Posted by: duskfire | June 18, 2011

Roguelikes on Linux, part 2

In this post, I’ll first discuss roguelike games that have a version for Linux but aren’t in the repositories, and then talk about some of the best Windows-only games that have recently come out, that will run smoothly using the Wine software.

ADOM – Ancient Domains of Mystery is one of the classic roguelikes. It hasn’t been updated in years but many people still love it. It requires at least a 25×77 sized terminal and will quit otherwise.  ADOM actually is one of the more plot-driven, quest-centered games in the genre.

Frozen Depths – One of the “new style” roguelikes. It requires a 25×80 terminal to run. Features a cold-themed dungeon and slightly more intuitive interface.

TOME 4 – You can run it by double-clicking. This version has been totally redone and features tiled graphics and mouse-driven interface. Set in a totally original world.

Dwarf Fortress – THE hottest game in town for nearly 5 years. It features sound, ASCII-like graphics (which are really OpenGL), and a steep learning curve.

The native Linux version runs quite smoothly. Tilesets have been created and are available, but I haven’t tried them except on Windows. This is a complex mix of city building and world simulation. You start the game with 7 dwarves, choose the spot you wish to start your city, and start digging (and farming). The developers have a forum, there is plenty of documentation, and a thorough wiki that fans have made, as well as video tutorials.

Nethack (tiled) – not much different from the regular repository version.

Slash’em – Surprisingly, the Windows version of this seems to run better than the linux version – if you prefer tiled graphics in your roguelikes, you’ll want to run this in Wine.

DoomRL – yes, this is “Doom” as a roguelike. No tiles, no first person, just text – but all the music and sounds you remember so well. Plays somewhat like a top-down Doom, but adds additional tactics and upgrades. Highly recommended. [7/9/12: In addition to having a Linux version, DoomRL now features optional TILES!]

Incursion – ASCII based roguelike that is based on the D&D rules, the very long character generation might put some people off. There does seem to be more description, and a story. Opens in a window, but sized too big for my 17″ screen (too high) and I’m not sure how to change the resolution. It seems like it would be fun, if I could get it a little smaller. The main issue with this roguelike is that development has been stalled for quite some time.

(6/24: I have found that the Windows version of the game doesn’t have this problem at all, and seems to run quite well. Use it instead of the version provided for Linux)

Goblin Camp – Another “new style” roguelike, inspired by Dwarf Fortress. This game didn’t want to run for me, but perhaps you will have better luck. It does run on Windows 7, but neither the Linux version nor the Windows (with Wine) seemed to get past the Loading screen. [7/9/12: Recent Windows versions do seem to run in Wine]

ASCII Sector – A remake of an old DOS game Wing Commander: Privateer. Written in FreePascal, it has 16 colors and music (which must be downloaded separately). Players are allowed to create their own missions, which adds to the replayability.

Games that run using Wine:

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (most recent) – the Windows executable runs fine using Wine on Ubuntu or Mint.

Brogue – This is one of the newer games, using the libtcod library to offer fairly nice graphics, including water that seems to shimmer, and more variety in the dungeon levels. [7/9/12: Brogue does have a native version for Linux that runs quite well]

IVAN – This roguelike has a reputation of being one of the hardest to win. I don’t know whether that’s deserved yet. The original game hasn’t been kept up to date, so I found a variant, “LIVAN”,  at this website, and it seems to run fine.

Spelunky – Opens in a window. One of the “new breed” of roguelike games, a platformer/roguelike blend by the great Derek Yu. It features fully 2d graphics and randomized dungeons. Definitely recommended.

Tile Rogue (classic rogue) – This version of the original Rogue is by Donnie Russell and recently has been updated. The version from 2 years ago features sound and is excellent.

Desktop Dungeon – This recent Windows game works but is a bit sluggish (not enough to prevent playing). This is a dungeon crawl intended to be played in short bursts, and is one of the new “coffee break” roguelike games. There is a pay version with improved graphics, that I haven’t tried yet.



  1. Do you have much experience programming and compiling things yourself? It would be interesting to see how many of these stop having problems once compiled for linux from the latest source code.

    • I have some experience. And at the rate I’m going through the “standard” RPGs that are on Linux, I’ll start checking out all these rogue-likes in more detail, in just a few months.

  2. I would like to say Hello to you and I like your blog.

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