Suggested By:sebastian sohn
Incursion is an extremely detailed Rogue-like with the complexity that's normally seen in iteratively-refined open-source projects like NetHack, but, unusually, is the product of a lone wolf designer.
Character creation is fairly involved, partly because of that complexity: in addition to the norms of race and class, you also choose skill point allocations and feats. As is typical with Roguelikes, death in Incursion is permanent -- but the starting menu gives you a "reincarnation" option, so you can short-circuit character creation by starting over with a previously generated character.
Incursion is notable in several ways; in most Rogue-likes, resting has little downside, but in this game, it takes 8 hours, is often very dangerous, and causes new monsters to generate on your level, 8 hours worth. While treasure is randomly generated, an entire level's treasure is generated when you first enter it, and newly created monsters have little treasure; this obviates the strategy of camping in a particular level range to get an item you want as a random drop by just waiting for monsters to gen and killing them.
What's most interesting, however, are the degree to which skills and feats are essential; they are purposefully more powerful than most magic items, and choosing and using them effectively is vital. Thus, advancing your character isn't just a matter of levelling up plus some lucky magic finds, but is more a matter of consciously and strategically planning the route your character takes.
Incursion, like other Roguelikes, relies heavily on randomness -- but there's also a strong element of scriptedness for the levels. Halls of the Goblin Kings was first released five years ago, as a "first adventure" for a game that would ultimately be much larger -- and include a scripting system to allow new adventure creation. Mensch has been refining his codebase since -- with a level of technical geekery surprising in what is after all a freeware project -- and unfortunately the changes have largely been to the underlying code in pursuit of his vision of a flexible, scriptable system rather than to provide new play experiences for people in the short term. It seems that the fuller game he's looking for won't exist for years to come, but Halls is a fine and detailed game in its own right, although with 11 levels not as extensive as many other Roguelikes. Still, in a way, that's an advantage; you have some hope of actually completing the game in a reasonable number of plays.