Near-future Sci-Fi roguelike and tactical squad game

Version on this page:
LTS Haskell 22.30:
Stackage Nightly 2023-12-26:
Latest on Hackage:

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LicenseRef-OtherLicense licensed by Andres Loeh, Mikolaj Konarski and others
Maintained by Mikolaj Konarski
This version can be pinned in stack with:Allure-,7833

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Allure of the Stars

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Allure of the Stars is a near-future Sci-Fi roguelike2 and tactical squad game. Binaries and the game manual are available at homepage6, where you can also try the game out in the browser at (It runs fastest on Chrome. Keyboard commands and savefiles are supported only on recent enough versions of browsers. Mouse should work everywhere.)

gameplay screenshot

Not a single picture in this game. You have to imagine everything yourself, like with a book (a grown-up book, without pictures). Once you learn to imagine things, though, you can keep exploring and mastering the world and making up stories for a long time.

The game is written in Haskell1 using the LambdaHack10 roguelike game engine. Please see the changelog file for recent improvements and the issue tracker for short-term plans. Long term goals are high replayability and auto-balancing through procedural content generation and persistent content modification based on player behaviour. Contributions are welcome.

Game installation from binary archives

The game runs rather slowly in the browser (fastest on Chrome) and you are limited to only one font, though it’s scalable. Also, savefiles are prone to corruption on the browser, e.g., when it’s closed while the game is still saving progress (which takes a long time). Hence, after trying out the game, you may prefer to use a native binary for your architecture, if it exists.

Pre-compiled game binaries are available through the release page11 (and, for Windows, continuously from AppVeyor18). To use a pre-compiled binary archive, unpack it and run the executable in the unpacked directory or use program shortcuts from the installer, if available.

On Linux, make sure you have the SDL2 libraries installed on your system (e.g., libsdl2-2.0-0, libsdl2-ttf-2.0-0 on Ubuntu). On Mac OS X, you need SDL2 installed, e.g., from libsdlorg. For Windows, the SDL2 and all other needed libraries are already contained in the game’s binary archive. Note that Windows binaries no longer work on Windows XP, since Cygwin and MSYS2 dropped support for XP.

Screen and keyboard configuration

The game UI can be configured via a config file. The default settings, the same that are built into the binary, are in GameDefinition/config.ui.default. When the game is run for the first time, the file is copied to the default user data folder, which is ~/.Allure/ on Linux, C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Allure\ (or C:\Documents And Settings\user\Application Data\Allure\ or something else altogether) on Windows, and in RMB menu, under Inspect/Application/Local Storage when run inside the Chrome browser.

Screen font can be changed by editing the config file in the user data folder. For a small game window, the highly optimized 16x16x.fon and 8x8x.fon bitmap fonts are the best, but for larger window sizes or if you require international characters (e.g. to give custom names to player characters), a modern scalable font supplied with the game is the only option. The game window automatically scales according to the specified font size.

If you don’t have a numeric keypad, you can use mouse or laptop keys (uk8o79jl) for movement or you can enable the Vi keys (aka roguelike keys) in the config file. If numeric keypad doesn’t work, toggling the Num Lock key sometimes helps. If running with the Shift key and keypad keys doesn’t work, try Control key instead. The game is fully playable with mouse only, as well as with keyboard only, but the most efficient combination for some players is mouse for go-to, inspecting, and aiming at distant positions and keyboard for everything else.

Compilation from source

If you want to compile native binaries from the source code, use Cabal (already a part of your OS distribution, or available within The Haskell Platform7), which also takes care of all the dependencies.

The recommended frontend is based on SDL2, so you need the SDL2 libraries for your OS. On Linux, remember to install the -dev versions as well, e.g., libsdl2-dev and libsdl2-ttf-dev on Ubuntu Linux 16.04. (Compilation to JavaScript for the browser is more complicated and requires the ghcjs15 compiler and optionally the Google Closure Compiler16 as well.)

The latest official version of the game can be downloaded, compiled for SDL2 and installed automatically by Cabal from Hackage3 as follows

cabal update
cabal install Allure

For a newer version, install a matching LambdaHack library snapshot, clone the game source from github5 and run cabal install from the main directory.

Testing and debugging

The Makefile contains many sample test commands. Numerous tests that use the screensaver game modes (AI vs. AI) and the teletype frontend are gathered in make test. Of these, travis runs test-travis on each push to github. Test commands with prefix frontend start AI vs. AI games with the standard, user-friendly frontend.

Run Allure --help to see a brief description of all debug options. Of these, the --sniff option is very useful (though verbose and initially cryptic), for displaying the traffic between clients and the server. Some options in the config file may prove useful too, though they mostly overlap with commandline options (and will be totally merged at some point).

Coding style

Stylish Haskell is used for slight auto-formatting at buffer save; see .stylish-haskell.yaml. As defined in the file, indentation is 2 spaces wide and screen is 80-columns wide. Spaces are used, not tabs. Spurious whitespace avoided. Spaces around arithmetic operators encouraged. Generally, relax and try to stick to the style apparent in a file you are editing. Put big formatting changes in separate commits.

Haddocks are provided for all module headers and for all functions and types from major modules, in particular the modules that are interfaces for a whole directory of modules. Apart of that, only very important functions and types are distinguished by having a haddock. If minor ones have comments, they should not be haddocks and they are permitted to describe implementation details and be out of date. Prefer assertions to comments, unless too verbose.

Further information

For more information, visit the wiki4 and see, CREDITS and COPYLEFT.

Have fun!


Copyright (c) 2008–2011 Andres Loeh Copyright (c) 2010–2018 Mikolaj Konarski and others (see git history)

Allure of the Stars is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program in file LICENSE. If not, see

Exceptions and detailed copyright information is contained in file COPYLEFT.



  • Add a hack to run SDL2 on the main thread, fixing the OS X crash
  • Warn visually when impressed and Calm running low, risking domination
  • Display actor as red when low Calm and impressed or when low HP
  • Fix, complete and fine tune UI, AI and server skill and weapon checks
  • Fix a bug where item aspects look different to clients than to the server
  • Change the requirements for the main menu ASCII art
  • Tweak loot and terrain a tiny bit


  • Fix typos detected by lintian
  • Fix the code that runs in case of old async (bug introduced in v0.8.1.1)


  • no player-visible changes
  • make it possible to compile with old async package
  • rewrite copyright information according to Debian format
  • make github display the correct main license


  • no player-visible changes
  • significantly reduce RAM usage when compiling library
  • update and extend CI

v0.8.0.0, aka ‘Explosive dashboard’

  • display initial bits of backstory as a help screen and in-game
  • rework greying out menu items and permitting item application and projection
  • rework history collection; merge message repetitions more aggressively
  • display HP in red when below (configurable) warning threshold
  • tweak AI: actors remember they are fleeing; better leader choice, etc.
  • add to content specialized explosive projectiles; tune the effects
  • calculate loot score component based on fraction of dungeon loot collected
  • don’t hardwire item price, but let it be specified in content
  • let all valuables glitter in the dark to avoid complete level exploration
  • teach AI to cure ailments and shake off impressions
  • rework detection effects; add detection of items embedded in tiles
  • automatically identify stolen items that only have minor effects
  • let projectiles hit each other if fragile and substantial enough
  • rework item kind identification code; change the way it’s defined in content
  • make more item kinds (including some traps) secret
  • protect paralyzed actors with a stasis condition to avoid infinite paralysis
  • implement dumping screenshots in SDL2 and create animated GIFs in Makefile
  • generate most common consumables less often, but in depth-scaled bunches
  • make pushed actors alter tiles and trigger effects of embedded items
  • validate and cross-validate more content; reduce content creation boilerplate
  • make summoning more varied and prevent chain-summoning
  • add many ways to conditionally sequence effects
  • create large, merged rooms more often
  • generalize the terrain altering player command (C-c, mouse)
  • let RET, SPACE and ESC clear pending messages, if any
  • add dashboard with links to all menus and info screens
  • scale some organ and trap power with level depth
  • simplify level-scaled dice roll semantics
  • change scaled dice notation ‘dl’ to ‘dL’ for readability in-game
  • rebalance items and decrease dice variety to unclutter backpack
  • colour-code beneficial and harmful conditions in menu and in HUD
  • display item lore (also for organs, embedded items, explosions, etc.)
  • display embedded item descriptions as if they were tile descriptions
  • tweak blast visuals, lower particle counts, beautify their spread
  • tweak projectile visuals, e.g., display an extra frame when projectile dies
  • add intro screen and work on other ways to convey story
  • simplify a lot of code, including a bit of game rules
  • fix some bugs, tweak content, speed up some AI bottlenecks

v0.7.1.0, aka ‘Ancient troubles’

  • add amazing cave and item (actor, blast, organ) descriptions
  • package for Windows as an installer and also as zip archives
  • fix a crash from SDL frontend under some OpenGL drivers (no thread-safety)
  • add WWW address to the Main Menu, for other sites that may run our JS blob

v0.7.0.0, aka ‘The dice are cast’

  • decouple tile searching from tile alteration
  • refrain from identifying items that are not randomized
  • switch away from incapacitated leader to let others revive him
  • make rescue easier by not going into negative HP the first time
  • fix crowd of friends on another level slowing even actors that melee
  • fix missing report about items underneath an actor when changing levels
  • API breakage: change the syntax of dice in content
  • API addition: introduce cave descriptions
  • keep all client states in the server and optimize communication with clients
  • improve item choice for identification and item polymorphing
  • reset embedded items when altering tile
  • replace atomic command filtering with exception catching
  • reimplement dice as symbolic expressions inducing multiple RNG calls
  • switch to optparse-applicative and rewrite cli handling
  • add stack and cabal new-build project files
  • improve haddocks across the codebase

v0.6.2.0, aka ‘Zoom out’

  • make fireworks slower and so easier to spot
  • make rattlesnake deeper but more common
  • announce no effect of activation
  • describe original and current faction of an actor
  • highlight dominated actors
  • mark organs with comma instead of percent and gems with dollar
  • make the healing cave dangerous to prevent camping
  • slightly balance various content
  • by default move item the same as last time
  • often spawn between heroes and stairs going deeper
  • fix totalUsefulness computation for negative effects
  • fix abandoning distant enemy target despite no alternatives
  • fix slow pushing of actors
  • fix a crash when many actors run towards stairs
  • hotfix: Pass zoom keys through to the browser
  • help players find the info about changing the font size
  • depend on GHC >= 8.0 and new vector

v0.6.1.0, aka ‘Breaking one rule at a time’

  • major engine bugfix: fix redrawing after window minimized and restored
  • major engine bugfix: hack around vanishing texture on Windows
  • major engine bugfix: hack around SDL backends not thread-safe on Windows
  • update wrt the only breaking API change: specify font dir in game rules content
  • let the game use its own fonts, not fonts from the sample game in library
  • tweak some item creation to occur in character’s pack, not on the ground
  • slightly balance various content
  • make sure the ‘resolution’ effect is not a drawback
  • make artifact weapon rarities more regular
  • avoid creating lit, open dungeon at the bottom, where foes have ranged weapons
  • number scenarios in user descriptions

v0.6.0.0, aka ‘Too much to tell’

  • add and modify a lot of content: items, tiles, embedded items, scenarios
  • improve AI: targeting, stealth, moving in groups, item use, fleeing, etc.
  • make monsters more aggressive than animals
  • tie scenarios into a loose, optional storyline
  • add more level generators and more variety to room placement
  • make stairs not walkable and use them by bumping
  • align stair position on the levels they pass through
  • introduce noctovision
  • increase human vision to 12 so that normal speed missiles can be sidestepped
  • tweak and document weapon damage calculation
  • derive projectile damage mostly from their speed
  • make heavy projectiles better vs armor but easier to sidestep
  • improve hearing of unseen actions, actors and missiles impacts
  • let some missiles lit up on impact
  • make torches reusable flares and add blankets for dousing dynamic light
  • add detection effects and use them in items and tiles
  • make it possible to catch missiles, if not using weapons
  • make it possible to wait 0.1 of a turn, at the cost of no bracing
  • improve pathfinding, prefer less unknown, alterable and dark tiles on paths
  • slow down actors when acting at the same time, for speed with large factions
  • don’t halve Calm at serious damage any more
  • eliminate alternative FOV modes, for speed
  • stop actors blocking FOV, for speed
  • let actor move diagonally to and from doors, for speed
  • improve blast (explosion) shapes visually and gameplay-wise
  • add SDL2 frontend and deprecate GTK frontend
  • add specialized square bitmap fonts and hack a scalable font
  • use middle dot instead of period on the map (except in teletype frontend)
  • add a browser frontend based on DOM, using ghcjs
  • improve targeting UI, e.g., cycle among items on the map
  • show an animation when actor teleports
  • add character stats menu and stat description texts
  • add item lore and organ lore menus
  • add a command to sort item slots and perform the sort at startup
  • add a single item manipulation menu and let it mark an item for later
  • make history display a menu and improve display of individual messages
  • display highscore dates according to the local timezone
  • make the help screen a menu, execute actions directly from it
  • rework the Main Menu
  • rework special positions highlight in all frontends
  • mark leader’s target on the map (grey highlight)
  • visually mark currently chosen menu item and grey out impossible items
  • define mouse commands based on UI mode and screen area
  • let the game be fully playable only with mouse, use mouse wheel
  • pick menu items with mouse and with arrow keys
  • add more sanity checks for content
  • reorganize content in files to make rebasing on changed content easier
  • rework keybinding definition machinery
  • let clients, not the server, start frontends
  • version savefiles and move them aside if versions don’t match
  • lots of bug fixes internal improvements and minor visual and text tweaks

v0.5.0.0, aka ‘Halfway through space’

  • let AI put excess items in shared stash and use them out of shared stash
  • let UI multiple items pickup routine put items that don’t fit into equipment into shared stash, if possible, not into inventory pack
  • re-enable the ability to hear close, invisible foes
  • add a few more AI and autonomous henchmen tactics (CTRL-T)
  • keep difficulty setting over session restart
  • change some game start keybindings
  • replace the Duel game mode with the Raid game mode
  • various bugfixes, minor improvements and balancing

v0.4.101.1, aka ‘Officially fun’

  • the game is now officially fun to play, with a seal of the Galactic Council
  • introduce unique boss monsters and unique artifact items
  • add robots that heal the player, in particular as a mid-game reset for HP
  • move spaceship airlock to level 10 and beef up spaceship crew
  • let AI gang up, attempt stealth and react to player aggressiveness
  • spawn actors fast, close to the enemy and in large numbers
  • spawn actors less and less often on a given level, but with growing depth
  • prefer weapons with effects, if recharged
  • make the bracing melee bonus additive, not multiplicative
  • let explosions buffet actors around
  • make braced actors immune to translocation effects
  • make actor domination yet less common and deadly
  • use mouse for movement, actor selection, aiming
  • don’t run straight with selected actors, but go-to cross-hair with them
  • speed up default frame rate, slow down projectiles visually
  • rework item manipulation UI
  • you can pick up many items at once and it costs only one turn
  • allow actors to apply and project from the shared stash
  • reverse messages shown in player diary
  • display actor organs and stats
  • split highscore tables wrt game modes
  • move score calculation formula to content
  • don’t keep the default/example config file commented out; was misleading
  • update vs the naughtily changed v0.5.0.0 of LambdaHack content API

v0.4.100.0, aka ‘The last interstellar thaw’

  • update vs the unexpectedly thawed v0.5.0.0 of LambdaHack content API
  • unexpectedly add items with timeouts and temporary effects
  • start campaign on level 3 and don’t spawn aliens until level 4
  • rebalance campaign (probably still too hard)
  • tweak skills of some factions and actors
  • rename tablets to chips to make their vanishing easier to understand
  • make colorful characters bold (if it resizes your fonts, turn off via colorIsBold = False in config file or –noColorIsBold on commandline)
  • start the game with a screensaver safari mode
  • improve keyboard handling on Windows
  • add i386 Linux and Windows compilation targets to Makefile

v0.4.99.0, aka ‘Player escapes through airlock’

  • balance game content a bit (campaign still unbalanced)
  • fix a bug where doors can’t be closed
  • assign AI tactics to players, in particular use follow-the-leader in safari
  • specify monster spawn rate per-cave
  • generally update content to the new v0.5.0.0 of LambdaHack content API

v0.4.14, aka ‘Out of cosmic balance’

  • add tons of new (unbalanced) items, actors and descriptions
  • add a simple cabal test in addition to make-test and travis-test
  • add items of Wonder and of Marvel
  • add game mechanics, items and places to enable stealthy tactics
  • add lots of shrapnel (explosions) and organs (body parts)
  • expose a bit of the plot via new game modes and their order


  • make walls lit by default to simplify exploration
  • improve and simplify dungeon generation
  • simplify running and permit multi-actor runs
  • let items explode and generate shrapnel projectiles
  • add game difficulty setting (initial HP scaling right now)
  • allow recording, playing back and looping commands
  • implement pathfinding via per-actor BFS over the whole level
  • extend setting targets for actors in UI tremendously
  • implement autoexplore, go-to-target, etc., as macros
  • let AI use pathfinding, switch leaders, pick levels to swarm to
  • force level/leader changes on spawners (even when played by humans)
  • extend and redesign UI bottom status lines


  • screensaver game modes (AI vs AI)
  • improved AI (can now climbs stairs, etc.)
  • multiple, multi-floor staircases
  • multiple savefiles
  • configurable framerate and combat animations


  • experimental multiplayer modes
  • a lot of gameplay changes induced by the engine overhaul and in particular the client-server rewrite


  • this is a minor release, primarily intended to fix the broken compilation on Hackage
  • changes since 0.4.6 are mostly unrelated to gameplay:
    • strictly typed config files split into UI and rules
    • a switch from Text to String throughout the codebase
    • use of the external library miniutter for English sentence generation


  • the Main Menu
  • improved and configurable mode of squad combat


  • missiles flying for three turns (by an old kosmikus’ idea)
  • visual feedback for targeting
  • animations of combat and individual monster moves


  • the Allure of the Stars game depends on the LambdaHack engine library