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Major Roguelike
Developer Jay Fenlason,

Kenny Woodland,
Mike Thome
and Jon Payne

Theme Fantasy
Influences Rogue
Released 1984 Jan 17
Updated 1985 Jul 23 (1.0.3)
Licensing three-clause BSD
P. Language C
Platforms BSD, DOS
Interface ASCII, CP437
Game Length
Official site of Hack

Hack, released seven times between 1984 and 1985, was one of the earliest clones of Rogue, after Moria. Its descendant, NetHack, which is still in development, spawned a subgenre of roguelike games known as hacklikes.


Hack was an improved version of Rogue and introduced several new features, such as a pet dog following the character, several new classes, shops...

Food management was vital in Hack, for the character could easily starve to death if not properly fed.

Versions and platforms

Hack was written by Jay Fenlason from scratch between 1982 and 1984 for Unix systems. Versions 1.0 to 1.0.3, the ones first published to Usenet, were re-written by Andries Brouwer. Several versions were developed for DOS and the Atari ST. Current BSD OS projects, such as NetBSD, are maintaining Hack for modern BSD systems.


In 1987, Mike Stephenson merged several Hack versions together and published NetHack, which is still supported today. NetHack in turn influenced games such as ADOM or Crawl.

Hack is the prototype of hacklike games, a subgenre of games sharing several primary characteristics. (They are usually opposed to bandlike games, games which follow Angband's gameplay.)

See also


Related topics

External links