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To understand POWDER, you should first understand roguelikes. "Roguelike" is a term applied to a wide variety of games which share a common inspiration from the game Rogue. A non-exhaustive list of such games would be: ADOM, Nethack, Crawl, Diablo (I & II), Moria, and Angband. My apologies to the many excellent roguelikes I didn't list. What characterizes these games? The exact specifications are a matter of debate - indeed, I may receive hate mail for including Diablo - but I shall try to write a few:
Tactical play. The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer. The game is not twitch oriented (like Quake, rewarding reflexes & well trained actions) nor is it strategy oriented (like Civilizations or Warcraft, requiring working on the large picture)
Based in Hack and Slash. A roguelike isn't primarily about plot development or telling a story. It is about killing things and acquiring treasure.
Random games. A roguelike is a dungeon crawler where no two games are the same. The maps are different, the items are different, there are no guaranteed win paths.
Permadeath. You die, that is it. No restoring a savegame. Good roguelikes delete your save game after loading them. This is compensated by the replayability of the game.
Complex interactions of properties. While the commands for a roguelike are simple, the potential interactions are not. My favourite example is equipping a silver ring as a weapon in order to damage a creature vulnerable to silver, but not one's other weapons. [Editor: This matches the Hack branch of the roguelike tree, not the Angband branch]
Steam rolling monsters. If a critter is in your way, and weak, you shouldn't even notice it is there.
For more information about roguelikes there is the Rogue Basin, a Wiki documenting this genre, and the Temple of the Roguelike, a newsite tracking developments in the field.

Having defined Roguelike, POWDER is easy to describe: A Roguelike designed for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS.

How to Win
Descend into the depths of the dungeon until you reach the foul daemon known as "He who the author cannot spell consistently", or, Baezl'bub. When you have slain Baezl'bub in heroic combat, or, if Baezl'bub dies in any way, retrieve his black heart and bring it to the surface world.
You may then go the nearest newsgroup such as, and post YAAP (Yet Another Ascension Post).

How to Install
Note: Some POWDER files are packed with .tar.gz. Linux users can use tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz to unpack. Windows users can use 7-Zip to unpack.
Gameboy Advance Version
The released files are merely the .gba rom. To play it, you can use an emulator. I personally use VisualBoyAdvance for debugging. I do not recommend this for playing the game, however, as if you have a real PC you should really take advantage of the full keyboard.
Flash solutions have advanced a lot since I first released POWDER. Modern solutions use normal flash cards to transfer the file - you can just copy powder123.gba to your flash card and it is ready to play. Unfortunately, being homebrew, you can't "patch" POWDER with any of your card's special saving abilities. This might make it difficult to save games as they need to be written from the local SRAM onto the flash card. With a Supercard Mini SD I had luck with the "Quick Power Cycle" method, but I have seen cartridges for which this doesn't work.

Change log (116):
MSVC Express Edition 2008 project files and instructions added, created by Andreas Bohm.
Tower shields are large. (Claudio)
"You cannot hide from I!" is now "You cannot hide from Me!" (B. Perry)
Looking at a square will also describe any smoke there.
The dig spell now has the side effect of spraying the excavated rock shards, damaging those around you.
Create Pit spell is now 10 MP rather than 15.
Blizzards fill the air with sleet and snow, not sleet and slow. Though the latter does describe their special effect nicely.
New spell: Sandstorm
If a god decides to flamestrike you, you now get a few turns warning to prepare yourself.
Monsters properly check safety of squares before stepping on them.
If trapped inside a wall without Phase or Breathess, you will suffocate. (Strange Child, Julian Agloro)
Helmets should be sorted together now. (Aapo)
Empty bottles will be filled by down pour now. (Aapo)
Entomb has a better message when blocked. (Aapo)
Rocks are created when rocks fall on your head. (Aapo)
Spells you can't cast have (!) after them in the zap list (Aapo)
Saving when out of disk space should no longer corrupt your last save game. (Aapo)
Tossing an item hand to hand no longer takes a turn. (Aapo)
Spears, knives, and daggers no longer let you equip stacks. (Aapo)
You are only prompted to throw one spear of a stack. (Aapo)
The animate forest spell now has its own icon.
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