I don’t feel obligated to try every roguelike that exists; not only would that be nigh-on impossible, but personally I lack the interest level to sustain that sort of project.
On the other hand, I do try to skim through titles to make sure I’m not missing something truly revolutionary. In the interest of brevity I only point out the ones that are really really good — like adom or angband — or adopt thematic changes that are truly unique — like encircled or scrap.
As a way of keeping track of what I’ve already seen (because more and more I have to search this site to try and remember what I’ve looked at) I have a list of angband variants that I’ll drop here.
Appearing on this list doesn’t mean it was a bad experience. It may be that there are some very strong titles here, and it might disappoint you to see one of your favorites — or your own project. This is just a list that either didn’t build for me, didn’t work for me or didn’t speak to me, and the notes I make are to jog my own memory in the future. Take my opinion for what it’s worth — mostly nothing. 😉
- dajangband: As I understand it, a close rendition to the original angband, but with slight variations on races, classes, monsters and so forth. This might be a pleasant option for you if you prefer the original rendition, but want a little more spice … or perhaps you played the original too much. … 😕
- eyangband: The AUR version would build for me, but reported data file errors on startup. As a result I never saw much beyond the title screen. I looked at the home page for a precompiled binary, but I don’t recall finding one. Versions for Windows and other operating systems.
- fayangband: A descendant of eyangband. The AUR version reported the same data file errors as its ancestor, but a precompiled version from the home page ran fine. Includes some changes to ascending and descending levels, and some changes to the boss and scoring.
- halls of mist: A derivative, in turn, of fayangband, I believe. This has some recent (2013-ish) updates, but was difficult for me to organize in a way that didn’t result in errors on startup. The title screens and so forth are readable and work as they probably should, but I never got into the actual game.
- hellband: As I understand it, hellband is a roguelike that uses Dante’s Inferno as a backstory. Has some relationship to zangband, if I remember right, but the family tree of roguelikes tends to be rather gnarled. In AUR, compiled but spat out “fatal errors” regardless of what machine I ran it on.
- mangband: A multiplayer rendition of angband, you can play it solo or offline by starting a local server and connecting with
mangclient. All the online servers I saw showed no players, which might mean they were offline, or might just mean no one was playing early on a Tuesday morning. I could not get this to run without Xorg, which was disappointing. The home page shows updates as recently as 2013, so I don’t think it has disappeared from the scene.
- sil: I liked sil a lot more than some of these others, but I still don’t think it’s sufficiently revolutionary to make me sit up and take notice. sil recasts the content to an earlier age in Tolkein mythos, and unless you’re familiar with content from The Silmarillion, it might not make a lot of sense. sil does add a few other points that are interesting, or scales abilities and talents differently from most angband-ish titles. Still, I don’t think it’s quite innovative enough to warrant its own post.
- xangband: I have no more information than the name or what is listed here; the host appears to be “unreachable,” and I don’t see source code elsewhere.
- zangband: Roger Zelazny’s worlds of Amber are the backdrop for zangband. If you don’t know the book series or don’t care for the milieu, this probably won’t win you over as a game. This compiled and ran out of AUR, but froze during the autoroller step of character creation, no matter what stat weightings I gave it. In Debian too.
Those were just the few that were available to me through the Debian repositories or the extended listings in AUR. There are probably ten times as many out there in the wild, but it will take a mightier warrior than I to hunt them all down and take stock.
As a side note, this illustrates to me the simultaneous beauty of the open source model, and the simultaneous weak spot of the open source model. It does mean anyone with enough gumption and know-how can take apart a successful title like angband, give it a good spin and rerelease it as possibly something new and improved.
On the other hand … it means anyone with a smidgen of gumption and know-how can take apart a successful title like angband, give it a weak spin and rerelease it as nothing particularly new or improved. Coming soon to a computer near you: kmangband! K.Mandla’s revision of the infamous angband roguelike … but now featuring tint control!
Let that be a lesson to you. 😉