cryptrover: Get out, quick

I’ll never actually get to the bottom of the list of roguelike games, and it’s really a topic worthy of its own blog. There are a few out there that do that though, so I don’t plan on crowding their market by starting my own.

I do a have a couple more though, and one of them is cryptrover, which I like for stripping down the genre and returning it to its most basic form.


There are no complex command sequences to remember in cryptrover, and only three or four special tools. You’re only concerned with getting out of the crypt, which I believe is only ever 12 levels deep.

It’s not a race though: You’ll have to either tiptoe around spiders or fight them off (which seemed to happen to me a lot). You’re also in danger of suffocating, and to add to your problems, your flashlight might die out.

There are air pockets scattered here and there, and stray batteries that you can use to recharge. And if you can grab some gold too on your way out, you’ll have enough money at the end to afford therapy. 😕

I like cryptrover, in spite of the fact that it is clearly not in the same weight class as some of the roguelike leaders. It has almost no detail to speak of, and were it not for the ASCII-based format, it could be an arcade game of almost any caliber.

But cryptrover disposes with all the Amulets of Yendor and Orbs of Zot, avoids the four classes of canines and six variations of gnolls, leaves out the layers of inventory and wilderness mapping.

And what’s left is a simple, playable, enjoyable game with only one goal: Get out, quick.