Vulture for NetHack is an isometric graphical interface for the roguelike engine: NetHack.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (111 reviews) - 79% of the 111 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 1, 2005

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“awesomeness! on a stick!!!!”
10/10 – stinkytaco

“I have spent less time playing the Elder Scrolls series combined. This game is addictive, frustrating, and hasn't lost anything with age. Delve into a dungeon, combat a thousand different monsters in random generated levels to complete a quest of epic proportions. I love this game.”
10/10 – Lokisana

“I'm a big fan of nethack and this makes a complicated game a lot more user friendly. The graphics are a nice touch and it's nice not to have to memorize all the complicated keyboard comands.”
10/10 – courtjester235

Other Platforms

Mac coming soon!

About This Game


Nethack is the most celebrated member of the ancient and honorable family of games descended from Rogue and hence known as “roguelike”: bare-bones ASCII-graphics adventures set in randomly generated dungeons, in which the player fights monsters and collects items until he or she dies.


Vulture for NetHack in an isometric graphical interface for the roguelike engine: NetHack. Wrapping the original ASCII text dungeons of NetHack, Vulture brings this great game into the graphical point and click world while still preserving the original keyboard commands for those wishing to play as it was intended.

The adventure

Recently, you have begun to find yourself unfulfilled and distant in your daily occupation. Strange dreams of prospecting, stealing, crusading, and combat have haunted you in your sleep for many months, but you aren't sure of the reason. You wonder whether you have in fact been having those dreams all your life, and somehow managed to forget about them until now. Some nights you awaken suddenly and cry out, terrified at the vivid recollection of the strange and powerful creatures that seem to be lurking behind every corner of the dungeon in your dream. Could these details haunting your dreams be real? As each night passes, you feel the desire to enter the mysterious caverns near the ruins grow stronger. Each morning, however, you quickly put the idea out of your head as you recall the tales of those who entered the caverns before you and did not return. Eventually you can resist the yearning to seek out the fantastic place in your dreams no longer. After all, when other adventurers came back this way after spending time in the caverns, they usually seemed better off than when they passed through the first time. And who was to say that all of those who did not return had not just kept going?

Asking around, you hear about a bauble, called the Amulet of Yendor by some, which, if you can find it, will bring you great wealth. One legend you were told even mentioned that the one who finds the amulet will be granted immortality by the gods. The amulet is rumored to be somewhere beyond the Valley of Gehennom, deep within the Mazes of Menace. Upon hearing the legends, you immediately realize that there is some profound and undiscovered reason that you are to descend into the caverns and seek out that amulet of which they spoke. Even if the rumors of the amulet's powers are untrue, you decide that you should at least be able to sell the tales of your adventures to the local minstrels for a tidy sum, especially if you encounter any of the terrifying and magical creatures of your dreams along the way. You spend one last night fortifying yourself at the local inn, becoming more and more depressed as you watch the odds of your success being posted on the inn's walls getting lower and lower.

In the morning you awake, collect your belongings, and set off for the dungeon. After several days of uneventful travel, you see the ancient ruins that mark the entrance to the Mazes of Menace. It is late at night, so you make camp at the entrance and spend the night sleeping under the open skies. In the morning, you gather your gear, eat what may be your last meal outside, and enter the dungeon...

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP or higher
    • Processor: Celeron, Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Any graphics card
    • Storage: 135 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Optional
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL will be required in the future
    • OS: Windows XP or higher
    • Processor: Celeron, Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any graphics card
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any modern sound card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL will be required in the future
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or equivalent
    • Processor: Celeron, Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Any graphics card
    • Storage: 135 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Optional
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL will be required in the future
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or equivalent
    • Processor: Celeron, Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any graphics card
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any modern sound card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL will be required in the future
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (111 reviews)
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86 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
162 of 192 people (84%) found this review helpful
78 people found this review funny
47.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
In what other game can you literally take your shoes off, throw them at a monster and kill it? Who throws a shoe? Honestly!

Vulture brings the quintessential Roguelike, Nethack to life with an updated user interface and graphics. Roguelike has been a heavily abused buzzword in the gaming industry for the past few years plus. "Hey, look! Something random happens in this's a Roguelike!" it is not. Knock it off you.
That's not to say I don't play many of those games too but this game is more deserving than any other on Steam to be called a true Roguelike.

Vulture isn't perfect and still retains Nethack's learning curve for the uninitiated but more improvements are coming, including a massive update to the graphics, interface, music and more. There's also a fine line in Nethack in regards to the "spoilers." I would encourage players to try playing on Wizard Mode before reading the big book of Nethack spoilers.

P.S. You're gonna die...a lot.
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95 of 108 people (88%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
239.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
Vulture for Nethack makes accessible to the gaming public
one of the most original, challanging, and intriguing games
of all time.

Nethack was originally released in 1987 with ASCII
graphics. In it, the player must traverse scores of randomly
generated dungeon levels in order to locate the Amulet of
Yendor and return it to his Deity's altar on the Astral Plane.
The game is notoriously difficult and has an almost infinite
replay value. However, it's poor graphics and obscure interface
has kept it beneath many gamers' radar.

Vulture has changed nothing about Nethack but the graphics
and interface. The graphics are attractive and set a sort of
Dungeons and Dragons mood. The mouse-driven interface is smoothe
and intuitive, the drop-down menus are self-explanatory and helpful,
and the music, sound-effects, and occasional animations bring the
game to life.

Nethack is now more accessible to the new player, and only the
most die-hard fan of the old ACII graphics is likely to object
to the beautiful improvements that DarkArts Studios has made
to the way this game is played.
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87 of 98 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2015
NetHack itself is cool. And while Vulture adds much-needed graphics to NetHack, it doesn't do that great of a job with the interface.

1. Not all possible commands are exposed, so you still need to know the keyboard controls to NetHack, or at least have a reference
2. The interface is cumbersome to use. If I want to shoot a monster it takes multiple mouse clicks. Something as basic as shooting should be a single click, or keystroke
3. The interface doesn't remind the player of what keystrokes correspond to what commands. That in my opinion is the biggest failure of Vulture. I could tolerate Vulture as a crutch until I learned all the controls. But since Vulture doesn't teach me what the controls are it's not useful for learning purposes.

Vulture is kind of lazy, it's a shell over the controls NetHack already has and does the bare minimum to present those controls. The UI should have been designed independently of whatever the controls are for Nethack.
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59 of 66 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
Vulture (once called Vultures Eye) is, simply put, a fancy skin for one of the most legendary games ever created, Nethack.

In my opinion, Nethack is the greatest of the second generation roguelikes, and the pinnacle of what it is to be a roguelike. Just a glance at the Nethack Wiki will show you just how complex this game is. And the random little reactions certain items have, the times you realize some random piece of junk can actually save your life... this is where Nethack really shines. Little things you pick up along the way (and through multiple runs) eventually make you a hardened, if not always successful adventurer. That lizard corpse you carry at all times, that sprig of wolfsbane, the bundle of unidentified wands, it all reminds you of the times you were less cautious, less knowledgeable of this world you are now a part of.

Vulture makes the game incredibly accessible for those with a bit of patience. If you have been at all enamored with any of the titles spawned from the recent resurgence of roguelike games, and are looking for something more substantial, I can wholeheartedly recommend this product.

(Of course, if you feel up to it, you can just dive in to the unaltered game for free. Though be prepared for ASCII.)
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102 of 144 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 7, 2015
tl/dr: NetHack is Awesome, Vulture is not so awesome
I have played hundreds of hours of Nethack, Both with "alphabet soup" and static tileset graphics. I have never obtained the amulet, but have gotten to level 20 once or twice. It is one of the most complex, infuriating and beautiful games ever created.

Vulture adds a mediocre 2.5d tileset and a fairly unintuitive GUI. Without my previous knowledge of the standard Nethack commands, I wouldn't be able to figure out how to do certain things without the manual (which cannot be open at the same time as the game). Thankfully the numpad maps to the actual directions of the tunnels, which are isometric.

Vulture is a little awkward, forcing me to switch from numpad to keyboard to mouse all the time (you cannot play with just the mouse like I had hoped, since right click works for just about everything but choosing from your inventory, and mouse control works badly for movement)

Someday someone will make a program to make NetHack accessable, but it is not this day.
Do yourself a favor, and play the free original, rather than this.
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34 of 39 people (87%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2015
I've played this game for nearly four years, on and off, before getting it on Steam when my harddrive died.
This game is not for the casual gamer, or anyone with high blood pressure.

You will laugh, you will cry, and more than anything, you will die a lot. In all of my time playing I've only ascended one time, and only with the help of bones files (random drops from previously slain characters) and thoroughly studying nethack wiki.

I have two tips:
One, start with melee heavy characters like knight, barbarian, or valkyrie. They are much easier to play, before you get used to the trickier classes like wizard and tourist.

And most important... don't get attached to your pets. Ever. It will lessen the pain.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
If you ever wanted to try the classic roguelike NetHack but was terrified because of the ASC II graphics and interface, you should try Vulture. Vulture is an graphical interface for NetHack. It makes the game much more user friendly and give you that 90's RPG feel with the isometric visuals.

The goal of the game is to go down 50 floors, find the amulet of Yendor and go back 50 floors to exit the dungeon. NetHack is hard, like really HARD, but with a lot of humour, so you never get too overwhelmed.

There's hundred ways to die in NetHack, and believe me, it's fun discovering them. On my first playthrough I drank water from a fountain, was transformed into a lynx and was killed by monsters spawned from a cursed chest.

If you enjoy pure roguelikes (turn-based) you can't go wrong for U$ 2.99. My only advice is: read the manual (specially chapter 9.2 - interface options) to learn how to properly configure resolution (yes, you can play with true 16:9 aspect ratio), sounds, etc, and know more about the game itself.
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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
Vulture for Nethack is a great dungeon crawl. You start with a character and class that you choose or via random selection and try not to die! This may sound easier than it is to achieve. The dungeons are brutal. You start with limited equipment and armor . From room to room and level to level you never know what you will encounter. Will it be an easy floor with plenty of shops and money or will you be shot with a wand of death by an unsuspecting gnome lord?

This is a game that makes you use every bit of knowledge and cunning you have just to get from level to level. You are given spells, wands, potions and various other items to try and best every creature and puzzle you encounter. Good luck try not to make your God angry and always remember to post your YASD! (Yet Another Stupid Death)

Overall this is one of the best games I have played in years. It is a game I have come back to over and over. It has massive replay ability. I highly recommend giving it a shot. Here are a few tips : Always know where your towel is, Never eat while satiated, Dont F with Shopkeepers, And do try not to genocide yourself.

Good luck and Enjoy!
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70 of 110 people (64%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 3, 2015
We all know Nethack is a good game, so this review is covering Vulture in specific. Out for 3 years already, Vulture finally makes it way onto Steam for the same price as the Desura release.
This is a tile and graphical interface for the game "Nethack", making it easier on the eyes and on the controls as it can be controlled with the mouse, using keyboard hotkeys for shortcuts.

The game opens with no main menu and instead asking your characters name. Similarly, when you die or otherwise end the game, the game closes and requires to be started back up through Steam to play again. You are quickly greeted with some rather off-key music, the volume of which cannot be controlled in the game and must be done through volume mixer. It's very possible to start new games and be unable to leave the first room due to the random dungeon layout. The art style is very inconsistent, at one point It spawned me with an anime robot girl sprite that looked like it was ripped from something else, another time I'd spawn as a very poor 3-d model of a Tourist. Came across a Magic Marker, which was actually just a huge .png of a Sharpie someone had taken from Google. Fountains don't seem to work. There's no real way to examine items you've picked up.

Despite all these things I still kept trying it. It's really nice to have some art associated with things so it's easier to tell what things are at a glance, but I find it hard to recommend to someone over other games or tile packs. Has a really nice 90s Freeware feel to it, so there's that. Avoid if you don't like stolen art, bad music and restarting for the 30th time because you can't leave the first room.
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A developer has responded on Feb 6, 2015 @ 7:46am
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33 of 46 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2015
Never played NetHack? Well, previously, there was only one excuse for that; aversion to ASCII-based graphics.

Now there is no excuse. You cannot seriously call yourself a gamer until you have played NetHack.

NetHack is a game where experimenting is both rewarding and punishing. To say there are a million ways to die in NetHack is an understatement; you WILL die. A lot. I encourage liberal experimentation for your first hundred or so games. This will result in them being over very quickly, and, as a result, you'll learn 100 ways to die and 100 things not to do.

NetHack is THE quintessential roguelike. Heck, NetHack is the second choice for the very definition of roguelike (the first choice being Rogue itself). It's filled to the brim (and above) with content. Paired with the permadeath that defines roguelikes, this gives NetHack a legitimately enormous replay value.

NetHack is BLOODY HARD. As stated before, you will die. A lot. A whole lot. You have to go down roughly 50 floors, with each and every one teeming with foes that can and (given half a chance) will kill you. Then you have to go back UP those 50 floors. This 100-floor fact gets really scary when you see just how easy it is to die on the first few floors.

That being said, NetHack is also fair. It's been postulated that every game generated is winnable, played by a sufficiently experienced player. There are people that can win many games in a row. Given enough time, you can become one of those people.

Do you, for some reason, not have $3 to pay for this? Google NetHack. There are plenty of ways to play the ASCII version (which, besides graphics, is the exact same thing) for completely free. (The graphics are totally worth it though.)
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Recently Posted
0.7 hrs
Posted: June 16
I played the heck outta this game a few years ago. Many many hours. Never finished it though. In my best run had done the knight quest after sokoban and the mines. Had a nice gray dragon mount, gray dragon scale mail from a wish, excalibur and ice brand. Used to be quite good and enjoyable. A few crashes here and there but was mostly fine. A major improvemnt on the vanilla nethack.

To me, although being an immensely complex game, nethack had some allure. However, I had to get around the very, VERY bad interface and controls, which made the original unplayable to me.
Vulture solved that for me. Well, kinda... the interface still ain't all that great or intuitive, but I'd say its manageable. At least nethack is playable this way. It has context menus (a godsend for this game), nice sprites, some vfx here and there. It was alright.
But more importantly, it was mostly STABLE and FREE. Yes, this game was COMPLETELY FREE.

As it stands, the current version is a buggy mess. I bought the game a few months ago, tried playing it and it crashed every time I ran it. Tried getting it to work a couple times outta love for the game, maybe finish my knight run, but to no avail.

Bought it again today. Played for 30 min. Half way through the second floor, a message prompted me to pick up multiple items. I selected "gems" and "weapons". Game crashes. reload the char, insta-crash. Lost my knight.

I really wouldn't mind paying for this game IF IT WORKED FINE. Even if the promisses of futures updates which date back a few years (that I am still waiting for btw) never came, it would STILL all be fine and dandy IF IT JUST WORKED AS WELL AS THE OLD FREE VERSION. By the way, I still have it running just fine on my old PC.

So tell me then. What is the advantage in paying for this version?

Tl;Dr - fix your damn game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.9 hrs
Posted: June 15
0/10 - the vultures are circling

Got this in a bundle and after playing through a couple of rooms I realized, that I have played the very same game nearly a decade ago - which was FREEWARE back then. I tried to find anything new about this 'version' of Vulture for NetHack but as much as I can say nothing has changed, exept for the price tag.

Don't waste your time and money on this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pope Urban II
66.9 hrs
Posted: June 12
The base games of NetHack and Slash'EM are quite good. They've been around forever, and it's great to see them still around. Vulture itself works decently well, and makes the interface much more manageable, especially for newer players. Gameplay is only impacted in a few niche cases, such as lodestones. I've never had any crashing or notable errors except when giving illegal instructions or messing with options badly. Given that it's $3, I can't really advise against getting it.

If you're on the fence, you CAN download it from their website free, or could as of the last time I checked. Bear in mind that the free version is not compiled, so you will need to figure that part out yourself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Soul of Lord Steven
4.1 hrs
Posted: May 15
-Endless fun
-Levels are randomly generated
-Being updated and giving free dlc
-Every death is permanent
-Replay value is very high
-Easy to learn
-Ton of secrets within the game
-Hard to master
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.9 hrs
Posted: April 21
Great front-end to a classic game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
63.9 hrs
Posted: April 16
Brilliant, well done to whomever brought this about! Nethack is possibly one of the best games around. The vanilla game is very stable the 3.6.0 is a bit buggy but I think its great to see people making improvements. To the uninitiated the game will seem very crude at first (I shut it down first after an hour and didn't play it again for weeks) but persevere and you will be rewarded.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.7 hrs
Posted: April 15
Nethack is an incredibly difficult tile-based roguelike. The game is always different every time you play, and being a roguelike, death is permanent. Each playthrough tells a tale of how horribly your player character dies, (or lives, if you escape the dungeon, or actually BEAT THE GAME) and because of the random nature of the game, you are going to die in many different sadistic and stupid ways. For instance, see that pretty amulet lying on the floor? Out of curiousity, you pick it up and wear it. The amulet strangles you to death and you die. Overall, I find this game both very fun and challenging. There are free versions of nethack available in the form of ascii and tiled, top-down versions, so if you're not sure about it, I recommend getting either one of those versions first before playing.

You fall below the bottom of the review!
You die...
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n) _
Helpful? Yes No Funny
38.3 hrs
Posted: March 13
Doesn't look 3d and amazing as the video shows. Music repetitive and does not really follow what happens in the game.
Basically the same as I remember playing falcon's eye a really long time ago, but there's probably some improvements, I just can't spot them.
Interface menus clunky and text hard to read on textured pale background (like some geocities webpage or something). configuration menus confusing, couldn't find anywhere to increase resolution past 800x600. Doesn't play nice with multiple screens but works.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: January 14
A solid interface allowing an old classic to potentially be accessible to a new generation of players that aren't quite comfortable with compiling. Very dedicated developer, and variant support is a definite plus (more than just SLASH'EM is planned).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.2 hrs
Posted: January 7
Perfect tileset and UI for nethack.
Helpful? Yes No Funny