This is a guest post by: Bill Cooney or @ on twitter.
A powerful wizard has found the amulet of Yendor and plans to use its power to achieve godliness. You must stop him before he uses his newfound power for evil! This is the premise of the game The Curse of Yendor, a roguelike game very deserving of the title.
You get the choice of three character classes, with which to crawl through the games dungeons: Warrior, Rogue and Wizard. The warrior is your average tank character, high HP, low mana. The rogue is more middle of the road, average HP and mana. While the wizard (you guessed it) has lower HP and high Mana.
Compared to other Rogue-like games, the character selection is extensive, and gives the player several different ways to play through the games challenges. Each character is well balanced, but players will have to adjust their play-styles accordingly to defeat each stages challenges.
After choosing a character the player must choose an alignment: light, dark or gray. Light gives access to a healing spells. Dark gives the player the bad-ass sounding ‘Beam of Death”. Or grey, which gives the player the “Gray Wind” spell. Before beginning there is also the option to activate perma-death. Which means you only get one life for the entire game. You die? Game over. This is great for players who want the full rogue-like experience. For players that want more casual play, there is an option to play with multiple lives. This is a feature that should be implemented in ALL rogue-like titles. Not having to worry that each step could take you back to the beginning of the game just makes the game more enjoyable, for some.
Of course there are monsters, and certain monsters will be resistant to certain attacks. To begin, your character gets a fire spell, an ice spell, and an earth spell. It would have been nice to have more variety here besides the basic fire-earth-ice spells we always seem to see from every fantasy based game. A tip I’ll share that I learned from several attempts, is to not engage with more than one monster at a time. In true rogue-like fashion, two or more enemies will simply overwhelm you. I, for one, appreciated the need for additional strategy, but could see how this could frustrate players who might not be as familiar with rogue-like games.
The objective of each level is to destroy a shrine that weakens the wizard’s power. Each level has a lot to discover, and a lot of items to collect which is refreshing. No two levels seem even remotely similar in layout. The level layout can be a double edged sword, nothing environmental is set in stone, and each level is generated with random item drops and enemies, which can make finding the shrine frustratingly hard. Be ready to move one step at a time through some areas.
For players that enjoy rogue-like games, or for those that pick Yendor up out of pure curiosity, it should be fun, if not challenging at times. However, players should be prepared for their fair share of that classic rogue-like bad luck. For players who are thinking about trying this as their first rogue-like game, give it a shot! It’s a good time but you might want to try turning off perma-death.