Review by Harkonnen4life
The Prime Example of Gameplay Over Graphics
Introduction: NetHack is an RPG game much like Diablo, only it's turn-based. The game was made in 1987, ten years before Diablo was released! The cool part is that NetHack is MUCH larger and has more of everything (except graphics) than Diablo and its sequel. NetHack is STILL being improved on by the developers today. (although I think the latest version is just perfect.) There are roughly around 350 kinds of monsters in the game. As for how many items there are... I don't even want to go into that, because the number will be off the scale. Lets just say there are around 90 different weapons ALONE.
Gameplay - 5/5
This is addictive. It has a steep learning curve, but once you get it - you just can't stop! There are many actions and things you could do with items and stuff - so there are lots of buttons to memorize. But you don't really have to memorize anything because the game tells you what every button does. Internet play is better because no one can cheat, and the scores are recorded. The game is the hardest I've ever played - I still didn't beat this colossal game after six months of playing. The controls are very straightforward - you can step in 8 directions, one step per turn (unless your character can jump). You can pick from 13 different character classes and the three alignments: good, neutral, and evil.
Story - 3.5/5
You descend into the dungeon in search for the Amulet of Yendor. That sums up the story! Really, I couldn't care less what the story is, because the game is so good, it overshadows the story! To win the game, you have to descend all the way down to hell, retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, travel ALL the way back up from hell, and move into the elemental planes. Once you sacrifice the Amulet of Yendor to the corresponding altar of your alignment, you have turned into a demi-god, and won the game. There's a lot more to it than that, though.
Graphics - 5/5
Your imagination produces the best graphics of them all. The graphics of NetHack are ASCII text characters. You are a white "@" symbol, and the enemies can be all sorts of different letters that are easy to recognize. This way, you can fill the empty images with your imagination! I think the developers wanted it this way, since they focused more on quality programming rather than good graphics.
Sound - N/A
You can listen to your favourite music white playing! But don't get too carried away - NetHack requires great thinking and judgement... as well as the desire to kill everything around you!
Play Time: This is a long game. And by that, I mean LLLOOONNNGGG! If you die once, that's it (unless you were wearing an amulet of life-saving) - you have to start all over again. There is no cheap "Load Game" option, and I'm glad there isn't. The game would be very dumb since you will just load each time you die. But in NetHack, you learn from your mistakes and careless deaths. That's what makes it so good! The whole games takes maybe 80,000 - 100,000 turns ALL WITHOUT DYING ONCE. I lost count of how many times I died carelessly, but I know what I'm doing now. Veteran players are always prepared for anything.
Replayability - 5/5 (unlimited)
Every game of NetHack is different - the maps are random, the cities look different sometimes, and different items lie around. Well, time to wrap it up.
Conclusion - 10/10
This review only has a general view of the game. I left out SO MUCH important stuff about it, but I don't want to keep rambling on and on. I have no choice but to give this game a perfect 10. Hundreds of people play online per day.
You can get the game for free = http://www.nethack.org
Great place to play NetHack online = http://alt.org/nethack
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