Yes, the Chinese game Weiqi or Weichi (called Go or Igo in Japan, Baduk or Patuk in Korea) is considered one of the oldest board games still in regular play. There is also the Egyptian Senet, the Mesopotamian Royal Game of Ur, the Scandinavian Hnefa Tafl, and a few others. Which one is the oldest is a matter of conjecture, because the rules as played today are not necessarily the same as the original rules, which in some cases are poorly known, or unknown.
The board of Weiqi is today of 19 x 19 lines, but the original one was of 17 x 17 lines and so is still played in Tibet.
Also European (International) Chess is different from its ancestors, the Indian Chaturanga, Persian Chatrang and Arab Shatranj. It changed since the late Middle Ages, with some rules for competition being modified even in recent years. And yes, becoming a Master in Chess (or in another complex game) means 'standing on the shoulders of giants' by studying the books written and the games played by Masters of yore. Fortunately, much of that is available in Internet.
Pray allow me to present a derivative of Nethack with which I am recently very engaged, for not saying 'addicted' to it:
Gnollhack, dungeon game with impressive graphics and sounds, based on Nethack version 3.6.2
A project begun in 2019 for Linux and other Unics operating systems, as well as Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows, and in 2023 ported to Google Android Linux and Apple IOS (IPad, IPhone) tablets and mobile telephones. Game play is similar to that of Nethack version 3.6.2, but Gnollhack includes a new race, the Gnoll, improves the intelligence of pets for following the hero and for not attacking peaceful creatures unless called to do so, and has some other interesting enhancements.
Besides those improvements to game play, an aspect in which Gnollhack stands out is in astounding images and sounds, thousands of them. High quality static and animated images plus sound effects, background music, speech (in English) with various characters such as hermits and shop keepers, and even whole songs in Elfish and English, interpreted by charming female Elves. Voices are not synthetic, they have been recorded by human locutors who interpret their characters credibly.
All that might seem like abusing computer or Internet resources, but it is not so much. In my tablet I have installed Gnollhack for Apple IPad: it needs less than 650 Megabytes of data transmission and storage space, and about 3 Gigabytes of Random Access Memory (or about 2 Gigabytes if disabling sounds), and most important of all: IT CAN BE PLAYED OFF-LINE, without Internet after installation.
Gnollhack is not one of those graphically heavy games that retrieve tons of high resolution dynamic images from a remote server during game play. At the opposite extreme, it is not the venerable Hack or Rogue of the 1980's that could be played from floppy disk. It is somewhere in between, and likely satisfactory for both kinds of players, the modern as well as the traditional one. I am myself of the traditional kind, and I have good news: MOST GRAPHICS CAN BE DISABLED, offering to the player the traditional interface where game characters and objects are represented by textual characters, in the old fashion. The characters can be in traditional ASCII (Code Page 437), or in Unicode UTF-8.
Sounds can be kept with disabled images, or they can also be disabled. The rich flexibility of options that exists in Nethack for game play is reproduced verbatim in Gnollhack, with extra options needed by the images and sounds of Gnollhack if enabled, such as screen refreshment or sound intensity.
I have discovered very few programming errors so far. The 'kick' short cut in stead of kicking moves the character Northwards (because the letter 'k' does that in the traditional Nethack interface when not using number pad), but kicking can be done by the extended command '# kick'). A little difficult is the presentation of the eight arrows for moving the hero or indicating direction (in substitution of the letters 'y u h j k l b n'). The arrows are presented on the touch-sensitive screen of the Apple IPad tablet as a background of the dungeon, visible through partial transparency and perfectly touchable for activating their function, but on a tablet this usually means keeping the arm too high, which after several hours of play is physically exhausting. Besides being dungeon player, one can also become a body-builder. The programmers were probably thinking of mobile telephones more than of tablets, when they decided to present the arrows like that. It would certainly be much easier in a telephone. Anyway, the screen of a tablet is touch-sensitive and can be used for movement or giving direction.
In sum I can affirm that, in my view, Gnollhack is the BEST Nethack derivative for Apple IPad tablets. There is also INethack, and a few other similar games available for IPad in Apple Store or in various other places, but by far Gnollhack superates all the others. Gnollhack is also very well documented:
Short presentation of Gnollhack in the Nethack Wiki:
Short presentation of Gnollhack for Android and IOS in Reddit, March 2023:
Gnollhack Wiki, with detailed explanations about many aspects of the game:
Gnollhack Forum available for any one to read, and where members can write:
Without any downloading, Gnollhack can be tested by playing the text characters interface. Without images or sounds, but the mechanics of the game and most of its options are, of course, the same:
Gnollhack playable in Gnollhack servers via SSH (not via Telnet):
Gnollhack playable in Hardfought servers via SSH (not via Telnet):
Gnollhack is playable as part of the annual Junethack competition, via any of the servers above. So far Gnollhack is one of the LEAST played of all Nethack derivatives in Junethack, simply because it is the newest and the least known by most Nethack players. I am registered as one of the more than two hundred competitors in Junethack 2023, where I am slowly playing Gnollhack at the Hardfought server in Australia. I do not hope to be winner, just to finish my game by 30th June, whatever results.