Well, most of us knows who and what is Richard D. Clark . From his website, you can find nice range of games, programs and even books to enjoy. "Latest" (when writing this review, he's been very productive so thats why I say "latest" lol) one from rdc's coding garage is QuickRogueFB. An ASCII (quick) rogue game.
Everyone who has ever coded with QB, still codes or has even heard of it knows what is text based roguegame, so i guess that part don't need more explanations =) QuickRogueFB as in name of game sounds like a promise of fast, thrilling and intensive playing experience. "There is one level, 50 monsters and a set amount of time to find the Ammulet of Nikktu and escape." Also name of programmer put some extra expectation for it. Very easy to learn. Basically what you need is direction buttons, "t" for teleporting, "g" for gettin potion, "z" for some monster zapping and "<" or "," to exit from level when Ammulet of Nikktu and exit point has been discovered. Sounds easy? It is. Boring? No.
|As an ASCII "fanatic" i was pleased when intro of game appeared on my screen.|
|My first try with this game was pure suicide, in every possible way…|
Playability : Score (4/5)
Simple to learn, quick to play and nothing special…read also as "useless". rdc has added practically all things on game that is needed. No inventory, stat menus, buying or selling. Its max. one hour gaming experiment / game so nothing much more needed. Only thing i actually missed was bow or spear so i could try to kill monsters from a distance. Zap is close to it, but its not 100% the same thing. You can't see thru walls, doors, far beyond straight passage either, enemies behind the corner…very nice and working concept and in this case, it really works too. Small map view on the down right ofg the screen is also very clever and it also helps from time to time. Enemies are letters, floor are dots, traps are…never mind and everything is easy to figure out in seconds and remember even then when HP is 10/81 and there is those few penguins around yo
Overall Entertainment : Score (4/5)
Well, ASCII games requires, first of all, one thing from player, imagination. Without it, apparently no chance to enjoy those games. Gladly, my imagination is at least universal :D Took only seconds and i was in dungeons, hiding from monsters, sneaking behind their backs and avoiding traps. Map is big enough and different at every new time when playing. When monster sees you, it runs after you, often there is few of them but with some clever moves you can locate yourself at point where you can fight with only one at time. Even if the main goal is to find Amulet of Nikktu and exit point, each time i wanted to explore "just a bit" more caves….and bit more…and bit more…until clock sayd time is out…damn :D Potions gives or takes from you something. Quick healing, mana points and so on. They also can prevent you for using teleporting, slow you down etc. Potion at corner of room in middle of tight fight can be a saver or ultimate game over.
|Oh no!!! Scotty cant beam me up and safe…|
Rogue Likeness : Score (2/5)
Maybe ill miss things on this that Richard D. Clark havent even planned, because of the game's quick style. Fights are pretty simple ones after finding a good location, if more than one bad ass is trying to beat you. Just press the enemy's direction and that's it. Zap is nice add, but won't fill the whole hole of good ASCII rpg combat. Personally, opinion is, bow or spear is needed for long distant fight. Also "all in defence" or "all in attack" choises in combat would make fights more interesting. Although comparing what this game offers and whats its nature, roguelikeness is "OK".
Replay Value : Score (4/5)
This game is surprisingly addictive, i wanted to achieve the goal and finish it as winner. But what then? Is it all over then? Well, for me quick cave investigations were allmost more important ones than Ammulet of Nikktu. Is it because of me or this game? Can't tell, but somehow this game calls me back to it from time to time. Been playing it lots of times, and probably I'll do so in the future too. After reaching goal of game, fun part is more on studying caves instead of finding Ammulet and exit. And its fun to fight against Jocke the Troll and other monster buddies. This is a pretty quick game, is good way to forget our own "stuck" codes, dirty floors that screams vacuum-cleaning or angry girlfriend for a while. Some prople do it with solitaire, but I'll suggest you to try this too.
Technical Features : Score (4/5)
Well, what to say? Game is simple and nice. Alltho no sounds or music. Most likely, Richard D. Clark didn't want to add them because of the nature of the game. ASCII rpg with mp3's? No way, at least for me. But maybe possibility for listening some MID song or few sound effects might give more that "feeling". But as told, this is ASCII rpg, and a very well made one too. Graphics are good ASCII stuff. No useless tricks, known and workable chars are used and colors works fine.
The Final Verdict : 18/25 (72%)
Fact is, There is more than alot of ASCII rogue games, some if them are great, others are something totally different. rdc's QuickRogueFB is good add-on for this scene. It's simple, easy to learn, hard but not too hard and no bugs on code (at least i didn't find any). It definately earns its rightfull place on all ASCII/Textgame websites game lists, right next to adom and other known rogue games. As is now common knowledge from R.D.C, the source is included with the game and in the same light, it's great source to learn from, so if you're interested for creating your own roguelike game, then this game is good to have a look at.
Game tested with XP and Ubuntu linux.
Review by E.K.Virtanen