Z.E.A.L.O.T.S. is a minimilastic puzzle roguelike, created for the 2024 7-Day Roguelike Challenge. You start the game as an Adept on a quest to ascend the Pyramid of Knowledge and become a Zealot. You will encounter Borogoves and Yetis, Centipedes and Xenomorphs, Demiliches and Wyverns, Elephants and Vultures, Fungi and Unicorns, Golems and Tarasques, Hattifatteners and Shoggoths, Ifrits and Rocs, Jabberwocks and Quetzalcoatls, Krakens and Pirates, Lemurians and Odradeks, and Mermaids and Nereids throughout your journey. You will merge your Essence with all of them to attain your goal, but you will proceed with caution as losing your Essence will condemn you to tarry for eternity in Limbo instead.

Cover image showing the beginning of the game

Move by swiping left, right, up, or down, or using the arrow keys. The whole world will move in Synchrony with each swipe. Creatures are shown as letters and your Essence is singled out as a pink character with an outline. Creatures have a strength increasing with the order of the alphabet, and may also have protection, which is shown by a capital letter. When two creatures encounter an obstacle, they may simply bump into each other (when a weaker creature meets a stronger one), fight (when a stronger creature causes the weaker one to lose its protection or its strength) or merge into a stronger creature (when they are both of the same strength). Be very careful when merging with other creatures to capture their Essence, lest they capture yours!

If you reach a certain strength, stairs (/) will appear, leading you to the next level of the pyramid, populated by stronger creatures. Any creature in the level may use the stairs, but if you climb the stairs as a protected Zealot (Z), you will achieve the Ascension, the Ultimate Goal.

In addition to other dwellers of the Pyramid, you will encounter effects. Use them to your advantage! + and - will increase or decrease the strength of a creature. % will split a creature into two weaker ones. ~ will teleport a creature to an empty space in the level, possibly altering its protection along the way. \ is a trapdoor leading to the lower floor... or directly to the pits at the base of the Pyramid. @ will spread your Essence to other creatures or take it away from you. ? conceals another effect for you to discover.

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