Frozen Depths (2005)


There was a time when I looked upon roguelikes with some sort of incomprehension. Why still creating games with ASCII-graphics, when you can use real graphics? What’s the appeal? And then some day it clicked. Playing roguelikes at times feels a bit like reading, a part of your mind is constantly layering simple symbols with more layers of sensation, pictures, smells, sounds.

It’s like a skill, while a first-time-player of roguelikes and an advanced player may look upon the same thing, they actually don’t view it the same way. One of the them is simple seeing symbols and tries slowly to translate them into dungeon walls, monsters and everything else. The advanced player doesn’t need translating anymore, his mind providing everything to instantly create a fully grown world in his mind.

So far, I haven’t talked much about Frozen Depths, which is a very simple roguelike. Go down fifty levels to kill some evil, and then try to get the hell out of there (which is nearly impossible to do without cheating, the rising heat kills you too fast). The theme, as the title implies, is about a dungeon that gets colder with every level. The deeper you go, the more you have to pay attention to avoid freezing to death.

The rest is standard fare, kill things, collect items, explore, go deeper. Every ten levels you have to face a boss demon. Overall, a nicely done game.