Review by PowerSorcerer

"This game may be ASCII, but it's STILL good."

Nethack is a very old dungeon crawler. It's from the days when Quake, Diablo, and Baldur's Gate were unknown. This game was the cream of the crop in it's day, and it is still VERY good compared to most dungeon crawlers. Ancient in computer terms, about fifteen years old, which means that it comes from about 1985. Well, Zork only came from 1980, so it's ONE of the oldest. Anyway.. The review. Onward, people! And remember your travel brochures, please.

Gameplay: 10

Gameplay thrills me more than any 3-D game. In no other game can you fear the yellow, lowercase ''C''. It's basic. A bunch of keyboard commands, you use your arrow keys to walk around. Sometimes you encounter shops, monsters, or items. What you do is entirely your choice. The game is about as non-linear as it is possible to get. You are in a dungeon, and you are a white ''@''. You may have a pet, identified by the icon ''d'' for a dog, or ''f'' for a cat. You move around the dungeon, fighting monsters, collecting items, gaining experience, and having good ol' fashioned fun.

Graphics: 8

Ah, yes... Good ol' dependable ASCII. This game's ASCII somehow get the point across better than 3D graphics. Sure, some people attack the fact that Nethack's graphics don't require a VGA monitor, but I just tell them ''YOUR games crash every four minutes.'' Anyway, the graphics are great.

Sound: 8

This game gives you your choice of mono silence or stereo silence. Then why the eight in sound, you say? My imagination serves better. If you're desperate, you can put on some adventuring-style music. Maybe some Final Fantasy downloads. I dunno, do what you like.

Story: 8

You're an adventurer, and you've just entered the Mazes Of Menace with your pooch (or kitty), and you have to recover the Amulet Of Yendor for your patron god. In doing so, you go through the dungeon, meet monsters, have narrow escapes, and almost get turned to stone, among MANY other things. Find out for yourself.

Challenge: 10

Just right. This is NOT one of those flimsy games that you can complete in a day. I've been playing for two years and haven't got past level 15 without the aid of explore mode. DevTeam did it just right!

Buy or Rent?

Neither. It's for download at www.nethack.org. This awesome game will give you many months of enjoyment, if not many years. Yeah, years. Happy Hacking, and watch out for mind flayers!


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/17/02, Updated 11/17/02

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