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A jam submission

EvilwareView game page

Discover the Source of the evil Malwares infecting the System
Submitted by tndwolf (@tndwolf) — 1 day, 15 hours before the deadline
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Evilware's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Traditional Roguelikeness#413.6673.667

Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • "Evilware" is an innovative, but mixed bag of a game. The idea of turning the operating system and debugging tools into a game isn't novel (hello Transistor!), but I thought was implemented in a unique way here, and really felt full of things to be excited or chuckle about for a fellow programmer. I liked how every level is another system folder, how various software threats translate into different types of enemies, and how system commands correspond to varied mechanics. That said, the game was ironically very buggy (I could never get past level 3 in the 7drl version, and even in the post-jam version there seemed to be a lot of random glitches). Like, the cooldowns on hacking skills were inconsistent; skills were becoming unavailable when I still had bits to use them, and then become available again after I clicked around for a while; I sometimes attacked empty spaces, etc. Some suggestions for user interface improvements. A learned skill should be clickable to check its description - otherwise I found no way to check what it did. There should also be some correspondence between the skill icons and the skills in the compiler menu - while some were easily recognizable as icons, some others were not. Anyway, I would love to replay this with balancing changes that force me as a player to really utilize my wide arsenal of hacking/cracking, and make wise decisions about what to learn next. It would be cool if the final boss is more fearsome =)
  • Evilware is a very entertaining portrayal of the inner workings of one's operating system as roguelike levels. Every floor correlates with an actual directory of one's system like HOME, BOOT, etc. so the game is almost educational in that sense. Same goes for some of the commands that act as abilities (sleep, defrag, removefile, kill, etc.) These are split into two types: cracking commands are replacements for your basic melee attack, while hacking commands are activated with left click and have indefinite range but often possess cooldown. Often does not mean always, however, and some hacking commands do not even take turns: once you purchase corruption-removing defrag, you can just click with it at any corruption that is in your line of sight before doing anything else and not sacrifice anything. Likewise, temp command is a debuff with wide range, and it can be applied for free at the start of the fight. On the other hand, the cracking ability which inflicts momentary sleep upon the malignant file is essentially a recipe to indefinite stunlock. Then again, Evilware is a hacking-inspired game, so such exploits feel oddly appropriate. They also take a while to unlock and at the start, your program is often fragile to getting mobbed, since the only way to heal is by reaching the terminals that also dispense upgrades. Hostile programs also have the advantage of being able to move and attack diagonally: you can do that too, but only by right-clicking, as there's no numpad support. Choosing to start with the teleport ability help to survive early floors, but is no panacea. Thus, there's the classic roguelike difficulty curve where the game feels difficult at the start but easy by the end - further amplified by another classic strategy of beefing up defence until basic enemies can barely touch you. Still, at its worst, Evilware is no more unbalanced than the classic roguelikes that were often developed for many years. At its best, it is a visually attractive roguelike with a surprising amount of content (I played the post-contest version, but the changes were apparently limited to bugfixes, and did not introduce new creatures or abilities.) There are just enough floors for the game to not feel too long or short, just enough upgrades for you to be able to unlock the entire dozen or so of them by the end if you play it right, and a range of distinct enemies with behaviour that correlates well to real-world malware but is often unusual for a roguelike. It's definitely one of the best, or even the best, hacking-themed submissions in this contest's history, and a good coffeebreak roguelike in general.

Successful or Incomplete?

Did development of the game take place during the 7DRL Challenge week. (If not, please don't submit your game)

Do you consciously consider your game a roguelike/roguelite? (If not, please don't submit your game)

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