Coffeebreak roguelike

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* [[Lost Labyrinth]]
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[[Category:Coffeebreak roguelikes|*]]

Revision as of 15:27, 6 June 2005


Many people generaly consider roguelike games as a coffee-break game. Reference to this acpect of roguelikes is quite old -- the oldest one (most closest to the current "definition") that could be found on the Usenet (by Kornelis Sietsma):

>- Why do you like playing these games?

Well, one big factor for me is the fact that they tend not to tie up a
machine, or a person, for any length of time.  They are great for that
15 minute coffee break at work, or while waiting for a long slow
compile to finish.  This seriously is a major reason I keep coming
back to such games.  You can't play Quake in a window and still
pretend to yourself that you are getting some work done!  :)

Many people argue tough, that most roguelikes need a lot of focus and concentration to be played effectively. Also, most roguelikes are realy long games. Hence first in reference to DoomRL was that term applied as a sub-genre of roguelikes. Attribute should probably go to Artagas, for the following DoomRL related message:

> 6) What do you consider a "must" to be left and not changed?

The coffee-break rougelike style. It is unique and the biggest strength 
of your game, imho. We have an army of rougelikes with 80 pages of 
documentation, 15,000 skills, 900.5 races and multi-classing. It is very 
nice to have one that you can get into in 5 minutes and have a quick 
game-session anytime without "mentally-preparing" yourself. Simplicity 
is bliss.


There is no formal definition of wether a roguelike is coffee-break or not. There may be even people that consider NetHack one of those. The above message by Artagas might be a starting point. Heneral guidelines might look like this:

  • One can jump into the game as is - no reading of manuals, no learning of the keybindings
  • The game is simple to learn (but may be hard to master)
  • The game focuses on quality of elements instead of quanity
  • It may be completed in a time period that would be considered "short" - something like up to a few hours
  • A typical gameplay session is below an hour

Also the following might be considered valid but not exactly neccessary features:

  • Screen sized levels
  • Limited inventory
  • No need/option to save game


This list is completely subjective, but contains most of the roguelikes that are generaly considered "coffee-break":

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