Sword of Fargoal (2003)


I just wanted to give this game a try, since I had some spare time and needed something short to play. I was hooked in no time. Sword of Fargoal is a roguelike, but whereupon modern variants (I’m not talking about Diablo or its clones, but rather the myriad ascii roguelikes) slay newcomers with too much, Sword of Fargoal is simplicity pure. You start, you explore, you level up, you go deeper into the dungeon. And yet, despite such a simple gameplay, it’s incredibly fun.

Part of what makes Sword of Fargoal so much fun for me is the exploration of every level. One thing that has always drawn me to the RPGs is when you can explore a map and slowly uncover the unknown parts (here there be monsters). That’s why I like mapping features in RPGs so much, or even better when can lift the cloud of darkness by walking around. Makes me feel a bit like an explorer.

As I’ve already said, Sword of Fargoal‘s gameplay is very simple. Every aspect of the game is just the essentials. No complex skill system, only the fighting skill, HPs, six spells that can be found in treasure chests and money that can be exchanged for experience points. Fighting is automated, but engaging the enemy or fleeing is in your hands. If you find the Sword of Fargoal deep down in the dungeons, head back to the surface as fast as you can, but beware. There are enemies who steal it from you.