Category Archives: roguelike

Hack for iPad is released, based on the original 1.0.3

As requested by readers, this Hack prototype you might have glanced over a year ago on this blog is now cleaned up and got approved by Apple. It’s now available on the app store. It’s based on a BSD version of Hack 1.0.3 published by Andries Brouwer, which in turn is based on Jay Fenlason’s Hack.

Please be aware that this is a very old game (originally published in 1985), lacking many of the refinements of the latest and greatest NetHack 3.4.3.

If that doesn’t deter you from buying it, please make sure to let me know by mail or in the comments of any problems you encounter that are platform-related.

RogueTerm 1.02 released

I just approved 1.02 for app store release, it should go live soon. Among many bug fixes and UI improvements the main aim for this release has been full compatibility with Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (DCSS).

RogueTerm 1.02 (iTunes)

From the changelog:

  • DPad support for DCSS
  • Full support for DCSS 0.9.1
  • Support for iPad portrait orientation
  • Fixed bugs that prevented return-key to work properly
  • Can properly use backspace in engrave in NetHack
  • Support for several DCSS UTF-8 chars, like trees and water
  • Support for port in server name, like
  • More robust error handling
Happy dungeon crawling!

RogueTerm is released

RogueTerm is available right now in the app store . Get it now while supply lasts and connect to your favorite roguelike server. And don’t forget to let me know about your experience with it.


  • Works out-of-the-box for NetHack
  • Movable on-screen D-Pad with vi-keys
  • Run-support in NetHack with tap-and-hold on any D-Pad key
  • Freely configurable action bar that contains your most often used commands
  • Switch easily between different action bar configurations

RogueTerm, a dedicated Roguelike Telnet Client

I’ve used it mostly for connecting to NetHack servers, but DCSS looks playable too. The 0.9.0 seems to have some glitches due to UTF-8, but nothing preventing you from playing (and should be fixed soon). You can add and delete servers and create and edit shortcuts.

It’s an iOS 4.x universal app with retina support and should appear in the app store soon (next Wednesday if all goes as planned).

App store link to follow as soon as it’s final.

Here are some screenshots:

iNetHack and related projects are in limbo

Back in July it really felt like a good idea, I was in the mood for it and thought I have the time, but many things have changed. I played prototypes on the iPad but I can’t get it to the point where it’s ergonomic. Hovering over the screen aggravates pretty much the same muscles that for a guy like me are already strained to the max. If you put it on the table and control everything from one or two small touch areas (so your arms can rest) you have to look down all the time. The smaller devices have their own problems if you want to push ergonomics to the max. Due to some health related issues I have to reduce my time spent before the computer (that’s probably why I started to focus on ergonomics in the first place).

To make a long story short: I currently can’t justify spending time on iHack related things. This may or may not change at any time. All the source produced so far is on github if anyone’s interested.

Performance issues in iOS 4, especially for iNetHack

Just wanted to say that I’m aware of iNetHack’s performance issues on iOS 4. This forces me to change plans and port it to iHack as soon as possible. Before that I will release some Slash’EM bugfixes, which will hopefully add iOS 4 fast app switching (at this stage there are still major problems with it, but I don’t want to give it up yet), since Slash’EM and iNetHack will (hopefully) soon share the same exact iHack UI code.

(Universal) iPad support will have to wait a little bit longer :(. My original plan was to address this first with Slash’EM (since this is what I currently play, vampiric necromancers ftw!)

Slash’EM 1.0 released for iPhone

Now ready to download:

Slash’EM iTunes download

Please post any issues you may encounter and feature requests right here. Or preferably fork the project and implement them yourself. I will happily accept patches (provided some quality guidelines are met).

Enjoy the new UI, it might feel awkward at first, especially if you come from an iNetHack background, but I’m sure it will grow on you (as it has on the beta testers). Since it’s contextual it has its issues, but overall the game should be quite playable and enjoyable.

Some important tips:

Tap on yourself to see contextual commands
Visit the (separate!) settings app
Double tap to g-move

Maarek integrated the … enforcer patch (the one where you use the force)
John Shaw added brand new … enforcer tiles in Absurd
Gfx: Mitsuhiro Itakura, Joep Gerrits, James Hogwood
Soundtrack: hehe

If you ascend (haha …) *please* post right here too!

Current state of iNetHack, Slash’EM, NetHack HD, NetHack Cocoa

Update: To clarify things:
Eventually there will be both a Slash’EM and iNetHack in the app store, both universal, with a very similar UI. iNetHack will remain vanilla NetHack, Slash’EM is based on the latest stable release (Vampire) with the force-patch. Once that is done NetHack HD will be removed.

I just realized that the current situation of the NetHack and Slash’EM ports might be a little confusing 🙂 So here’s some detailed information:

Slash’EM (iPhone/iPad | Source)
Has been in development on and off for about five months (eternal beta?) and is nearing a release. The UI is different from iNetHack, there are no shortcuts, and the consensus from the beta forum seems to be that it’s a more efficient UI. A public release for iPhone is in sight. After that I have plans to modify it into a universal app (with basic UI changes) so it will make use of the iPad’s screen estate and special controllers.

iNetHack (iPhone/iPad | Source)
I consider its current codebase obsolete and it will get replaced by the Slash’EM UI. I don’t fix iNetHack bugs because most of them are already fixed in Slash’EM or a non-issue there due to the different UI. I accept them though for the time being and will address them one by one as soon as it gets its new codebase.

NetHack HD (iPad)
Developed completely in the dark without device or beta testers, it has quite some issues, including UI and performance (I only ran it shortly last week on an actual iPad and I wasn’t thrilled). It will be pulled from the store as soon as Slash’EM and iNetHack go universal. It currently has no public source distribution and there won’t ever be one since it’s already obsolete.

NetHack Cocoa (Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6)
Has (minor) issues of its own which will get addressed but has low priority for me since I’m focusing on iDevices.

I hope this clarifies some things. The google code repositories will very likely be moved to github. Well-done patches are always welcome.

Absurd Tileset for Slash’EM 0.0.7E7F3

With one of these Perl scripts and John’s master files for his Absurd Tileset I was able to build an up-to-date version for Slash’EM 0.0.7E7F3. The link behind the 32×32 version preview should lead to the full-blown 128×128 true color version, which is about 21 megs in size. If you have a tiled version of Slash’EM somewhere, I’d be curious whether this version got accepted smoothly or not.

Update 2013-08-27

  • Updated the link behind the picture to the Slash’EM 7E7F3 Absurd 128×128 tileset
  • If you’re looking for Absurd 128×128 for Slash’EM 7E0, here it is (link removed, no longer available).

Update 2014-06-01

  • Removed all links except the one to the 128×128 7e7f3 version.
  • Corrected Slash’EM version numbers in the title and post.