Developer: Kevin Hill
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Rogue Touch - Reviving classic games for a new generation is the new black. I’m happy to say that I’ve been around long to enough to have first hand experiences with the original versions of newly re-imagined games to compare and contrast from a historic perspective. Predictably, I was a little humbled to discover that I haven’t seen it all when I stumbled upon ChronoSoft’s labor of love.
Rogue Touch is the fruits of their labor, a remixed and remade port of a game call Rouge, released nearly 30 years go. Rogue was a pioneering game in it’s time that created the dungeon crawler genre and paved the way for games like Nethack and Diablo. Does Rogue Touch faithfully recreate the original experience? More importantly, does Rogue Touch hold up well enough to go toe-to-toe with the thousands of other iPhone games currently on the market? I’ll dig in and provide my two cents on both of those questions.
So what is Rogue Touch? It’s a dungeon explorer that is all about killing enemies, collecting gold, finding cool loot/weapons, and leveling up your character. The official objective of Rogue Touch is to navigate to the bottom of the dungeon to collect the “Amulet of Yendor” and ascend back up to the surface. As you level up your character, enemies become progressively harder to kill to provide a decent challenge throughout the game. One great feature that keeps things interesting is the fact that the dungeons are randomly generated, so multiple playthroughs should provide a different experience every time.
Getting around in Rogue Touch is fairly intuitive. Tapping in a general direction on the screen moves your character around in a top down perspective. Fighting enemies are triggered by walking into them, and details of the fight interaction are presented with text at the top of your screen. A tap on your character in the game triggers menus to view inventory, change weapons or shoot projective weapons (assuming you have them equipped) at enemies. Touch gestures enable you to zoom the camera in or out to your preferences. Praise is due to ChronoSoft for taking the time to create a control scheme that generally uses the iPhone in easy and efficient ways.
Graphically speaking, Rogue Touch looks significantly better than Rogue did back on an old antiquated IBM PC. There is no comparison, and I’m happy Chronosoft didn’t replicate that look for the sake of authenticity. That being said, the graphics in Rogue Touch can’t hold a candle to many titles currently out there on the iPhone. Environments look boring, animations are bad to nonexistent at times, and effects are far and few in between. Folks that grew up with the game probably will not care as it makes it more authentic, but nothing about the look and feel of the game impresses here.
Reviewing a game like Rogue Touch is extremely difficult. On one hand, I have to consider the crowd that grew up playing this game and have fond memories of draining hours of their lives into it. On the other hand, I have to think about the crowd — that I’m admittedly in — that isn’t up to speed and is wanting some insight on the merits of the game without the nostalgic point of view. I’m opting to rate this game from the latter perspective, and recommend folks do their homework before spending their 3 bucks on this game.
The diehard fans will love this upgraded port, but I can easily see the uninitiated being disappointed and underwhelmed with Rogue Touch. Tread lightly before taking the plunge on this dungeon crawler!