My friend Bill Harris turned me on to the really delightful Nintendo DS game, Shiren the Wanderer. It's a roguelike game, that adds interesting puzzle elements. Surprisingly deep strategy in the battles makes this more than just another nethack.
The main schtick of the game is that you don't die, you just return to the first town and first level with no items when you are defeated. But, if you want you can travel out and build up your items (through scrolls, blacksmiths and other things), and then stash them in a warehouse for a later run through.
It's really a great idea. You can be a first level character and have a massive weapon that you have fostered through generations of your little guy fighting his way to the Smith in the Bamboo Village, and then fighting all the way back to the starting town to store the uber weapon in the warehouse. You start to become very protective of your items, and wonder if it is worth it to bring them out for the next trip through.
The staves in the game (analogous to the wands in nethack) deserve special mention. They are tons more varied than in NH, and give the game a strong puzzle solving aspect. There are staves that will have you switch places with the monster hit (very useful across water), will turn the monster into a copy of you, and make all his fellows attack him instead, throw the target back a good distance (perhaps into other monsters, causing them damage), teleport a monster to the exit, and paralyze it but when it wakes it will be a higher level, and on and on. The ridiculous variety of staves and trying to figure out how and when to use them is one of the most interesting parts of the game.
The game play is 100% the roguelike goodness you expect. You traipse around random levels (with a few special levels like monster houses thrown in) finding items that you have no idea what they are until you try them, and try not to die. The monsters are diverse, and more interesting than in most nethacks. One new twist, they can level up (perhaps from killing each other, or from killing your companions) and then they become really awful. One monster turns random items you are carrying into food. Sort of helpful, but it really sucks when your great shield becomes a riceball.
One of the best parts of the game is the ability to play it in 10-15 minute chunks. It's perfect for when you only have a little time to play. You can knock out a few levels, save your progress and come back to it later. I spend a lot of time playing it on the bus, and it's a perfect commute game.
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