Every morning, my mom hops onto her twelve-year old Hewlett-Packard PC and reads the news.
Specifically, she reads MSN. She only visits websites and articles that have been linked to from MSN.
The twelve-year old computer sits on my childhood desk in my childhood bedroom. When she reads the news, I am usually still asleep in my childhood bed. She likes to read the news aloud.
“The Ten Greatest PC Games Ever,” she read aloud.
“Oh, cool,” I said sleepily, “read them to me.” I sat up to put on my glasses, then lay back down. “Let’s see if we can guess them in advance. Uh, Doom or Quake. Diablo or Starcraft. OK, go.”
Midway through the list, my mom hesitated. “Number six. Um. ...Rogue?”
“Really! Who wrote that,” I said, sitting up in bed.
A long pause. “Benj …Edwards,” my mom said.
I snapped my fingers. “Of course!”
The first roguelike I ever played was NetHack. It’s pretty roguelike. I always preferred its ASCII graphics. I’ve never ‘ascended’ in the game—actually, I’m awful at it—but it’s still my favorite.
If you aren’t familiar with Rogue, the original dungeon crawl, I strongly recommend catching up on John Harris’s @Play column which, for the last two and a half years, has discussed Rogue and subsequent roguelikes.
“Roguelike” really is what you call a dungeon hack-and-slash, by the way. Like, that’s the actual word. When I reviewed Tao’s Adventure for EGM, then- reviews editor Greg Ford sent an email asking what a “roguelike” was. Like me, Jeremy Parish had also called Tao’s Adventure a “roguelike” in his own review, and Greg, baffled, had edited the word out because it “sounded obscure.” But here was that word again! And because both reviewers had seized upon the word “roguelike” to describe Tao’s Adventure, I was thusly allowed to keep the sentence “Tao’s Adventure is a roguelike dungeon crawl (google it),” but only if the sentence were further modified, ostensibly for clarity’s sake.
My point is, roguelike is a word. If a game is anything like Rogue, “roguelike” is the word you want.
I don’t know how I got this far down the page without telling you why I’m mentioning Rogue at all: Rogue Touch is now available for iPhone.
It has outrageously updated graphics: