NetHack (Linux)

NetHack Linux Nethack on Linux


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Written by  :  Olivier Masse (450)
Written on  :  Dec 28, 2003
Platform  :  Linux

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Go ahead. Fight my semi colon.

The Good

What's likable about this game? Well, you have to go back waaaaay back in time to understand. Back in the time of green CRTs. That's right, the yellowish beige monitors connected by a serial cable to a Unix server in universities back in the early eighties. I'm no historian, but from what I can recollect is that back then, people relied on a few Unix games, notably one named "adventure", but these were text-based adventure games. Rogue came in with a more complete full-screen interface, then came hack, then came nethack.

What is likeable about nethack? Well it's an easy way to get back to that period, with a game that has been ported to many platforms and is still developed. The game is complex if you like high learning curves.

This is a handy game if you want to impress your friends by showing that an obscure operating system such as DG/UX or Tru64 can actually run a game instead of a business application, although Nethack is not what I could call a modern game.

I haven't played it enough to qualify it as a classic. I compiled it in my box and tried it out of curiosity. But it has a big following which makes me believe that there is more than meets the eye. Time will tell.

The Bad

Absolutely horrible and hard to master interface, but having been introduced to Unix systems in the nineties under the X Window influence, it's probably just me.

The Bottom Line

Nethack (and its ancestor, Rogue) has been best described by a Unix admin friend of mine many years ago as "The game were you fight with a semi colon".

So if you enjoy fighting semi colons, this game is for you.