Monday, October 23, 2017

Cogmind - Roguelike My Ass, This Is Rogue Only Better

This is one amazing piece of code.

Rogue was a game that used ASCII characters as avatars for you (@) and your environment.

This is what Rogue looked like in 1980 on a Trash 80.
What defined the game was "permadeath." Die and the game was over, there was no save to restore and continue from.
You had to begin all over again.
Explore, find loot, kill monsters and then find the stairs to the next level. That was the entire game.

Later, Avalon Hill made another version dubbed, "Telengard."
It expanded the initial game in a few ways, many of them graphic. That is, if you had a Commodore or Apple II.
On a Trash-80, this is what you got.
More character information. Now you could roll dice to your hearts content to get that perfect character. And you could play as a Rogue, Fighter, Mage etc.

The trouble was you got invested in your character, much like D&D but the game...not so much. You could roll for a half an hour to get what you wanted in stats and then die on level two. How many times you'd do this, a measure of your masochism?

Well in Cogmind you are a bot that grows (levels, evolves) by finding and attaching various parts and subsystems.
Yes, there is permadeath. Yes, you can play using ASCII characters or tiles, your choice.
So they can call it Roguelike but I'd call it Rogue's successor.

On  the Cogmind screen you will find windows with all the information you need. What you have installed and it's condition. Your major systems (and their health), your logs, scans and inventory.
A Unix like environment.
There are many other types of bots to be found; scavengers, serfs, pests, mercenaries et cetera.
Some are innocuous, although destroying them can leave you with some loot. Some are enlarging the map - watch they don't wall you off.

The game play is familiar. Sneak or shoot but you are trying to find the stairs to the next level.
Sometimes you will "evolve" upon completing a floor; you gain extra slots to distribute.
"Do I place the slot in 'Power?' Or do I put it into 'Weapons?'"
That is about the extent of the RPG elements.

But again, I am more invested in the game - I want out, rather than being invested in a particular build I crafted.
It's $20 on Steam. And well worth your time.

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