Welcome to the 61st issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention! GBAtemp Recommends! NetHackWritten by Rydian NetHack is a roguelike dungeon crawler game that's over 25 years old, but still under active development (in one way or another). The game stands out for two main reasons, one of them being that death is permanent. People have played the game for years without a win. This is a game where pretty much everything is trying to kill you, even peaceful or tame creatures can be goaded into killing you if you anger them. Stealing from shops is a bad idea if you're still weak, don't kick your pet, etc. This concept extends well beyond the entities, however. Unlike many other games, NetHack has no qualms about letting you kill yourself on accident using various game mechanics. A cockatrice corpse will stone creatures on contact so players will sometimes put on gloves and wield one as a weapon... but if you're carrying too much and fall down the stairs, there's a chance you'll touch it yourself. Find a scroll of genocide and decide to genocide dwarves, forgetting you're playing as a dwarf, and it's game over. Find an intelligent artefact weapon of the opposite alignment, and it might blast away those last few HP in retaliation when you try to wield it. The second thing that makes NetHack special is the level of interaction and how much the game keeps track of. While it's easy to find all sorts of workarounds or simple tactics to victory in other games, NetHack has a mantra; "The DevTeam Thinks Of Everything". For example if you're blind and moving around, the game states that you feel items on the floor instead of just looking at them, so you know what you just walked over. Unfortunately this message isn't kidding: moving over a cockatrice corpse while blind (and not wearing gloves) will teach you that much. Have you obtained the magical breathing property somehow, so you don't need to breathe? Well, that can help you eat huge corpses without choking and walk under water, but it's still not going to save you from a cursed amulet of strangulation which will instead cut off the blood supply to your brain. Found out that putting on a towel makes you blind, and taking it off makes you see again? Well if you get blinded through some other mechanic and try that trick, the game tells you "you're still blind" after removing the towel. Pretty much any scenario you can think of, the DevTeam has thought of it first, and has coded a reaction (or at least a unique message) for it. With the entire game conspiring to kill you, how can you survive? Thankfully, the game does not run real-time. Outside of certain scenarios (e.g. when you're unconscious), the game is reactionary, and the game time only moves forward when you take an action. This allows you to take all the time you need to think of your next move. Cornered by monsters and need to take a bit to decide whether to zap that unknown wand at the monster or try to run for it? Take all the time you need to think it out. Identifying items is a big part of gameplay. Ever notice how, in other video games, characters seem to inherently know the properties of all items at a glance? In NetHack, each role starts out knowing some things about related items, but the majority of magical properties need to be identified. After all, if you zap a wand at a monster and instead of harming it, it makes it invisible, you're in trouble. While a scroll or spell of identify is usually the best choice, that's not always available, and you'll need to take certain actions. For example if you engrave something in the dust and then zap a wand at it to find the engraving vanished, the wand is either teleport, make invisible, or cancellation. While it's tempting to simply try to use all sorts of items to find what they are, that's not the best idea. The blessed/uncursed/cursed status of items plays a big part, sometimes with snarky results. If you drink that Potion Of Gain Level and it's actually cursed it'll move you back up a dungeon level instead, cursed weapons and armour will get stuck to you, etc. "So why haven't I heard of it?", I hear you ask. The answer is likely the graphics. In today's realm of ultra-realistic games, one whose default graphics are made of ASCII art doesn't command instant respect. The game's natural form is a grid of text characters on the screen. This is partially what has allowed the game to be ported to so many systems, and even allows the game to be played over Telnet with any vanilla client (such as the client included with Windows). Fear not, most ports also have a "tiles" form, which uses graphics to represent objects. If you're looking for a game with a challenge, a game that actually reacts to your unique actions, and a game you can play on over 10 operating systems and counting, try out Nethack. Download: Official Releases Unofficial Ports Alternate GUIs NetHack Website Genre: Roguelike Release Year: 1987 Developer: The NetHack DevTeam Published by:The NetHack DevTeam Released For: MS-Dos, can be played on pretty much most hacked/open systems If you enjoyed this weeks edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future. If you would also like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let me know.