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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 Amiga Who are you? (Tile mode)
NetHack DOS High score table
NetHack iPhone Heart-pumping character advancement
NetHack iPhone Inventory

Promo Images

NetHack Screenshot
NetHack Screenshot
NetHack Screenshot

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

In my opinion, the greatest game yet. DOS J. David Taylor (28)
Go ahead. Fight my semi colon. Linux Olivier Masse (449)
Incredible depth of gameplay, ASCII graphics. The perfect hack-and-slash game? Linux Geoff Cruttwell (8)
The greatest game of all time. Windows Mr. Crap (4)
The Last Game You'll Ever Play Linux Robert Uhl (3)
Sokoban dungeons - you have got to be kidding? (Fortunately not!) Windows Late (95)
Better than 95 % of commercial games and still free! DOS Heikki Sairanen (115)
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 DOS Jan 18, 2000 9 out of 10 90 Windows Jan 18, 2000 9 out of 10 90
Abandonia Reloaded Amiga Jul 23, 2007 4.4 out of 5 88
Abandonia Reloaded Macintosh 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
Why does this exist? 15 Pseudo_Intellectual (64072)
Jun 21, 2014
NetHack or HackLite? 5 Игги Друге (46318)
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.


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

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Trypticon (11039), 666gonzo666 (65683), Infernos (35745), Droog (522), Kabushi (257509), Pseudo_Intellectual (64072) and Игги Друге (46318)
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