Roguelikes have a massive following among iPhone gamers. In fact, Sword of Fargoal was the runner-up in our Game of the Year (People’s Choice) poll conducted last December. 100 Rogues is the latest dose of one-life dungeon crawling action, but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to other App Store roguelikes due to loads of bugs and some other loose ends that make it feel more like a beta test.
As with any roguelike, the goal is to lead your character through a seemingly-endless, randomly-generated dungeon. 100 Rogues is split up into a five-level Bandit Hole, and then the main dungeon, where you must fight through countless enemies to face off against Satan and reclaim your honor amongst the higher-ups in the feudal government.
There are two classes to choose from: a human crusader and fairy wizard. The big difference is that the crusader specializes in close combat and the wizard specializes in ranged combat. Both have unique skill trees with some awesome powers, our favorite of which is what we like to call the ‘godfinger’, where God’s finger will touch you or enemies at random moments, healing you and dealing massive damage to them.
Rats go splat.
100 Rogues is full of personality. Most roguelikes give off a much more serious vibe, but 100 Rogues is borderline playful at times. This not only makes it much more approachable for new players, but it offers something that’s lacking in other roguelikes.
On the other hand, 100 Rogues is marred by some relentless bugs that cause the game to crash, freeze, have graphical glitches, and on rare occasions kill your character without reason. Controlling your character is done by swiping and holding, but slightly moving your finger causes your brave adventurer to go the wrong way and possibly fall into a trap. The frame rate is also quite low, which makes little sense for a game that doesn’t appear to be using the iPhone’s processor to its capacity.
Inventory management is also lacking in 100 Rogues. Items don’t stack correctly, and there is no good method of destroying something other than to throw it on the ground or at an enemy. Plus, the entire system is controlled through buttons, as opposed to a more logical drag-and-drop method.
Halloween’s over, buddy.
The most disappointing thing about the game is that the challenges don’t appear. We tried the game on a Wi-Fi iPad, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 3G, and each time the challenge window came up blank. According to the 100 Rogues website, these missions are short puzzle-like levels where you must fulfill a certain requirement. This could have been the most interesting part of the 100 Rogues package. Chances are the developer will address this in an update.
Once you finish a run through the survival level, you are given a stat table that tells you how many of each kind of enemy you killed. However, once you click out of this, you lose access to it. There is also an online leaderboard, but it only displays the top few scores. We think it would be more fun to see where you rank in the grand scheme of things.
With so many issues cluttering up 100 Rogues, it’s safe to say that this is one to pass by at the moment, even for hardcore roguelike fanatics. It may have potential, but this version of the game feels unfinished.