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Netwhack is a roguelike game written in Java by Usgai.

Beta Project
Developer Appledog
Theme Fantasy
Influences NetHack, ADOM
Released 1997 Jun 24
Updated 2019 Jun 8 (0.7.2-wip)
Licensing Closed Source, Donationware
P. Language Java
Platforms Java
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length 1 hour
Official site of Netwhack


Netwhack is under development, the currently available version 0.7.1 represents the milestone of finishing Step 15 of How to Write a Roguelike in 15 Steps.

This game is intended to be a full-on roguelike adventure game in the tradition of Nethack and ADOM. It is a commercial, proprietary product under active development, with a targeted release date of June 24th 2020.
A free-to-play version has been made available to help beta test the game. In return for alerting me to any bugs or making any kind of informed suggestion to the game you will receive a free deluxe digital edition of the game upon the game's release.
Among my non-roguelike influences I am a great fan of the Ultima "Avatar" trilogy and Diablo II. I also cannot deny a long and storied history with Dungeons and Dragons. Thank goodness for the SDL/OGL!

I really hope you enjoy this game. I value your comments and suggestions, please visut us on our official webpage and discussion forum on reddit: and let me know what you think. I often put fan requests at the top of my TODO list -- fan service will always be a priority with Netwhack!

Versions and platforms

Netwhack requires Java 1.6 or higher to be installed on your system. You don't need to worry about this because I plan to bundle the OpenJava JRE with release versions.

The latest beta or live version is v. 0.7.1, which is end-of-life already. 0.7.2 will be released before the end of June 2019.


  • 80x25 Color ASCII display
  • Internet High Score list (works on Windows, Mac and Linux, on the web, or offline.)
  • Several level layouts and dungeon generators, with persistence. Script-based dungeon generation for ease of world-building.
  • An orc princess.
  • Complex AI system for various NPC and monster types (Pathfinding, Moods, Patrols, Monsters communicating via speech, Field of View, Field of Hearing, self-modifying AI scripts)
  • Effect system for item enchants, potion, scroll and food effects, rare & unique weapons and armor, magic items.
  • Shops of various kinds
  • Paged inventory and equipment screens
  • Quests involving cans of dog food and meaningless scraps of paper
  • Raytracing line of sight, Dynamic lighting
  • Field of View
  • Literacy & other NPC abilities (orcs and some very smart dogs can open doors, but rats can't, etc)
  • Devious traps
  • Enslaved elven cooks
  • Secret passages and hidden items
  • Permadeath
  • Traders, guards, farmers
  • Pets
  • Stairs, holes, pits, caves
  • Village at which you can buy/sell or identify items, restore health.
  • Pirates, Sports, Revenge, Adventure, Love, Fencing
  • Gain experience and level up.
  • Kicks ass

Bugs / In Progress

  • Balance issues (combat is too easy?)

Boring Facts

  • Netwhack v0.7.2 has just under 10,000 lines of Java source code.
  • Since 1997. On again, off again project.


  • The caves are a dead end.
  • The croky monsters are getting into town using scrolls of town portal.
  • Escape the dungeon with the sunsword to win the game.

Please Help

  • Beta test the game and enjoy it, free-to-play releases will always be free to play. If you help beta test the latest version on the site though, you will get a copy of the game when it's released.


Special thanks to Bjorn Bergstrom for the roguelike development website he maintains. It's a great resource.
Extra special thanks to the good peole of, who have provided much advice, encouragement, and entertainment over the years. Thank you!

See also

Java Roguelikes