KeeperRL is another Roguelike, but this time, rather than being the adventurer exploring the dungeon, you play the role of an evil wizard who creates a dungeon to trap naive adventurers. This part is somewhat similar to Peter Molyneux's classic Dungeon Keeper, and there's no doubt that the main game mode is intended to be this dungeon building. The creation mode is a little like using the old drawing package, Deluxe Paint. You have a palette of possible symbols on the left, including structures, monsters, and items, and you paint and populate them into the four-way scrolling main display. But there's also an explore mode, too, where you can play the game as if you were one of those adventurers encountering the dungeon for the first time. Or you could create a dungeon and share it with other players, who will then use their adventurers to explore your creation.

KeeperRL is a fascinating project, both in the way the game is played and in the way it's being designed and developed. The best way of playing the game, for example, is to pay for it. This is because, despite it being open source, the commercial version includes the awesome artwork and music. But this shouldn't put you off downloading and building the open source version either. Its graphics are built from high-resolution ASCII symbols, but they're colorful and effective, and it's much more in style with the original Rogue. Apart from the graphics and sound, it's exactly the same game, so you can play it to see if it's worth paying for the commercial version, or even whether you want to help with development. The game is very much in-progress, and much of the design has yet to be finalized. But there's enough here to play with, and there's already a sizable community built around exploring new features and each other's dungeons.

Project Website

KeeperRL is the inverse of Shattered Pixel Dungeon (above), because the game is about creating a dungeon for adventurers to explore.

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