Author Topic: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery  (Read 4681 times)


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Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« on: November 16, 2016, 11:12:11 PM »
I am an old-timer, who used to play a bit Vanilla Angband many years ago and lots of Ultima before that.

By accident, i found Ultima IV for iPhone and installed it without further thought.
Would also have payed 10 or 20 euros without thought, even more with some thought.

In that course, i began to search for rogue-likes in the App Store.

I installed and *very* shortly tried most i could find and deleted them again, when i directly disliked something.

That left me with the following games currently installed:

A bit more RPG, taking quite long:

Dungeon Legends
Ultima IV
Heroes of Steel
Dungeons of Chaos

Something in between RPG and Roguelike:

Endless Nights
Endless Depths 2 (the first gamehad too much ads)
Dungeons of Evermore
Dungeon Madness
Dangeon Madness - Wizards Quest

And the more Roguelikes and Roguelites:

Cardinal Quest II
Red Wizard
Quest of Dungeons
Dungeons of Gravestone (ads ... will check if that can be removed)
Gone Rogue (to be double-checked, later)
Sword of Fargoal - Legends

That´s a long list.
Seemingly, no *band included.

I am *not* bound to Hack- or Band-style games - i like and dislike several things in each of them.

What i would like to do here, is short discovery of the games i listed above (and may be added later).

This is, to first do a showcase of games for iPhones and also to sort my thoughts, get feedback and recommendations - all while playing those games.

So, this will not be a series of full reviews, but a series of impressions, thoughts, feelings and first impressions.

Maybe this will be useful for one or the other.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 11:45:57 PM by TJA »


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2016, 11:42:49 PM »
I was not sure, in what sequence i should start to write.
But as i today have had a closer look at "Sword of Fargoal", i just write about this:

Sword of Fargoal Legends

Official Site:

In finding this site, i also noticed that there is a Kickstarter campaign to get "Sword of Fargoal 2" running, but it seems to be outdated:

Please note, that "Sword of Fargoal" and "Sword of Fargoal Legends" (Fargoal Legends) is just the same game (from what i read), but the latter is a universal binary for both iPhone and iPad.

From i learned, that this game is quite and old and commercial games from 1982! This makes it rogue-like by definition.

An additional, interesting article - in german:

I am not going to repeat details that you can read from any of those sites ;-)

Starting the game shows that is very well made, indeed.
You can start with a turorial "Training", that shows how to move, get and do things, use magic, explains the Fog of War and so on - this tutorial is short and very well done.

You can also read "Fargoal Lore" at the start screen, which introduces the background in some pages of text.
In the Settings, you can change Audio, Video and the Interface - the graphical style (smooth or blocky) can be changed in the Video section, not the Interface!
As i knew the Video, i disabled it and choose the chunky, not the smooth graphics style, as i realy dislike the smooth version ;-)
In Audio, i disabled the Fanfare.
You can enable or disable a minimap and change from swipe control to "Tap and Run".

In "Choose Quest", you select one of 8 possible save-slots for different heroes, or you can just continue your current run from the startscreen.

You can name for hero, choose him to be male or female and can roll for 2 stats: Health and Skill.
This realy seems to be random and you can continue to roll for good stats as long as you want.
This is directly the first point i don´t like.

And then, you can choose the difficulty of the game - and this i like very much!
It is named "Skill Level" and you can choose between Squire (unlimited lives), Hero (normal, one live i assume) and Legend (normal, but darker maps and stronger monsters).

I chose Squire, as i want get impressions of the game, not to die soon :D

And the second point i dislike is, that the game is tile-based, but it is not realy turn-based!
The enemies move on themselfs!
And if you do not move, they may move!
So, it is less roguelike than i thought.
But you can always hit Pause :)

But let´s continue.

I realy like the graphics, the display of rooms, corridors, the fog of war and also the easy way to scroll out and in with a doubleclick - you can then see most of the map all together and can even move in this view!
Very handy.

When you swipe, you can still hold down your finger and the hero continues to move, which i realy like.
It turns out that the "Tap and Run" option allows for *both* kinds of movement - and only then you can get the character to using pathfinding code to move from X to Y. Also well done and nice when using the overview look.

The game is very easy at the first level and i did not change the level so far.
Items get auto-identified, which i also like.

Conclusion: Even if not turn-based, i realy like the game and implementation!

It will stay on the list of games on my iPhone - and i will write up more after having more experience with it.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 12:02:21 AM by TJA »


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 04:27:06 PM »
Some more URLs:

I was not aware of this gigantic topic about Sword of Fargoal:

My original thoughts were, that i may play some time, write something up, finish with the game and then continue with the next game from my list.

But even as this game is just a "roguelike-lite" and feels more like an action-rpg, not a roguelike, it continues to draw all my attention and time ;-)

This is mostly because it is still quite easy, as you can rest at temples and will not be attacked there, but you also have not much time within fights - things can get hectic ;-)
Several times, i was only saved by restore potions that will automatically be drunk and refill all your HP.
The dungeons may be created radomly, but they stay persistent after creation - i like this very much!
Never was a fan of changing levels when re-entering a level.
You still have monsters to fight on any level, as they continue to pour out of staircases and holes and the like!

I found that there are many secret doors and sometimes they contain impressive treasures.
I like the feeling of this, as it reminds me of Ultima games ;-)

So, i try to finish that game - but this already means that i like it very much!

And as i discovered secret doors quite late, and with my level 15 character on dungeon level 12, i did not feel well equipt, i am working my way up again to level 1 - to seek out any secret doors i may have missed. As i seems, i missed even several parts of each level! Good that i am retrying this ;-)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 09:25:16 PM by TJA »


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 07:41:12 PM »
I did it.
Finished SoF with an level 21 character, sword enchanted to +29.
While the game was realy great for me, while playing it, i am not so happy about the endgame and what came after!

I tried to take on the minotaur, but i think this is not possible ...
I even used 3 potions on Strength and Agility both.
I was just dead in 1 second.

I cannot remember to have seen a hint about this.
And i am quite happy that i played on "Squire", otherwise i would just be dead and had no idea what to do different.

To make it short, i think it is not or by far not easily possible to defeat the minotaur!

I finaly got rid of him after about 20 tries to fight him - with a teleport spell, after getting my equiment back.
And even that was hard, as i first resurrected on a different level and needed to fight my way back - often i was already near-dead when reaching the minotaur again.
Then i found a temple on level 20 and resurrected on this level - but still, often i had too many enemies on my way back to the minotaur.

I had no equipment left, as i died in the first moment in encountering the minotaur.
All my stuff was out of reach.

I tried about 20 times to kill him, and finally managed to at least get back my equipment, which was lying in the sword chamber.
After i had the equipment back, i could teleport him and grab the sword.

The chase upstairs was fun and 2 times i needed to hunt down a thief - the last was a mage who constantly teleported away. That was horrible. I finally managed to lay sleep on him and then got back the sword.

I was in time and left the dungeon.

But to my greatest disappointment, i could NOT enter the dungeon again!
So what?!?!!?!

This is what i was dreaming about!
Getting rid of that sword and then try to dive as deep as possible ... leveling up as much.
I realy enjoyed this thought - but it is simple not possible!

Very, very sad - and stupid of the programmer, IMHO.

When i find a way to upload images, i will provide some screenshots.

What to say.
The game is fun.
When a player knows that he cannot kill the minotaur, you can play on Normal or Legendary.
But not every player knows this - there should be more hints about this!
This spoiled the fun for me, i need to say.

And then, you just cannot enter the dungeon again!
That would be be moment of "free play", without any job to do - and they just dont´ allow this!
This is realy disappointing.

I dont think that i will play the game again.

P.S. While this forum shows an option "Attachments and other options", there is no way to attach images.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 07:46:16 PM by TJA »


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 10:15:47 PM »
That said, i still liked the game and can recommend to play it!

After that, i tried my luck with iNetHack2 and POWDER - and failed ... for now.
I will review them again later!

I found about which i will report later (of course, you know this site already ;-)

Having read about Rogue - Moria, Umoria, Angband - Hack, Nethack, i need to say that i have some problems with the marks of a "real" Rogue-like.

1) Permadeath
Players cheat anyway, as much as possible.

I think that a game should allow for such a hardcore-setting with permadeath.
But this should be an option!

I do not like to be forced to cheat to finally finish a game.
So, i prefer games that allow you to save and at least do not make this impossible.

To improve the concentration, such saves could for example only bring you back to the last level ... so that you still wish to avoid death as much as possible.

I just takes the fun away, when you spend 10 hours with your character and then just lose it because of on accident or lack of luck ...
Yes, there are people who like this, but i think most people don´t like this ;-)

2) Random levels (each time)
Now ... i understand that random levels (each time you visit a level) are liked by some and hated by others.

I for one, want to *explore* a dungeon.
Only this gives me the feeling that i entered a different world.

Levels that change each time you enter them ... are illogical and less fun. For me, that is.

From my understanding, this was mostly invented to allow for revisiting the same level over and over again to get up on weapons, gold and experience - grinding.
I dont like that.
It just takes time - too much time.

Grinding could also be reached in different ways - the, what Sword of Fargoal did: Monster continue to pour in from stairs and breaches in the walls, floors and ceilings. All with consistent levels!

So for me, such totally random levels should at best be an option in a game.

So ;-)


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 10:17:03 PM »
The next on my list was Quest of Dungeons:

It´s a lightweight Rogue-like with permadeath, random and big dungeonslevels.

I like it, even if i got "somehow" killed by something on level 8 and still don´t know what it was.

In general, this game only gives you the pictures, but no description and not even a name.
Sad thing.

I like the interface - it allows swiping, which is good for a handheld.
But it does not allow to move greater distances with holding the "swipe" ... for that you need to either constantly swipe, or to tap somewhere on the screen.
As the levels are realy, realy large, this can get annoying.
Also i again and again tap somewhere i did not want to, running down or up stairs or into traps.

I will report more, when i played more - or even finished the game.


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 04:50:19 PM »
Now, i finished Quest of Dungeons.
And i like it!

It has a very different feeling for every character type you play with.
The easiest was the "archer" which i finally won with.
I like the humor of the little discussions between the stereotypes :D :D :D

There is lots and lots of loot and what you do not need can be sold in dungeons shops.
The dungeon levels are very large, i think it would be better to have smaller ones and instead more dungeon levels.

I now found, that it is possible to buy for all platforms including Steam (and a Steam-Key), but i bought in the App Shop, which may not allow for this :-(

Only sad thing is, that the game finished suddenly, after i killed a boss - and this finished the game.

Also, like with Sword of Fargoal, there was no possibility to continue with my character.

I am confused about this!
The developers loose lots of opportunities, IMHO.

Still, i can recommend this game.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 05:11:30 PM by TJA »


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Re: Rogue-Likes, -Lites and similars on iPhone ... a discovery
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 05:08:23 PM »
Next game was Red Wizard:

I tried to enchant my armor and my sword, but it did not work - i asked the support and got an reply within one day! Great! (Items may be enchanted already, you should identify everything)

The dungeons levels have good size, but are a bit linear.

Finishing it also did not allow to continue playing. Sad thing again.

Still, i bought the developer half a beer as IAP.

This game is quite easy and feels like not finished yet.
Still, it was fun to play and i can recommend it.
Myself, i am not likely to replay it - other than with Quest of Dungeons.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 05:09:59 PM by TJA »