TomeNET: Out of the console and onto the Internet

I have another roguelike that I wanted to point out today, and it’s another suggestion from Ander that I might have otherwise cast aside: TomeNET.

If you remember tome, you’ll have a good idea what TomeNET is … or at least how it plays. What I should mention though, is not only that it makes the leap to MMORPG, but also starts splitting off data windows for a less cramped UI.


This is another quasi-text based game, and another title that probably shouldn’t be listed here, especially since the installation notes for TomeNET make explicit reference to a need for Xorg as a dependency, and SDL.

So yes, by all rights, TomeNET is probably in that bracket with ASCIISector or the like. You can judge if I’ve broken the rules or not by including it here, and whether or not I should give goblinhack another chance. 🙄

I have to say that I find the breakaway arrangement of child windows for equipment, stats, system messages, etc., to be quite attractive. After all, rather than losing map space to a list of items carried, this allows the display of the same information simultaneously. And the addition of sound is enjoyable. I know those things are blasphemy for a text-based gamer to admit, but it’s the truth.

And until text-based roguelike games make a clean break from the game layout designed way back in 1982, I think TomeNET might be the only text-based roguelike I know of to actually allot extra space to static information panels. I’m sure there are others, I just don’t know about them yet.

(As a side note, I forced TomeNET to run in the framebuffer and got only mediocre results. The interface appeared to function, but I lost a lot of text due the color choices called by the program. That could be the fault of my framebuffer or my color set, but it made the game unplayable, unfortunately. 😦 )

TomeNET’s major claim to fame though, is to finally break the glass ceiling and join the ranks of online collaborative entertainment. It was a natural progression so I’m only partly enthusiastic about it, and as I understand it, it’s not a unique evolution. I don’t think TomeNET was first to clear the online hurdle, but it doesn’t surprise me that it happened.

And if I must be honest, I’m only lukewarm about the addition. Granted, the average TomeNET player is going to be head and shoulders above, for example, the mental midgets that pollute YouTube, but I’m still not sure I want strangers joining me in my quests to free the digital world from tyranny and oppression.

So again, picking a roguelike boils down to your preferences for theme — and now interface and online play. In other words, never let it be said that there is only one rogue game, and thousands of mimics. Fact is, there are thousands of roguelike games, each with its own identity.

2 thoughts on “TomeNET: Out of the console and onto the Internet

  1. Pingback: TetriNET: The natural evolution of things | Inconsolation

  2. Pingback: Mutant Aliens!: We gotta get out of this place | Inconsolation

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