|Influences||AD&D 1e, D&D 3e|
|Licensing||Freeware, Closed source|
|Platforms||Windows, Linux (Wine)|
|Game Length||4-6 hours|
Zorbus is a fantasy-themed, graphical, turn-based, role-playing roguelike game. Your goal is to delve deep into a dungeon, find a portal to a mythical place called the Zorbus where a mere mortal can ascend to demigodhood.
Being a roguelike game, Zorbus creates the dungeon randomly so that every played game is slightly different. The game uses permadeath meaning that when a character dies, it really is permanent and the player must begin a new game. You can save the game but the save file is deleted when loaded.
Thematically Zorbus draws influence from the late 70s and early 80s tabletop D&D campaigns, adventures and lore.
The goal is to create a tight, streamlined dungeon crawling experience where the dungeon feels alive, eventful and rich in content. Something more than just boring empty rooms and corridors! Diversely shaped levels with themed content (throne rooms, prisons, lots of hidden treasure caches etc.) with good connectivity between the areas.
Important part of the living dungeon are the creatures. Creatures act intelligently, might fight each other, flee when threatened and try to gather their friends to overcome a threat. Most creatures can use items and also pick them up from from the dungeon floor. Creatures are not silent either but comment on things with speech bubbles.
The dungeon has dynamic lighting. There are light sources as dungeon furniture and in the hands of creatures and these both can be lit and unlit. Some creatures have darkvision. Creatures react to light and sound.
You don't have to go to the fight alone but can recruit other creatures along the way.
The rule system for the game is slightly influenced by the d20 system used in the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Zorbus has experience levels but no character classes (race is selected). On each level up, you point buy skills and talents (mostly combat maneuvers and spells).
Zorbus does not have item identification or a hunger mechanic.
Zorbus needs Windows XP or newer but works also in Linux with Wine.
The display size can be configured. You can play in windowed mode or fullscreen with 32x32- or 64x64-pixel tile graphics. Text size can also be adjusted.
Starting from release 18 the game has sound effects.
The game can be controlled only with the keyboard (the number of needed keys to play is kept low). The keybindings are configurable. The game has a targeting system making it very easy to use ranged attacks / talents. Usable items and talents can be assigned to quickslots.
Zorbus is already a stable game but development still continues: more content, more polishing.