To understand POWDER, you should first understand roguelikes. "Roguelike" is a term applied to a wide variety of games which share a common inspiration from the game Rogue.
A non-exhaustive list of such games would be: ADOM, Nethack, Crawl, Diablo (I & II), Moria, and Angband. Apologies to the many excellent roguelikes not listed.
What characterizes these games? The exact specifications are a matter of debate but these are a few of them:
· Tactical play. The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer. The game is not twitch oriented (like Quake, rewarding reflexes & well trained actions) nor is it strategy oriented (like Civilizations or Warcraft, requiring working on the large picture)
· Based in Hack and Slash. A roguelike isn't primarily about plot development or telling a story. It is about killing things and acquiring treasure.
· Random games. A roguelike is a dungeon crawler where no two games are the same. The maps are different, the items are different, there are no guaranteed win paths.
· Permadeath. You die, that is it. No restoring a savegame. Good roguelikes delete your save game after loading them. This is compensated by the replayability of the game.
· Complex interactions of properties. While the commands for a roguelike are simple, the potential interactions are pretty complicated. My favourite example is equipping a silver ring as a weapon in order to damage a creature vulnerable to silver, but not one's other weapons. [Editor: This matches the Hack branch of the roguelike tree, not the Angband branch]
· Steam rolling monsters. If a critter is in your way, and weak, you shouldn't even notice it is there.
For more information about roguelikes there is the Rogue Basin, a Wiki documenting this genre, and the Temple of the Roguelike, a newsite tracking developments in the field.
Having defined Roguelike, POWDER is easy to describe: A Roguelike designed for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS.
How to Win
Descend into the depths of the dungeon until you reach the foul daemon known as "He who the author cannot spell consistently", or, Baezl'bub. When you have slain Baezl'bub in heroic combat, or, if Baezl'bub dies in any way, retrieve his black heart and bring it to the surface world.
You may then go the nearest newsgroup such as rec.games.roguelike.misc, and post YAAP (Yet Another Ascension Post).
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Two new exciting changes in this release. First we have a new spell: Animate Forest, for those who were wondering what the point of the Grow Forest spell was. Second we have the run mode which lets you auto-follow corridors, hopefully cutting your keystrokes substantially.
· Daemon now has the a in the summon daemon spell description. (FEG)
· If a daemon decides not to be summoned, an a is put in the daemon's name.
· PSP character dumps should now say PSP Version rather than Linux version. (Dave Hong)
· If you were in the habit of quitting without saving, the random number seed would keep being the same between games, resulting in very similar games. For those keeping track, yes, this was caused by my naive attempts to make things *more* random. (Erik Spigel)
· If you manually climb a ladder while autoprompt is enabled you no longer are immediately prompted to climb back up the ladder when you get to the other side.
· New Run command, 'r' for SDL users, which will cause you to run in that direct...