Free-to-play transcendental retro ASCII style roguelike RPG 'Angband' review

'Angband' is a

roguelike game released in 1991. It is said that the automatically generated dungeon that changes shape every time you challenge it can be played for free in ASCII style that is displayed only with letters and symbols, so let's actually play it to enjoy the retro 'death game' atmosphere. It was.

Home of Angband

The following is the access to the above site. Angband has Windows version and macOS version, but this time click the red frame part to download the Windows version.

Unzip the compressed file downloaded to any location

using Explzh or the like.

Double-click 'angband.exe' in the unzipped folder to start the game.

This is the Angband start screen. There is a main window in the upper left, and five windows are arranged around it.

First, start the game by selecting 'New' from 'File' in the main window.

Then, you will be taken to the screen where you can select the race of your character. The race is the average 'Human' in all

Dex (dexterity: avoiding attacks and hitting) and Int (intelligence: affecting magical strength) are higher than Human, while Wis (wisdom: affecting miraculous strength) and Con (physical strength: striking strength) 'Half-Elf' which is good at magic and long distance because it lacks

Contrary to Half-Elf, you can choose a dull 'Dwarf' instead of a high Str (power: melee attack strength). Use the up and down arrow keys to make a selection.

This time I will create a character with 'Human'. If you select 'Human' with the right arrow key, you can select the occupation next. Occupations also affect your stats, and you also have profession-specific skills. Occupations include 'Warrior,' a melee attack specialist, and ...

There is 'Mage' which is good at magic.

This time, select 'Warrior'. Finally, choose from 'Point-based', which you choose how to allocate the status, and 'Standard roller', which is randomly determined. I chose 'Point-based' here.

Since 20 points have already been allocated to Str and Dex, which are important for Warrior, you can finish creating the character with the enter key as it is.

After deciding the character name ...

The game will start. Inside the red frame is your character, and this place is 'Town', which is the base of adventures to buy and sell supplies.

If you go to the stairs and press the 'Shift' key and the '. (Period)' key at the same time ...

Rush into the dungeon. Angband is a so-called roguelike game whose structure changes each time you enter a dungeon.

You can move inside the dungeon with the arrow keys.

While doing so, I encountered a monster.

When your character moves forward by 1 square, the monster also moves by 1 square. In this way, Angband is designed to act one turn at a time with each other.

When your character comes into contact with a monster, a battle is automatically performed, and when you win, the monster disappears. You can tell that you have defeated the monster with the message 'You have slain the large white snake.' Written in the window that displays the history of your actions so far in the lower left. Also, in the monster information window at the bottom right, what kind of attack method the large white snake that fought this time has was described.

While doing so, I found the stairs leading down.

When I got off, 'L2' was displayed to indicate that I had reached the second basement floor (Level 2). In this way, Angband is a game that aims to go down the dungeon and defeat Morgoth, who is waiting for the main character in L100.

The dungeon is automatically generated, so each time you enter it, the map will be completely different. On the contrary, even if you climb the stairs that you just came down, the floor map will be regenerated and the monsters will be rearranged, so you need to return to the town while you have enough physical strength and items left. Conversely, even if you are attacked by a powerful monster, you can escape as long as you reach the stairs, so it is important to decide whether to proceed or retreat.

So far, I've been playing with Angband's default graphics, but since Angband's true value is the original ASCII style released in 1991, let's change the graphics. Click 'Options', select 'Graphics', and select 'None'.

Then, like this, the dungeon came to be expressed only with letters and symbols. Of the symbols, '@' is your character, 'r' is a monster rat, and ']' is a fallen equipment. It's hard to remember which symbol stands for what, so for the time being

, you'll be staring at the manual , but it's perfect for a retro feel.

in Review,   Game, Posted by log1l_ks