, is tough. I mean TOUGH. I have never reached the 26th level (so for me it is mere rumor... I believe that it goes as far down as the game want you to get :) so I have never recovered the orb.
Because of the game randomness, I've been killed on level 2 due to a lucky hit from a Hobgoblin, but I've also ventured to the 10th level only to be killed of by starvation.
Starvation sucks. Pure and simple. It's a matter of randomness if you get a lot of food or if you are continually fainting.
The Bottom Line
So to sum up the above review... It's random. It all depends on what the program gives you, that will determine how far you get in the game.
It's a fantastic game, don't get me wrong. You just have to catch the right time to play it. It all depends on the randomness :)