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Description official description

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.

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Credits (DOS version)

128 People (126 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

A Guide to the Mazes of Menace (Guidebook for NetHack 3.3) by
Guide extensively edited and expanded for 3.0 by
Large portions of the Guide shamelessly cribbed from "A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom" by
Small portions of the Guide adapted from "Further Exploration of the Dungeons of Doom" by
Original Hack written by
Assistance on original Hack from
Hack re-write (v1.0.1 - 1.0.3) by
Early Hack port revisions merged in NetHack 1.4 by
NetHack 3.0c rewrite coordinated by
NetHack 3.0c rewrite team
NetHack 3.0c rewrite team joined by
NetHack 3.1 revision lead
[ full credits ]



Average score: 89% (based on 2 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 109 ratings with 9 reviews)

The best game i've played and im new school.

The Good
Its easy with its own complexity, fun and relaxing yet gets the heart pumping. The outcome of the game is the same but the gameplay is usually unpredictable due to the randomisation of the placement of items and monsters.

The Bad
The game only contains ONE objective: to get the gem. The animal that follows gets in your way. The animal the follows you steals the good things such as goblin or hobbit corpses.

The Bottom Line
Nethack is simplised solo game not to much unlike World of Warcraft. You stroll around a dungeon, getting stronger as you kill more monsters and are faced with even stronger monsters. HOWEVER the game has an objective; unlike World of Warcraft, to collect the Gem of some wizard and return it. The objective is simple but the journey is not.

The downside is there is only that one objective

DOS · by silver shaedow (1) · 2005

ultima enchanced, (besides the grapics)

The Good
this game has it all !!! from items, to npc's, monsters, mazes, and you even get to have you own pet !!!!

The Bad
1. It's hard as hell, i mean, almost everything and anything can and will kill you 2. gameplay isn't very good. most of the cool commands are hidden within the docs of the game 3. text graphics is so yesterday..... 4. the turn-based mechanism of the game allows the computer to "cheat" 5. it has too many options

The Bottom Line
it's an RPG, one of the best, and it's free !!!! something like ultima, but with more options, better gameplay, and less graphics!

Windows · by Henry Aloni (46) · 2003

Better than 95 % of commercial games and still free!

The Good
One word - Depth! I mean the game is HUGE. You never know everything about this game. There are countless files including information about every aspect of the game and the files are huge and full of information. The game includes many small jokes we and my friends laugh at still. The Quantum Mechanic is still one of the best monsters in any game! For all poor students this game has one incredible plus side - it's free! The source (in C) is also available if you're interested in programming.

The Bad
It took a long time to get into the game. At first I just couldn't play it. The graphics looked too poor. Well I remember the old wisom, "Graphics don't count, as long as the gameplay is good" and started playing.

I found one bug (I have played the game for maybe 4 years) and reported it. Now their homepage lists the bug as "fixed for next version". So bugs are NOT a big problem!

The Bottom Line
Download this game. There are no bad points to doing it. (Except that you may loose all your friends and family...)

DOS · by Heikki Sairanen (76) · 2001

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Why does this exist? Tracy Poff (2074) Jun 21st, 2014
NetHack or HackLite? Игги Друге (46154) Apr 30th, 2014


1001 Video Games

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


This project is also the descendant of an older game called Hack. Hack was one of the first "dungeon" type games to use a graphical display instead of text based room descriptions - though it still used ASCII characters to portray your environment.

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.


The owner of the candle shop in the Gnomish Mines town, Izchak, is named after one of the former DevTeam members, Dr. Izchak Miller, who passed away before the release of Nethack 3.2. Information also contributed by Late

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Droog.

Windows Mobile, OS/2 added by Trypticon. GP2X Wiz, GP2X added by 666gonzo666. PC-98 added by Infernos. GP32, Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi. Macintosh, Amiga, Browser, Android, iPhone added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Atari ST added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Adam Baratz, Jeanne, Alaka, Pseudo_Intellectual, General Error, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added February 2nd, 2000. Last modified September 11th, 2023.