Iter Vehemens ad Necem (better known as ‘IVAN’) is an old-school roguelike that, despite its interesting premise, is far more difficult than most games in this genre.
The story behind the game is basically nonsense: your character, who lives in a society where he has to fight for his life every day, has to deliver a note to a neighboring island. The problem? The sea is frozen, so there are no longer any ships … but there is an underground tunnel full of monsters and traps. So naturally, that’s the way you have to go.
When you start playing, you’ll get everything you’d expect from a good roguelike: turn-based combat, a traditional interface, simple graphics, and permadeath. Speaking of which, permadeath will probably happen sooner rather than later.
One of the most original aspects of Iter Vehemens ad Necem, apart from its wacky premise, is that you can recruit allies as you play, giving them both names and orders, kind of like pets. Get ready for some interesting commands like ‘try a bit’ and ‘vomit.’
IVAN is a very fun roguelike. Despite being easy to understand, it’s incredibly hard to play. But it’s still enjoyable, especially because it manages to offer a new adventure every time you play.