How To Relive Roguelikes with Nethack

Before such vast sand-box worlds as Grand Theft Auto and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came out there were the rogue-likes. Read the Wikipedia article on Rogue-like games before proceeding. Now that your expectations of fancy graphics are shattered I’ll introduce NetHack.

NetHack is an open-source derivative of an earlier rogue-like called Hack. But NetHack is still in active development almost twenty-five years later!

It’s actually older than ADOM and features some tile-based user interfaces for those timid souls that dare not brave the horrors of ancient ASCII graphics. Of course, the ASCII-only interface is still available if you feel the need to go old-school.

Like all rogue-likes, NetHack features deep and involved game play in an RPG setting. It’s perfect for taking a break from the endless stream of gorgeous shooters that glut the PC these days.

Best of all, installing it is easy:

1. Download an archive of it here.

2. Extract the archive: sudo gunzip | tar ./nethack*.tar

3. Play the game: nethack

That wasn’t so bad was it? Now prepare to face your doom in-game!

At least as fancy as Diablo when run with a graphical client!


Q: How do I get one of those sweet graphical user interfaces?

A: Look into Vulture’s Eye and Falcon’s Eye, my young apprentice.


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