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Developer Jeff Lait
Theme exotic
Influences none
Released 2008
Updated 2008
Licensing Open Source (BSD), Freeware
P. Language C++
Platforms Linux, Windows
Interface Graphical tiles (which are of characters!), ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length 1 hour?
Official site of Fatherhood

Fatherhood is a coffeebreak roguelike


Fatherhood is a Seven Day Roguelike written by Jeff Lait.

Fatherhood is somewhat different from traditional roguelikes. Rather than the conflict being human vs orc, it is human vs environment as you are faced with the task of stopping raging flood waters from washing away your home town. Adding to the complexity, the lightning may have started some forest fires. If this were not enough, as the title of the game alludes, you are a father of three children. Can you get your children to help you, or will they only get in your way?

My goal with this game is to address the simple quesiton: "What does it mean to be a father?"

This is largely a response to most games, such as POWDER, being adolescent power fantasies. As much as I love those, I wondered if it were possible to make a game that wasn't about mindless acquirement of power, and instead addressed some of the more complex situations one encounters as one ages.

I picked a few key themes of fatherhood, as I understand it, and focused on those in this game. I shan't reveal the themes in this message, however, as a need to reveal them belies a failure of the game. I encourage you to instead play the game and see if you can pick them out yourself.

Unique/rare features

  • Combat free roguelike. All conflict is with the environment.
  • Battle raging fires and flooding rivers by carrying rocks and pushing boulders.
  • Children run their own AI causing them, like real children, to not always do what you want.
  • Randomly generated levels can be saved to try and master the level later.
  • Starting levels are saved in plain ASCII, allowing people to share challenging games or easily create new challenging scenarios.

Versions and platforms

Fatherhood is written in C++ and is available for Windows, Linux, and can likely be compiled for the Mac OS X. Source code is provided so it may be ported to any platform with curses and/or SDL.


Medal_7DRL_2008.jpg finalist08sm.png

Game related links