Fruits of the Forest by Ido Yehieli
Ido Yehieli is not a new face when it comes to roguelikes. The first roguelike on Cymon’s Games, Crypt Rover, was one of his previous 7DRLs. I took the opportunity to watch Ido’s address at last year’s Berlin International Roguelike Development Conference where he spoke about introducing a stealth aspect into roguelikes. So naturally big things were expected from his entry in this year’s 7DRL challenge and he did not disappoint.
Fruits of the Forest has you gathering food berries to feed to hungry (yellow) villagers gathered from the titular forests around your little village. In the forest are bandits who will, for some reason, bite you to death if they catch you. Fortunately there are also heal berries that you can eat with the ‘e’ key to rejuvenate your dangerously small health supply. The trees of the forest are where Ido’s stealth aspect kick in as they provide cover so you can hide from the bandits. However if a bandit catches sight of you there is nothing you can do to hide from them again and they will track you down with the tenacity of a bloodhound (which may explain the biting).
The game controls with only the arrow keys, no diagonals, which seemed like an odd choice at first, but I quickly got used to it and it kind of became a defining aspect in my mind of the game. The bandits also move only in the four ordinal directions, so they have no advantage over you. In fact traveling in parallels can keep them at bay in case you need the chance to run away and find a heal berry, tho doing so often puts you in line of sight of another bandit.
If you can keep out of sight of the bandits, only take them on when you have heal berries on hand, watch your health like a hawk and pop a heal berry when it says one, winning Fruits of the Forest is only a matter of time.
The game is in Java so it’s cross-platform and should run on anything you’ve got. Ido wouldn’t have it any other way.