Imagine Yourself In A Murky Dungeon
The only thing heavier than the air in this place is the pack on your back. You haven't eaten in days, and you can't remember when you last saw the sun. You think about your faithful little dog who joined you on your journey to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor.
And you think about how you had to eat his corpse after he was torn apart by orc zombies.
You feel that eating the little dog was a bad idea. And what's worse is that now you get the distinct impression that every creature you see wants to rip your head off.
Your thoughts are interrupted by the cry of a shrieker, a sure sign of impending trouble. With a heavy sigh, you ready your sword.
Times are tough.
"The depth of gameplay in NetHack is nothing short of miraculous, a standing testament to what can be accomplished by a community of gamers working towards a common goal."
- Erik Reckase, Just ASCII +: NetHack, JustAdventure.com
Infinitely Replayable: Randomly generated dungeons for every adventure
Challenging like no video game you've ever played before
Exciting on a whole other level
Free and open source
Available for every platform from the Atari to the iPhone
What's All This Then?
NetHack is the deepest and most challenging video game ever created. In continuous development by an international team of over 100 developers since 1987, NetHack boasts an unparalleled level of interactivity, replayability, and difficulty.
In NetHack, players are charged with the task of retrieving the Amulet of Yendor from the Mazes of Menace, a vast dungeon that is randomly-generated to insure a unique experience for each new adventure.
In the Mazes of Menace, your wits are your greatest strength, and success is dependent upon your creativity and cunning. There are no do-overs in NetHack, and death is swift for those who fail to learn the intricacies of the Mazes. NetHack is a truly difficult game, and many play for years before emerging from the dungeon victoriously.
Think you've got what it takes to plumb the depths, snag the Amulet, and make it out alive? Give it a go. NetHack is open-source and freely available for nearly every platform under the sun, and below you can find links to many popular versions.
"Unlike modern games that prepackage your entertainment in hi-def visuals [and] hi-fi surround sound, NetHack relies entirely on your imagination."
- Michael Saba, NetHack: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Death, PasteMagazine.com, 9/4/2008
This just can't be happening. Twelve floors down, scores of foes vanquished, more than a few close calls, and I'm about to meet my end at the hooves of a particularly frightful pony.
A recent encounter with a dragon has left me with low life, lower energy, and a near-empty pack.
I frantically search through my inventory for some kind of solution to my equestrian nightmare. No dice. Damn it.
Luckily, I've got a good head start on my little pursuer, and I stumble through the door before me into a large room. A chest! This could be just what I need. But it's locked! I take a mighty swing at the lock, and my staff splinters into a dozen pieces.
Oh, come on!
The light from my candle casts a comically dramatic shadow on the pony as it tears into the room. Suddenly, I remember the luckstone in my pocket! Liberating it from its linty prison, I chuck the luckstone with everything I've got...
The rock connects. The pony falls down dead. Now that's lucky.
"The fact is that comparing Diablo to NetHack is like pitting a wading pool against the Marianas trench; the former is fun and gives you a taste of what the real thing is like, while the latter is immense and deep enough to crush visitors who venture in unprepared."
- T. Byrl Baker, Unsung Heroes: Ground Breaking Games, GameSpot.com
XP / Vista / 7
- Mac OS X
- Windows CE
WM 5 / WM 6
- Apple iPhone
- Google Android
- Nokia 770 & N880+
- Nintendo DS
- Internet Browser
5 Tips For All New Adventurers
NetHack is all about creative thinking, patience, and luck. But it's also about learning. When you need a little help finding out what to do or what just happened to you, check out the NetHack Wiki for guilt-free spoilers.
Inscribing the word "Elbereth" on the dungeon floor invokes the power of the elven deity and can protect you from most monsters.
Watch that hunger!
Food is incredibly important in NetHack, and staying fed is a top priority. Remember that you can eat many corpses, so long as they haven't rotted.
Lighten the load
If your pack starts to get heavy you can suffer penalties from falling down stairs to not being able to eat. Travel light to move swiftly and safely.
Pray when you need a miracle.
Praying can heal wounds, relieve hunger, uncurse items, and more! But be careful not to pray too often. You wouldn't want to upset your god...
"NetHack is, without a doubt, the greatest game you will ever play."