Merl : Pre-Alpha

Merl is a new roguelike game under early development. At this point in the development the game is not yet feature complete, or even close to it. There is no attempt at any balance either. Follow the development if you'd like to watch the game as it's put together piece by piece.

Latest Developments

Upgraded from RetroBlit 1.4 (formerly called FES) to RetroBlit 2.2.

Added some more proc-gen environments like forests (which tie into the title screen) and caves. Also restyled the dungeons a bit.


Merl is built using the RetroBlit framework for Unity.

StatusIn development
Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars
(13 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Made withUnity, Audacity, Aseprite, GIMP
Tags8-Bit, fes, Pixel Art, Retro, Roguelike


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Very cool! :3 I wish this was further developed. 

Is there a wait button? If not there should be, gets a bit annoying having to run up to the closest wall and bump into it so that you get the first attack against enemies. I think the little skip animation between steps is a bit too slow (Actually I'd prefer it to be instant walking, buuuut I know others like transitions.) Other than that, I managed to lock the game when looking for a wait button by clicking something that activated a popup in the browser (opera) and when I'd gone out of it the game was just frozen (music still playing.)

Went down in the caves for a long while but eventually I reached a staircase that just didn't work.  A reaper walked on it before I did, does that lock the staircase somehow?

You've reached the end of the game as it is right now:)

Definitely one of the best roguelike games I've ever played. Keep up the amazing work! I'll be letting people know about this one. :) Also gave a rating. Cheers.

so i am looking at how the game is structured now and how it could be improved as is without much editing.  here are my thoughts/suggestions:

1. each crate should drop 1 item, now this could be something the same, worse, better than you already have, or something completely new

2. some items might be cursed and become permanently equiped until the curse is removed (some curses might be kill X of Y creatures, some might make you sacrifice a certain type of item or base stat) this is to balance the item increase

3. add character levels, each level requires exponentially more XP, lvl 1 would be 1 xp, 2=2, 3=4, 5=8, 6=16...  

4. each crate gives 1 XP

5. rats give 2 XP, only hit for 1, and have 1/8 your beginning health (and no armor) but do have a chance for you to miss

6. spiders give 3 XP have 1/4 your starting health, deal 1-2 damage that hits again 1-2 more turns, no armor or dodge

7. whenever you level up your health refills

8. each tile of movement rolls a D100, if the roll is equal to or less than your level you heal 1, for every 5 (10?) below that you gain another health

9. press space to wait 1 turn

10. spiders can take diagonal movement but can only move one tile a turn

11. rats take a turn to turn,  and can only move straight ahead, they move 3 tiles a turn

12.  you can move your level in tiles in a turn or attack with those actions or use /switch an item with those actions

13. your damage is XDY * (your level) where XDY is the damage range value of the weapon you are using (aka start with 1D1 fist X 1 level for 1 per hit)

14. wolves, 5 tiles a turn, 2D4 damage,  1 armor, no chance to dodge, beginning health

15. you may want to make some of those cracked walls into hidden passages

16. possibly start with 1 or 2 random items that lead you to begin as an adventurer

17. each level you should be able to increase 1 (your level? can be more by putting points into intelligence?) of the main stats/skills by 1

18. dead bodies should be able to be "gutted" for a chance based on skill/lvl/items to gain food, materials, and so forth, campfires/rest sites should exist to craft at/sleep at safely

19. your HP should be enough to roughly survive/mutual death being attacked on all 4 sides by creatures equal to you (rats = 1, spiders = 2, wolves [see above] like...5?) 

20. you should Really have a stat counter, at least for health

Thank you! A lot of these are planned in fact, the game is just nowhere near being feature complete yet.

Diagonal movements I'm not sure enough. I wouldn't want enemies to move in ways that player never could, and I don't want diagonal movements for players because they are hard to pull off accurately on a gamepad (without moving orthogonally when you meant to go diagonally and vice versa)

okay, just thought id throw out my initial thoughts haha, and yeah, i was basically thinking ahead to when you might end up letting the player move multiple tiles in which case it would be a select where you move type thing most likely, but still makes sense, since you are building for PC though one thought is to use the qweadzxc system instead of the wasd system, plus then you could even use s to skip a turn and save space to interact or activate something... or s could make you go up/down the stairs

btw another thought to mix things up, make some creatures (rats, small spiders, and such) run from the player and take loot/keys with them, but attack really hard when cornered or try to escape through holes, that way players could attempt to survive early levels with less loot/xp/stuff but more safely, but as they go along less creatures will fear you and the lack of grinding would add up.

Deleted 4 years ago

Well, i made it to the second level of the dungeon, considering the early stage i'd think thats a good start. 

The game concept is good, the art is great. 

The UI seems too small, Most of the screen is empty while you could have a bigger map and seeing what's going on easier. 

The music is relaxing and catchy. 

I can't tell about any of the upcoming features, except it seems you can have a melee and a ranged weapon both together, but it totally depends in the rest of the game to know how viable and balanced would that be, considering arrows will be scarce and hard to come by.

So far it seems everyone moves at the same time, there is no faster or slower. A game called Elona has a speed-based turn system. Where time passes based on the player speed. If you have 100 speed and a enemy has 50, you'll move twice as fast as them. Just a example. 

Looks promising at least!. 

Second level is good actually, the game is completely unbalanced and it's far to easy to die at the moment.

Thank you for your constructive feedback, it's very much appreciated!

Do you mean individual UI elements are too small to interact with comfortably, or that there needs to be more UI like minimap? There will be a minimap, health and status info on the screen.

There will be melee and ranged combat, along with various skills for both instead of just "bump to attack".

Yes every character moves at the same rate now, but a system is in place to allow some characters to move faster and slower. I imagine there will be atleast some monsters that move twice the speed, and some that move half the speed of the player.