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Caves of Qud from the developer of Sproggiwood has just released into Steam’s Early Access, and I decided to give it a spin. I’m not a massive traditional roguelike fan, so has it convinced me?

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About the game (Official)
Caves of Qud is a science fantasy roguelike epic steeped in retrofuturism, deep simulation, and swathes of sentient plants. Come inhabit an exotic world and chisel through layers of thousand-year-old civilizations. Decide: is it a dying earth, or is it on the verge of rebirth?

Brian Bucklew, Co-Founder of Freehold Games said this about it:

QuoteWe’ve been working on Caves of Qud for more than a decade. This game has been our passion for so long that we couldn’t wait any longer to finally release it on Steam. Players will never be bored -- assuming they can last more than five minutes, that is. The Grue had nothing on the many beasts and wonders of Qud!


Some thoughts
I’ve never been a big fan of traditional roguelikes, but Caves of Qud mixes it up enough for me to actually want to play it. It has graphical tiles instead of just text to represent the world, and the interface isn’t too bad either. Sadly, the graphical tiles are a bit limited, so the world does end up looking a bit samey.

You can choose to be either a Mutant, which comes with choosing a ton of different mutations with interesting effects, or as a “True Kin” which comes with its own interesting attributes. I chose the Mutant, as it seems like it’s the most fun.

Since it’s a proper roguelike you can imagine just how huge it is, and even with the more pleasant user interface and a reasonable help section, it’s still pretty daunting. I still get pretty confused every time I load it up, so it’s still not all that easy to get into.

The ability to re-play as your previous and carefully picked character is welcome, as I die all the time in games like this (I’ve lost count already), and I hate having to re-pick each time. This is extremely hand for people who just want to keep exploring.

It’s very much a game that requires a lot of patience, but something about the vastness of the options and the world will keep you coming back.

As far as I can tell, the Linux version works perfectly without any issues. I haven’t noticed a single issue yet.

Final thoughts: If, like me, you’re scared of roguelike games with their archaic text graphics, and poor interfaces, give Caves of Qud a go and be pleasantly surprised. You might even enjoy it! I wouldn't say I was fully convinced though, as the learning curve is still quite high.

Check out Caves of Qud on Steam now, remember the usual Early Access warnings folks, although it has been in development for a long time.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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The comments on this article are closed.
scaine 16 July 2015 at 6:21 pm UTC
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Yikes, this like like a terminal/retro version of Tales of Maj'Eyal. But having played ToME for over a hundred hours already, I can't see any attraction to stepping back through a time warp to play this. Try ToME for free from their website and if you're into rogue-likes, you'll no doubt end up sinking £5 for the expansion / full game.

Looks as deep as ToME though and a similarly long development story, so good luck to the developer.
Linas 16 July 2015 at 7:36 pm UTC
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I am usually not that focused on graphics, and have nothing against retro look, but this is pushing it. Even among indie games, I would consider this to be extremely niche.
hansonry 16 July 2015 at 8:52 pm UTC
How dose this game compare to Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup? A free opensource alternative.

https://crawl.develz.org/
Gonza565 17 July 2015 at 10:37 am UTC
Caves of Qud is looking a hell of a lot better than it used to! personally, I love this aesthetic, and not because of nostalgia (even though in this case it is sticking fairly close to the classic visuals). The colour palette is nice, the sprites are minimal and beautiful and a lot of information is convayed in a small space.
Nezchan 17 July 2015 at 2:03 pm UTC
scaineYikes, this like like a terminal/retro version of Tales of Maj'Eyal. But having played ToME for over a hundred hours already, I can't see any attraction to stepping back through a time warp to play this. Try ToME for free from their website and if you're into rogue-likes, you'll no doubt end up sinking £5 for the expansion / full game.

Looks as deep as ToME though and a similarly long development story, so good luck to the developer.

I like ToME, but wow do those beginner dungeons get tedious when you have to repeat them with every single new character after you've got turned into paste by some arbitrary difficulty spike. I found it common to run into stuff out of your league in areas that should have been easy, with little indication where else to go as an alternative. Hell, I ran into a lv. 36 creature in Trollmire once, and I hadn't even gotten to the boss yet.

As to Caves of Qud, I've got it on my wishlist to keep an eye on it for now. Once it's out of EA I might pick it up. I love Brogue, so the oldschool graphic style doesn't phase me a bit.
adolson 20 July 2015 at 3:28 pm UTC
The ASCII version of CoQ is available for free... for Windows. Maybe if someone asked them nicely, they'd post a Linux version, too. I'm pretty sure they are well aware of just how niche a true roguelike is. If you feel the need to comment against the "graphics" then it's clearly not a game for you.

I've played it some, but I much prefer Sproggiwood. I'd highly recommend that to anyone interested in a more friendly roguelike, with actual graphics.
scaine 20 July 2015 at 3:40 pm UTC
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Well, graphics are generally pretty low on my "must have" requirements, particularly for roguelikes, but this is barely one step up from ASCII. And when you've played ToME, other roguelikes seem shallow by comparison. But I'm no expert, having not played either Sroggiwood nor Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. I'm comparing to things like Dredmor or Bionic Dues which are definitely more "arcade-y".

And CoQ certainly seems to tick the "depth" box, that's for sure.
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