Ascii Dash

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Ascii Dash
Developer Sock Puppet
Theme Puzzle
Influences Boulder Dash (80's computer game)
Released 2010 Mar 12
Updated 2010 Mar 28
Licensing Freeware, Open Source
P. Language C++
Platforms Windows
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length Short
Official site of Ascii Dash
Ascii Dash is a coffeebreak roguelike

This game was part of the 7DRL Contest 2010. It received an average score of 2.33, placing it in the middle ranking. However, it received the highest "Fun" score, 2.67, along with five other 7drl's, including the first, second, and third place winners of the overall scoring.


Note that the download links on the official page are dead as of 2015 May 31. To download the game and source use the links present in this discussion page:!topic/


(Quoted from the readme file.)

Ascii Dash

by Sock Puppet

AsciiDash is a game created for the 2010 Seven-day Roguelike (7DRL) competition. It is a roguelike-ified tribute to the classic 80's computer game Boulder Dash.

Being roguelike-ified, this revision of the concept introduces a few key elements of the roguelikes; turn-based gameplay, minimalist art and design, and randomly generated levels.

Another goal of this project was to have very simple and straightforward source code, with few external dependencies.

This version is for Windows. There are no sounds, I'm afraid. It's a minimalist 7DRL, you don't get sounds. ;-)

How To Play

The objective of the game is to escape each level. To do this, you need to collect the required amount of gold and then move onto the exit. The amount of gold you've collected, and the amount that you need, are shown in the bottom right of the screen. Escape level 20 to beat the game.

As with any good roguelike, the world only moves when you do. However, there's no inventory and no hit points. You have only 1 HP (fortunately, so do any adversaries you might encounter). The only thing you can pick up and carry is the gold, but you can manipulate the environment by digging tunnels and pushing objects.

Most of each level is initially occupied by earth; as you move your character around the map, you dig tunnels through the earth which can cause objects such as rocks to fall, and which creatures can use to follow you.

If you fall prey to one of the many hazards lurking on each level, you have an emergency teleporter which will kick in and get you to safety. Effectively, you restart the level, but you keep any gold you already picked up. The teleporter can only save you 3 times, so tread carefully.

You can save your game by quitting with the Escape key and selecting "Save and quit" from the menu which appears. When there's a saved game, starting a new game from the initial screen will automatically load it. Save files are deleted when loaded!

A word of warning, if you've never played a Boulder Dash-type game before: the game has one very odd rule. The play area is viewed "side-on" (i.e. down on the screen is down in the game world, and this is the direction that falling objects will move) - like a 2D platform game. However, gravity applies only to certain objects! Generally, only passive objects such as rocks will fall when unsupported. The player character and other creatures are immune to gravity.


Use the arrow or numpad keys to move around (make sure that NumLock is turned off).

You can also use these keys as an alternative set: Up  : u or w Up and left  : y or q Left  : h or a Down and left  : n or z Down  : m or x Down and right : , or c Right  : k or d Up and right  : i or e

The following keys also do stuff:

?  : shows help screen

Esc  : quits the current game (you will be prompted to save)

Period (.) : skips a turn

At (@)  : highlights the player location - use if you lose track of your position in a cluttered environment.

Greater than (>) : highlights the level exit.

Objects in the Game

@ Your character

> The level exit

  1. Wall

O Rock These fall down if unsupported. They will also roll sideways if balanced on top of certain other objects (mainly other rocks). Your character can push these horizontally if they are in a stable position. Moving your character directly underneath a stationary rock is safe, but moving into the path of a falling or rolling rock is not - so be very careful that a rock is actually motionless before you move into its path. Seriously, failing to observe this rule is YASD #1 in this game. If a rock has a red glow, it's moving.

$ Gold Picking this up is your main objective. However, it moves like rocks and can kill you if you aren't careful.

o Bomb These also move like rocks. You can probably guess what the main difference is.

0 Big bomb For an even bigger bang. Don't be nearby when it goes off.

b Goldbug These dangerous critters move around in any tunnels or empty space. They will kill you if they move onto the space where you are. However, they can be squished by falling rocks, and they also have a certain property which you might find extremely useful...

B Bombbug These are much like the goldbugs, only rather more volatile. They're more dangerous and generally less useful.

r Ironbug These critters are so hardcore that not even falling rocks can hurt them. In fact, they rather like to chomp on rocks, among other things.

d Digbug These are good at digging, and generally rather hard to predict or control.

a Nimbug The only critter in the game which is as agile as your character.

Q Queenbug The breeder of the goldbug family.

Survival Tips

1. Don't forget to move diagonally! You can even move diagonally between walls or other objects that block your path.

2. Don't forget to push objects.

3. Monsters and the environment get their turn after you. Don't move next to a monster, or into the space underneath a falling rock. Watch out for "trapped" monsters that aren't moving - if you move next to them without noticing them you will get a nasty surprise.

4. Bombbugs will blow up if they end their turn next to you (even diagonally adjacent). Watch out.