Developer: Chronosoft
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Editors Note: Just after Gary finished this review, Rogue Touch 1.1 was released. Gary is currently unavailable to update the review but note the following changes in this 1.1 release:

  • Fast Play
  • iPod Playback
  • Doors shown on the mini-map
  • New equipment and magic items

At the dawn of computer gaming, at a time when text based games were played by college students on dumb terminals connected to mainframe computers, the RPG Rogue was born. It was a game with crude graphics which weren’t graphics at all: ASCII characters represented the walls of the dungeons as well as the monsters and even the player character.

The original was a simple hack’n’slash role playing game, and while Rogue Touch has that same simple but compelling game play, it offers graphics far superior to the original and to most of the versions that were subsequently released on personal computers and consoles. While those graphics are still quite rudimentary compared to many of the other games we see on the iPhone, they are adequate.

A dungeon is randomly generated each time you start a new game in Rogue Touch. The layout as well as the item and monster placement are all different when you start a new game, and this gives the app incredible replay value. Actual game play involves traversing dungeons, fighting monsters, finding items, and searching every level until you find the fabled Amulet of Yendor.

The game makes good use of the iPhone’s touch screen. You tap to move your character, to pick up items, to fight monsters, and to use items from the inventory screen. Actual usage of touch based commands can sometimes be finicky, but overall it works well. An auto-mapping system helps you keep track of your travels, and the game is automatically saved when you exit the app.

All told Rogue Touch is a worthwhile game. Anyone who likes a good dungeon hack will probably enjoy it. As long as your expectations for graphical splendor are appropriately low, that is, as its simple 2D graphics, while charming, don’t do anything to show off the iPhone’s great screen. Fortunately the game play fares better, and this port of a game going on thirty year’s old is still fun to play.

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