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Major Roguelike
Developer Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold
Theme Fantasy
Influences Dungeons & Dragons, Colossal Cave Adventure
Released 1980
Updated 20 Jan, 2014 (3.6.3)

13 Mar, 2005 (5.2.1)

05 Sep, 2007 (5.4.4)

Licensing ??
P. Language C
Platforms Linux, Windows, DOS
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length ??
Official site of Rogue

Rogue, published in 1980, is the game that established the genre and inspired all other Roguelikes.


Rogue's storyline was very light: the point of the game was to go down all levels of a dungeon, in a world based on Dungeons & Dragons, starting from the top, killing monsters and plundering treasures, until finding the Amulet of Yendor. Then, the player had to climb every level up.

It was one of the first games to use a spatial representation of the world where the action unfolded instead of textual descriptions - the authors sought to combine a traditional "dice" RPG with the original Crowther/Woods interactive fiction game Colossal Cave Adventure. This was possible using a C function library called Curses, and this brought important advancements into the cRPG and in general PC gaming genre.

Contrary to many other computer RPGs of the time, all levels were randomly generated. Rogue was intended to be played on Unix terminals. Thus, the dungeon was displayed in text mode, characters and monsters being represented by letters. Actions were issued by single keystrokes. Rogue defined the very Roguelike genre. Random generation, basic plot, text (or tiled) based display still are the usual features of Roguelikes.

The more direct descendant of Rogue was Hack, although Larn and Moria are closely related to it as well.

Versions and platforms

Rogue was written in 1980 by Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman and Ken Arnold for Unix. It was ported to several platforms.

Rogue clones can now be found for nearly every existing platform. Notable modern examples include:

Older Variants

Related topics

Related links