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Rogue

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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Macintosh

Publisher: Epyx

Developer: Michael Toy / Glenn Wichman

Submitted by: Anthony Staude

The classic adventure, roleplaying game, Rogue.

The aim of the game is to explore the depths of the dungeon, searching for the Amulet of Yendor whilst defeating the denizens.

The original version was written as a "text only" adventure. Every thing on the screen was represent by ASCII characters, including your avatar (an @ symbol). Monsters would appear as letters, for example a capital D would represent a Dragon. Not to be confused with a lower case d for Dingo. Commands were entered using the keyboard – these were not easy to remember though they tended to have clever mnemonics such as i for inventory, q for quaff (potion), etc.

The brilliant Macintosh version did away with all this text graphics and keyboard nonsense presenting the player with wonderful black and white graphics and mouse controlled input. Rogue purists would consider this blasphemy. On the other hand, Rogue novices would consider this a god-send.

The basic mechanics of the game remains the same. This is still Rogue. Yes, you can play the entire game from mouse, although thankfully there are some handy keyboard short cuts (such as TAB for searching and SHIFT TAB for resting).

Each room remains hidden until the player has moved into it. Sometimes an impossible looking map may mean searching for hidden doors may reveal the way forward.

Inventory management is made easy with a separate window, items categorized by type. Magic items remain unknown until used or identified. Beware of nasty cursed items as you can't easily remove them.

Another small window contains a map of the current level which is a good way of determining if the level is complete or perhaps a clue as to where secret rooms may exist.

Combat is simple. Using your sword is as easy as attempting to move into the target that you want to hit. Aiming long range weapons or casting from wands requires you to equip the weapon and press shift whilst clicking the single mouse button (so that shoot instead of moving).

It's awfully atmospheric and you quickly forget that you are playing a game that's almost 25 years old. Who needs 32-bit color anyway? It just gets in the way of your imagination.

Highly recommended for all owners of black and white 68K Macs.