You Only Live Once

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You Only Live Once
Developer Jeff Lait
Theme Fantasy
Influences ADOM
Released 2005
Updated 2005 (003)
Licensing Open Source (BSD License), Freeware
P. Language C++
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Interface Graphical tiles (which are of characters!), ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length 1-3 hours
Official site of You Only Live Once


You Only Live Once is a Seven Day Roguelike, or 7DRL. It was entered on March 5 for the 7DRL Contest 2005. It is a very minimalistic roguelike. It concentrates on telling a simple story and engaging the user in simple tactical combat. It does not have, for example, any form of character advancement!

Notable features

  • Tactical combat. All attacks hit and do maximum damage. Randomness in combat is thus suppressed and positioning oneself with respect to enemies is essential.
  • Heavy on plot. A story is told; it is not about killing things for no reason.
  • Quick to complete. You can likely win the game in your first playthrough. Fully exploring the game likely takes only an hour or three.
  • Your character never advances in power. Or even regains hit points. Instead, during the game you can take over and play different characters.

Versions and platforms

You Only Live Once is written in C++ and is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Source code is provided so it may be ported to any platform with curses and/or SDL.

Game related links