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Stable game
Developer Jeff Lait
Theme Fantasy
Influences NetHack
Released 2003 (?)
Updated Dec 25, 2018 (v118)
Licensing Open Source, Freeware
P. Language C++
Platforms Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Playstation Portable, GP2X, Windows CE, PS3, Wii, iPhone
Interface Graphical tiles, Gamepad, Keyboard, Mouse, Stylus
Game Length 3 hours
Official site of POWDER


POWDER is a traditional Hacklike. Players of NetHack will not be unduly surprised with a lot of the setting and interface.

The goal is to get to the 25th level of the dungeon, retrieve the Heart of Baezl'bub, and then return to the surface world. What makes this difficult is the requirement to not die on the way.


Gameplay discussion is here: POWDER Gameplay

From the website: (http://www.zincland.com/powder )

"POWDER is a roguelike developed specifically for the Gameboy Advance (GBA). It is not a port of an existing roguelike as the controls of the GBA are very different from the traditional keyboard, and the screen imposes some additional limitations. It is built around replayability and long term ergonomics, not short term learning. It uses actual graphic tiles (16x16) rather than the traditional characters.

I created POWDER for one simple reason: I wanted a roguelike on my GBA. The standard RPGs were annoying me with endless battle screens against weak enemies to unfold a drug induced plotline. I wanted a game I could just jump into, and start killing things. Having had more hours than I'd care to log playing Nethack, ADOM, and the Diablos, I knew the exact type of game I wanted. The problem was I didn't see anyone publishing it any time soon.

POWDER has grown from these humble beginnings. Years of polish have resulted in a game which can stand on its own without needing to rest on its uniqueness in the handheld space. This is fortunate as Nethack can now be played effectively on the Nintendo DS."

Unique/rare features

  • POWDER is designed to run on the Gameboy Advance.
  • It is biased to fast play rather than slow and cautious play. Winning the game takes about 3 hours wall clock time.
  • There is no class, race, or skill choice at the start. The idea is to allow immediate action.
  • Development of different "classes" is done by choosing which god you wish to worship on each level up.
  • There are multiple deities, all of which are watching you at once. You may thus get a flamestrike from a god you angered which is not your own, or a weapon enchantment from one that liked your style.
  • Noun/Verb based approach to action commands. Zapping wands is done by selecting the wand and then choosing zap, rather than choosing zap and then selecting the wand.
  • It has a built-in Save scumming feature for GBA players who generally don't have access to back-up their savefiles with ease. (However, it informs players how many times the player has save-scummed with the character.)

Versions and platforms

POWDER is written in C++ and is available for the Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii, Pocket PC, Playstation Portable, GP2X, Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, PS3 Linux, and iPhone.

Game related links