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Weekend Download №126

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Weekend Download

JohnBIt's a roguelike-like Weekend Download! Two of our games this weekend snuggle up to the famously non-casual sub-genre without turning up the complexity. Same RPG flavor, one tenth the time commitment! Quaffing potions should be a standard roguelike feature, though...

desktopdungeons.gifDesktop Dungeons (Windows, 2.9MB, free) - A quick ten-minute roguelike designed with casual players in mind. Move through the dungeon screen uncovering bits of the map and finding monsters, treasures, shops and more as you go. Fight enemies to move through more passageways, and before you engage in battle, Desktop Dungeons tells you the result of the first exchange of blows. Gameplay is entirely mouse-driven, and all the information you would ever need is right there in front of you. It's the perfect casual-friendly dungeon crawler that will easily quench your roguelike thirst.

fishface.gifFishface (Windows, 3.4MB, free) - One-button arcade games can be the most charming and challenging games around. Fishface uses only the [z] key to cause your little fish (who, as you may have gathered, has a face) to bob deeper under the water. Let go and the buoyancy will pull you up, useful for grabbing airborne rings and leaping over obstacles. It's a pretty short game, but it's charming, and what gameplay is there is very well-tuned. And you'll love the chiptune soundtrack, too!

fatherhood.gifFatherhood (Windows/Linux, 1.3MB, free) - A really simple roguelike that features no RPG elements, no dungeon crawling, and no combat. You play a father of three children who are running about outside. The rivers are flooding, however, and its your job to keep them safe. Pick up and drop boulders to form barricades that keep the water at bay. You also have to contend with brushfires on some levels, and those kids are never content to stay in one place, so managing them is also a bit of a problem.

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!


Fishface would be a terrific game if the control(s) were just a slightly bit more responsive and if it played at least twice faster than it currently does.


Oops, my bad, after restart it actually plays much better.

However, it constantly crashes, so I guess it's a case of this game and my computer just not getting along well.


If there's no RPG elements, no dungeon crawling, and no combat, how is Fatherhood a "roguelike"?

...if it's just the graphics, I'd just like to recommend that JIG reviewers keep that term as a useful description for a collection of gameplay elements (so we can use it, for instance, to capture the unique conception of a game like Spelunky which shares a lot in common with Rogue but not the graphics) because I'd hate to see it degenerate into a paraphrase for "ASCII graphics used to portray a top-down perspective," which is a far less interesting characteristic and, in my humble opinion, a waste of a good word ;)


Has anyone figured out any "tricks" to Desktop Dungeons? I can't figure out how to get any character (except for the warrior) to beat the normal game and...

I can't even get the warrior to beat the snake pit!...

and for that matter, I think I only beat normal that time because of the god I worshipped. Speaking of that, I can't seem to figure out what they all do either or how to please them all as easily as the one I had with the warrior.

Anyway, I still really like the game. I guess I'm not casual enough a gamer though because I wish there was a way to make it last longer. Like, instead of just "retire", having an option (maybe at a cost of some of your gold/stats) to go to a new dungeon and start anew. Not really changing the way anything works at all, but being able to keep going, leveling, fighting, save/quit and come back later. Maybe dungeon types, each being stronger level enemies/boss. Maybe being able to take a character across to the other game types (which I haven't unlocked yet!) I guess that almost changes this to a roguelike but I don't mean that. I like the way everything works in this, but want it to be possible to go on longer. :-)


At first I was majorly enticed by the game... but after my second win I realized that while there's certainly a fair bit of strategy to the game, you need to have a lot of luck to win. In particular, getting a good shrine that works well with whatever class you chose. After trying to restart the game too many times in order to get a good shrine, I got tired of it. Otherwise, woulda loved it. :/


Well there is one HUGE trick to Desktop Dungeons and that one is:

Do not explore further than you need.

But I guess everyone will nail that one in their first few tries.

For those a bit confused:

The quickest and cheapest way of healing and recuperating lost mana is simply exploring. This means that whenever you explore at full health/mana you are basically wasting the most precious resource the game gives you. What you basically should do is always carefully analyze the available enemies and calculate whether your strength/spells are enough to beat them. Only after you are sure that all the current enemies are unbeatable should you continue revealing the unexplored areas.

Apart from that, I am sure the gods play a big part, but I have only discovered the "knack" for a few of them.

Great little game, btw! And a bit more clever than it initially appears to be...

mick0305 March 14, 2010 4:50 AM

they have their own wiki which is full of useful information
@nonny including a gods page for you there too



Desktop Dungeons is great. I like how beating the dungeon with different classes unlocks more enemies, classes, items, gold, etc,.. Well done game.


Desktop Dungeons deserves its own entry. It's a really solid game, once you take the time to manage the steep learning curve (and it is steep, even though it doesn't seem like it when you first try it out). Unfortunately, it's NOT a casual game (as the review might lead you to think), unless you use the time it takes to play one game as your sole criteria. It's addictive, the unlockables are terrific, but you will need to invest some effort to learn how to play it adequately, let alone master it.

Btw, I have just been reading the wiki, and some things got a little bit clearer now. For instance, before you beat the boss for the first time, all the enemies in the game are weaker by 20%. Also, gold carries over from one try to the next, so it pays off to do a quick "grab as much money as you can " run before a serious one. Now excuse me, my priest needs to take care of some snakes... :p


While I usually absolutely don't like roguelikes (for instance, I don't like "Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup"), I find Desktop Dungeons totally awesome. Anyone know other games like this ?

clickety6 March 15, 2010 5:26 AM

The download site for Desktop Dungeons has exceeded it's bandwidth usage. Anybody know of another source?


Just in case Desktop Dungeons dev reads this (since I do not feel like registering to NAG forums right now):

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a separate leaderboard for each race/class combo instead of having one single vampire-infested leaderboard? It would be a great incentive for people to try out various classes and would most probably make the game even more devilishly addictive.

Rodain Joubert March 15, 2010 2:21 PM

@baba: Yep, there's been some suggestions to that extent. I really want to revamp the score system significantly in future versions of the game, which will include establishing per-class leaderboards. Vamps are becoming a bit of an infestation. <_<

And if anybody is having trouble with the Box.net link, please direct them to Desktop Dungeons QCF page (http://www.qcfdesign.com/?cat=20) for more download mirrors. :)

[When using ascii faces that include angle brackets, such as <_<, please use HTML entities (eg. &lt;_&lt;) in place of angle brackets or your faces may not show up properly. For more info: http://bit.ly/HTMLentities -Jay]


Having problems unlocking crusader and tinkeror classes as well as the gorgon,dragon and vampire races. Anyone know how to do this?


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