You’ll all no doubt be familiar with Doom, but some gamers among you might be wondering just what exactly is a “roguelike”.

Well, roguelikes are the earliest examples of dungeon-crawling, turn-based hack-‘n’-slash RPGs. They’re mostly created using ASCII characters and feature the usual staple of RPG lore, such as increasing stats and collecting items, often with randomly generated levels and various aspects left to the imagination. Now, you’re probably thinking, “and somebody made Doom into… *that*?” Yes, yes indeed.

Well, mostly anyway. Doom, The Roguelike (henceforth known as DoomRL) eschews the traditional ASCII interface for a tile-based GUI, which is a recent addition and a growing trend in roguelike circles. The gameplay is more action-orientated, much like the original game that is its inspiration. Movement is pretty fast for a game of this style and the technology trees and stats are rather simplified. All of this combines to make DoomRL an excellent gateway to the genre.

At first glance, it may seem as inappropriate as an RPG version of Street Fighter II, but it really works. The slight learning curve will provide a definite challenge and the randomly generated levels mean there’s always surprises each time you play.

It’s all made more accessible by the redrawn sprites and items, as well as the included soundtrack featuring remastered pieces from the original Doom game. Both high- and low-quality versions are available, but be warned that the hi-fi version balloons the download to 80MBs. Fear not, as the standard download is still considerably smaller for those of you with bandwidth or space issues.

For its simplicity, it’s still stylish and charming.

Blast your way over on to this corner of the Web to snatch your download. Windows, Linux and Mac users can all get into the action, although the OS X version is apparently the most unstable of the bunch.

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