Sword of Fargoal Review: A Fun, Classic Roguelike Game

The App Store has a diverse selection of games, but I have yet to find a perfect roguelike that harks back to the 80s. However, now I believe I’ve found the game that meets my requirements – Sword of Fargoal. Jeff McCord gave his old game a new graphics makeover and released it on the App Store a few weeks ago without losing any of the charm or gameplay elements; it’s still a legitimately great game, and one that you can spend hours on. It even has unique new elements added in such as monsters that were not in the original. With free episodic updates and in-app purchases coming soon, I’m pretty sure that Sword of Fargoal is the roguelike that I’ve been waiting for.


Replayability: No level will be the same after the first time, since they are all randomly generated. This leads to massive amounts of replayability, especially if you don’t feel like actually finishing the game and just want to wander around collecting gold, exploring the levels, and killing stuff.

Combat: As it should be for a roguelike, combat is simple yet satisfying. You can engage a monster in combat by simply swiping from your character to the enemy when it is a tile away. You then engage in combat, where your character and the monster exchange blows and one of you dies. Watching the fight and killing the enemy has a fun factor that I never thought there could be.

Graphics and Charm: Though I thought I’d never say this for a game that’s over twenty years old, Sword of Fargoal’s revamped graphics are what I consider pretty good-looking. The new art and character models also lend the game a charming aspect, and I began to enjoy the game right as I started it up and looked at the professional, smooth, yet somewhat childish-looking character. I felt that instead of controlling the character, I could actually connect and be the character since he wasn’t one of those bearded, veteran soldiers whose appearances speak of their age and experience.

Monster and Item Variety: There many different monsters, items, and spells in this game, and the variety also helps give the game a more immersive atmosphere. With over forty monsters, items, and spells in total, the game can be quite fun when you want to use and discover everything.

Casual Yet Hardcore: With all of the aforementioned features, and being a port of an old, classic roguelike, this game may seem very complicated and intimidating. However, I can confidently say that both new players that only want to walk around killing things will enjoy it as much as hardcore roguelike fans that want to find all the items, spells, monsters, and treasures. The game is both casual and hardcore, and it’ll appeal to the two extreme audiences of the platform, and everyone in between.


No Physical Attack Animations: I’m just nitpicking, but it’d be great if my character had some visual attack animations. At the moment, he just moves and body-slams the enemy, though he obviously has a sword in his hand. It’s nothing really big, but more eye candy in the form of attack and defensive animations for the character would be great.

Overall, Sword of Fargoal is currently the best roguelike game in the App Store, and will probably remain so for quite a long time, if not forever. Jeff McCord and Fargoal LLC have done a great job with the iPhone version of the game, and I commend them for that. With engaging gameplay, tons of replayability, charming graphics, a wide variety of things to find and fight, and both casual and hardcore, Sword of Fargoal is a Must Have for any iPhone and iPod Touch gamer interested in roguelikes and adventure games.

Sword of Fargoal was developed by Fargoal LLC, and I played through version 1.0 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $4.99.

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