Nethack is the Retro Game of the Day for 10 July, 2016

I knew I had to get around to this one one day.

Nethack is probably the most well-known and popular of the true “roguelike” games, games that feature randomly generated levels and items and doesn’t give you a chance to save and continue if you die or mess up (also known as “permadeath”).  There are many “rogue-like” games around these days, such as The Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon, but Nethack follows the true legend of the old game known simply as Rogue, which is the origin of the term “roguelike”.  Nethack‘s name comes from a derivative of Rogue known as Hack.  

Nethack follows the roguelike genre very closely and is known for a huge amount of detail and planning by its developers, exemplified in the term TDTTOE, or “The DevTeam Thinks Of Everything”.  True to this promise, the player in NetHack has an almost limitless ability to do anything with everything he finds in the game, making it infinitely playable and enjoyable, and given its random nature will never be the same game twice.

The game is truly a thing of beauty.

My video above barely scratches the surface of what Nethack is really, and if I had more time to do a more in-depth video (and time to prepare for this one — I really had to kind of rush today’s RGOTD), I could have explored more and found more nasty things and done interesting things with what I had, but at least you got to see what you are getting into — a very minimalist game with no sound that hides an incredibly complex game.  The “standard” version of Nethack is even more graphically sparse, with simple text symbols to denote the gameplay elements, but I used a modification called GLHack that uses tile-based graphics instead.  Either way, you get the same incredibly deep gameplay, and it’s absolutely worth trying.  Just don’t blame me if you get sucked into it like I once did.

Okay, fine, totally blame me.  It’s better than you playing today’s pretender pseudo-RPG “games”.