Breathing new life into a 30 year old game, the recently released Rogue Touch (by ChronoSoft) is a port of the venerable game of Rogue to the iPhone/iPod Touch. Rogue was one of the first graphical computer games and has a storied past of being ported to just about every platform since its release in 1980. The goal of the game is to descend 26 levels into a dungeon to retrieve an amulet and then return to the surface. No walk in the park, you will confront a menacing array of monsters along the way.
Rogue Touch utilizes the same style of dungeon layout as the original, while offering many new and updated features. Movement in the game is via touching the sides of the screen or by calling up a virtual arrow pad. I started playing in the touch mode, since that is the default, but once I switched to the D-pad, I found that I actually liked that interface better.
The graphics have an old school feel, an homage to the great graphical games of the past. My favorite of the monsters that I have encountered is the skeleton, even though I haven’t yet been able to get past it. Also high on the list of bad things to run into are the slimes. If you don’t make quick work of a slime, you will soon find yourself surrounded by them as the split and multiply quickly. The only graphic that I found out of place was the dungeon walls, which have crenellations atop them, only really appropriate for an above ground structure.
The music in Rogue Touch is quite good. A rousing introduction gives way to a great set of ambient sounds, which appeared to change based on the monsters that were present. If you tire of the damp, drippy dungeon sounds, you can always play your own iPod music and turn off the music/sound in the game. The settings are presented within the Settings application, so make sure you get everything set up before loading up the game.
To date, I’ve only survived into level six. Since the dungeon layout is randomized each time you start a new game, you can’t rely on previous knowledge to guide you. Sometimes the next set of stairs down is nearby and sometimes it is not. In the later levels, you will find rooms that are shrouded in darkness, so you might miss treasure or a monster if you don’t fully explore. Often, you will catch a monster napping. If you are lucky, they won’t wake up and you can scoot by them.
During one of my games I descended into a room with only one door that led to a dead-end hallway. I crawled every inch looking for a hidden door, but was unable to find one. Not sure if it was a program bug, or if I just happened to miss the correct square to search.
Some of the updates that are specific to this port are additional monsters, an auto-map that comes in very handy when trying to figure out where the last room on a level is, and in later levels, the ability to uncover additional character types to play (I have yet to find myself worthy).
All in all, Rogue Touch is a worthwhile addition to the iPhone. A nostalgic game with plenty of updates that take advantage of the premier mobile gaming device.
Click here to purchase Rogue Touch ($2.99) from the App Store now.
EDITOR’S NOTE: yeah – what Tim said! we love well made, high quality old school tribute games … and Rogue Touch does total justice to the original 1980 ASCII version. Oh – and make sure you check out the Worldwide Leaderboard and dedicated Discussion Forums. Rogue Touch rocks and is absolutely
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