7DRL 2011 Reviews - Destiny of Heroes

So many roguelikes! Up next is the epically-named DESTINY OF HEROES.

When I first read the name I read it as DENSITY of Heroes. Not sure why. But then I got to thinking… Density of Heroes would be an awesome 7DRL! You could have monsters based on the elements of the periodic table and try to gain protons and electrons (and neutrons) in order to defeat your enemies. Combat is resolved by density. Of course your nemesis is the arch-fiend of elements: UNOBTANIUM.

Anyways, back to the game. Destiny of Heroes is the first 7DRL entry by IBOL. It was created in Dark Basic. Which I imagine is some sort of twisted arcane version of regular-basic. (I personally used a lot of Q-BASIC back in the day) The version I played was not the “official” 7DRL version but rather the next version, which I assume fixes some number of annoying bugs. I’m no glutton for punishment.

oooh.. dynamic lighting! (nice)

First off, I love the intro screen! This roguelike is off to a great start. Clear goals, big font, no overly-wrought fantasy setting introduction (let’s be honest they all boil down to the same thing).

The game itself is a fairly standard (and I mean that in a good way) crawl-esque dungeon diver. I say crawl and not nethack because of cool things like this:

  • throwing items — appears that you can throw anywhere within radius X, as opposed to cardinal directions (the throwing interface is especially awesome)
  • dungeon generation — these are cool organic-looking dungeons, not your usual box & corridor (great job on this part IBOL!)
  • no-nonsense inventory — it knows when you pick up a mace you would rather just get rid of your dagger (Vicious Orcs was great about this too)
So, now for the less-good. I thought the game had way too much whitespace. The window was huge, and this was part of it (but not necessarily a bad thing since it had a nice on-screen inventory). The real problem was the font. The glyphs didn’t have enough weight on them for me. The grid squares were also too far apart. 
Go away, whitespace!
(Although a surprisingly useful implementation of SENSE TREASURE)

The game also felt a bit laggy at times. I would punch the arrow keys in quick succession only to have my little @ only move 1 or 2 spaces. However, I know from experience that making a scrolling dungeon window is a giant pain in the ass so I was not bothered too much. Certainly it is something that can be cleaned up and optimized at a later time. (7DRLs are not really the place for optimization)
I really liked the monsters — they weren’t your typical fare. I am also easily entertained by non-standard characters such as the ÿ and σ. There were a few times in this game where I got more than a passing whiff of Brogue. This is in no way a bad thing since I love Brogue and still play it constantly. The AI was fun. The water sprites were especially obnoxious.
One thing that bugged me was the length of combat. On more than a few occasions I felt like I should be smashing my way through monsters but ended up going 6 or 7 rounds with… a bat. I expect a certain number of “windshield kills” in my roguelikes, and bats are certainly up there on that list.
It was also a bit annoying to not see the final few game messages. There were a few times when I quaffed a potion or read a scroll in desperation (e.g. down to my last 1 or 2 HP), only to get a big ol’ “game over” screen, without telling me what the scroll did. That is a pretty minor annoyance though.
Killed by python. Yeah, that seems appropriate for me.
So, all in all, a solid vanilla roguelike. I couldn’t muster up the strength to dive all the way to level 15 (these levels are quite huge!!), but it is always nice to see a fully functioning game in a 7DRL challenge.
PS: Oh, I also loved the mini-map!

You can find a list of all 7DR L2011 finishers on roguebasin or temple of the roguelike.