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NetHack is a roguelike role-playing game with both traditional ASCII graphics and a graphical tileset. The objective is to find the Amulet of Yendor and sacrifice it to your deity.

In the beginning, you choose one of the classes - there are some traditional ones, like Priest or Knight, but also unusual ones like Tourist or Caveman. Then, you find yourself on the 1st level of the dungeon, along with your pet that will accompany you and help you in combat. On each level, you have to find an exit to the lower level; on the way, you'll find countless monsters to fight, as well as items to collect. Sometimes, you come upon a shop, where you can buy or sell items.

Items you find can be blessed (more effective than normal), but sometimes are cursed (less effective, or outright harmful). Eating the corpses of fallen enemies is an important part of the game, since many creatures give you special abilities or immunities when eaten.

While the above description might seem brief, NetHack is, in fact, a very complex and merciless game - there are lots of ways to die.

Since NetHack is a roguelike, everything is represented as a top-down view of the current dungeon level, where the walls, the floor, and all items, characters and monsters are ASCII characters. More recent versions of the game also include an official set of graphical tiles which can be turned on at the player's option.


NetHack DOS It's just wedged in a corner!
NetHack DOS Thrilling combat
NetHack DOS No key?  No problem!
NetHack iPhone Generating a new character

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Go ahead. Fight my semi colon. Linux Olivier Masse (420)
The greatest game of all time. Windows Mr. Crap (4)
In my opinion, the greatest game yet. DOS J. David Taylor (28)
The Last Game You'll Ever Play Linux Robert Uhl (3)
Sokoban dungeons - you have got to be kidding? (Fortunately not!) Windows Late (97)
Better than 95 % of commercial games and still free! DOS Heikki Sairanen (105)
The best game i've played and im new school. DOS silver shaedow (2)
ultima enchanced, (besides the grapics) Windows Henry Aloni (64)

Critic Reviews

GameHippo.com Windows Jan 18, 2000 9 out of 10 90
GameHippo.com DOS Jan 18, 2000 9 out of 10 90
Abandonia Reloaded Macintosh Jul 23, 2007 4.4 out of 5 88
Abandonia Reloaded Amiga Jul 23, 2007 4.4 out of 5 88
Abandonia Reloaded Windows Jul 23, 2007 4.4 out of 5 88
Abandonia Reloaded Linux Jul 23, 2007 4.4 out of 5 88


Topic # Posts Last Post
NetHack or HackLite? 5 Игги Друге (44999)
Apr 30, 2014


1001 Video Games

NetHack appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Easter eggs

Some scroll names in NetHack mean something when read backwards (e.g. "ELBIB YLOH", "DUAM XNAHT"), but "KIRJE" just means "letter" in Finnish.

Gameplay features

  • Players are able to receive Email within the game.
  • NetHack is one of the few computer games where you can actually produce offspring. By polymorphing into a female snake, dragon, or other appropriate monster, you can lay eggs. Just be sure to have fire resistance once your baby dragon starts breathing fire.
Information also contributed by Late

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Contributed to by Trypticon (10733), 666gonzo666 (53804), Droog (460), Kabushi (155164), Pseudo_Intellectual (45530) and Игги Друге (44999)