Rogue was developed and released on November 30, 1980 by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman. Rogue is a fantasy game.

In Rogue, the player assumes the typical role of an adventurer of early fantasy role-playing games. The game runs on Unix operating systems as free to play and public domain licensing.

In Rogue, players control a character as they explore several levels of a dungeon seeking the Amulet of Yendor located in the dungeon’s lowest level. The player-character must fend off an array of monsters that roam the dungeons. Along the way, players can collect treasures that can help them offensively or defensively, such as weapons, armor, potions, scrolls, and other magical items.

Rogue is turn-based, taking place on a square grid represented in ASCII or other fixed character set, allowing players to have time to determine the best move to survive. Rogue implements permadeath as a design choice to make each action by the player meaningful — should one’s player-character lose all his health via combat or other means, that player-character is simply dead.

In the original text-based versions, all aspects of the game, including the dungeon, the player character, and monsters, are represented by letters and symbols within the ASCII character set.

Monsters are represented by capital letters (such as Z, for zombie), and accordingly there are twenty-six varieties. This type of display makes it appropriate for a non-graphical terminal such as a VT52.