You know that old saying “if something is worth having, it’s worth waiting for”? That certainly rings true for Tales of Maj’Eyal (ToME), one of the best roguelikes yet. That said, the waiting could have been much worse since fans have had plenty of opportunities to play the game during its lengthy development period, with quite a few (and frequent) public betas.
With a wide variety of classes and races to pick from, chances are you’ll find a suitable mix for the adventure that awaits beyond the classic character creation screen. I would advise caution, however, as the lands of Eyal hold both great riches and wealth for adventurers brave enough, the danger is equally great, especially in various caves and dungeons where the most sinister beings lie in wait. But what’s an adventure without monsters to slay, really? Chances are your thirst for combat will be quenched in ToME after facing everything from the undead to demons and dragons, on your quest for power, wealth and fame (or, at least two of the three).
Unlike most other games in the genre, ToME contains a story picked from your mix of class/race. The world and its many dungeons are always randomly generated, however, to ensure that no two playthroughs will be identical. Another thing that makes ToME stand out is (somewhat) related to progression: within minutes a message popped up, informing me that I had unlocked a new class (wait, what?!). A quick glance at the character creation screen revealed that there is a lot more to unlock, including a fourth difficulty level and two brand-new campaigns! Wow. This is accomplished by performing various actions/tasks in the game world, like talking to specific NPCs or defeating a boss; yet another reason to go out of your way exploring! And everything from unlocked content to achievements is stored on your online account (hello!), so there’ll be no cheating your way to those nifty extras.
Those wondering about the price tag need not worry, for ToME is both 100% free and open source. It’s also available for the three big ones (Windows/Mac/Linux) and I’d say it should run fine on older hardware too, so no one gets left out. Go grab it and start your adventure already! Oh wait, almost forgot: Greenlight!