Roguelike Recommendations


#1
  1. Tell us about what you’re playing!
  2. What roguelikes are your type? (get recommendations!)

(FYI I’m pretty generous with the term “roguelike” and I think doing so in this thread will be to everyone’s benefit)

I’m big into Crypt of the Necrodancer right now, currently frustrated with the Monk and I CAN’T STOP PICKING UP GOLD (you instantly die when you step on a tile w/ gold, which you use to buy items as other characters in “easier” modes). The monster design and mechanics are great, soundtrack is amazing, overall a really cohesive experience.

Loved - SotS: The Pit, FTL
Appreciated - Binding of Isaac, Darkest Dungeon
Wasn’t Into - Rogue Legacy

Played a lot of the simpler turn-based ones (ex. Desktop Dungeons, Hack Slash Loot) but trying to move up to more complex ones without going too close toward ASCII-graphics territory.

Really interested in Unexplored, but I’m stuck waiting for the Mac version.

Any recs for me?


#2

My main one is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, which definitely started as an ASCII roguelike but constantly updates and has a ‘tiles’ mode that includes graphics. It also has its own streaming culture which seems really interesting that I still haven’t dived into. I’ve also been playing Pixel Dungeon recently, which is an Android roguelike that I’m super bad at.

Crypt of the Necrodancer seems super interesting, but for some reason I still haven’t given it a shot. I really, really ought to. Also: I totally bounced off Rogue Legacy too. I really didn’t gel with that game.


#3
  1. Not playing per se… but I’m currently working on a roguelike! Of the ones you mentioned it’s probably closest to BoI.
  2. I adore the twitch-control scheme roguelikes, and I’m definitely looking to play more of them.

I’m with you on Rogue Legacy. I gave it a really fair shake and wanted to like it because on paper it seemed like exactly what I’d be into. But something about the progression system felt cheesy. You’d get a little further each run just because you were more powerful and not because you’d learned what things to watch out for, which enemies should be avoided unless well prepared, internalized some more of the games systems, etc.

My recommendations might not line up with your likes 1-to-1, but I feel like Spelunky (2012) should definitely be mentioned on any list of roguelikes. It’s easily in my top 10 games of all time. And riffing off that, Downwell is a similar experience designed for mobile.

If you feel like straying a little further away from the term roguelike while gaining a lot of complexity, Rimworld is worth checking out. Still a proc-gen with perma death, but you’re building up a small colony instead of dungeon diving. Threats come to you instead of you seeking them. Play sessions can be many hours vs a 15-30 minute run.


#4

Stone Soup, that’s one I’ve read about and I feel like is etched in the roguelike textbooks. I see it’s on Android, downloading that right away. Same for Pixel Dungeon, double thanks.

I want to mention as a heads up, I put a couple hours into Crypt and put it down for like a year as it didn’t click for me until a recent reinstall. I think there’s a bit of a time investment to getting used to doing the easy stuff on a beat as second nature before it really opens up and gets fun.


#5

Hella glad someone mentioned DCSS before I did. I picked up Caves of Qud, which reminded me the game existed again and I spent a good 4 hours playing it a while ago. I used to play it a ton back in high school, but I fell out of it for some reason.

Haven’t actually tried out CoQ yet, but Isaac is pretty solid. I’d need to go through my steam library later to give more concrete answers tho.


#6

I think you hit the nail on the head there.

Rimworld sounds right up my alley, I love colony-building (brief stint with Dwarf Fortress, tried as hard as I could, went thru some clones as well).

And jeez I can’t believe I forgot about Spelunky.


#7

Well I guess right at the deeper end (like barely a step below ASCII) is ToME. Once called Tales of Middle Earth and now Tales of Maj’Eyal, ToME is honestly, in a nutshell at least, pure, deep and super unwieldy. Come to grips with it though and one playthrough could last tens or even hundreds of hours. It’s got a small but very passionate community that have produced great addons both regarding more quests and visual improvement. It’s free or you can pay $7 for it on Steam.


#8

Also, definitely interested in hearing about your experience working on a roguelike. What’s the design process like? Playtesting? Are there any features/systems you’ve stripped out, or added in later? And does it have a finalized title yet :sunglasses:


#9

I really love both roguelikes & rhythm games, but I’m also super bad at both, so maybe my reticence is about assuming I’ll fail & being afraid of that? Parsing that makes it seem like I should really just go for it. Also I’ve mostly played DCSS on my PC, so I can hardly imagine it on a phone; if it works out for you I’d be super interested in that? Pixel Dungeon is deceptively mean, btw.


#10

Caves of Qud is insane and wonderful, and I love it a whole bunch, but I don’t know if I love it because it’s incredible, or because I grew up playing Nethack and spent several years of my life getting deep into Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. I’ve also heard a lot of praise for Tales of Maj’eyal, but there’s something about it that never really clicked for me the way Nethack, DCSS, and CoQ did.

Also, I feel like this thread needs a Dwarf Fortress recommendation, but I’m really not the person to give it. That game is completely bonkers and I love that it exists, but it’s far too much for me and my tiny brain full of other information.


#11

My favourites often fall into the dreaded ASCII art territory but genuinely they can still look quite nice. Brogue, for example, has gas simulations and a quite charcoaly colour scheme and genuinely looks quite gorgeous. I’m also a big fan of the hulking beast that is Dwarf Fortress (I’m counting it because it has its Adventure Mode, though I like it for the Fortress Mode).
If you grab the Lazy Newb Pack or some other mod pack it’s very easy to get it easy on the eyes too. (Dwarf Therapist is a must have as it puts all your dwarves roles and details in a big spreadsheet)
The circling guitar music draws you into a hypnotic whirlpool of Dwarf management as you sketch out your bit of the world until inevitably the world gets in, you realize you’ve dug into something you shouldn’t or you didn’t quite put up enough defences or you didn’t quite figure out your food production pipeline and everything descends into chaos


#12

Is Adventure Mode pretty fleshed out? Like, could they sell it as a standalone roguelike game?


#13

I was super into Guild of Dungeoneering for a while. It’s such a good roguelike. Austin and Vinny did a quicklook of it a while back

It’s so easy to pick up and play for a bit or One More Turn your night away.

The narrator also helps


#14

Does anyone have any good mobile roguelike reccs?

I love playing permadeath games but I can’t afford binding of issac on the switch right now and a lot of the games I’ve bought on my iPhone so far just aren’t doing it for me anymore


#15

There was a time Id have said BoI with no hesitation but man I have fell off every update of that game since it’s launch harder and harder.

My current hotness is Enter the Gungeon which I didn’t expect to be such a Zen-like game for me but the controls are just so tight. Thought I’d fall into the Nuclear Throne camp.

And then Spelunky might be up there for my persnol GOAT based on sheer amount of hours and how unbelievably tight it is designed.


#16

I love Crypt of the Necromancer! It took me like a week to finish a run with Cadence. I haven’t worked that hard at beating a game since Panel de Pon. Then I got to Aria and… I don’t have that kinda focus!
I wanna get back into it but idk if I should, I could start playing and have a whole day just vanish.

I would like to get into Unexplored and Caves of Qud. They both look really good and quite unlike.


#17

I really need to buy enter the gungeon.

I haven’t seen anyone recommend FTL yet but that was honestly my game of the year when it came out

Oh yeah I’m not sure if one would call it a rougelike but diary of a spaceport janitor definitely seems adjacent to this category for me as well


#18

FTL transitioned SO well to mobile as well. One of my partners just disappeared into it for a while and she doesn’t even play games too often.


#19

Wait what.

…alright, see you later waypoint forum


#20

Cool! If you get into Rimworld, definitely share your experience here or in a new thread because that game can create some amazing stories, both hilarious and devastating.

As for making a roguelike: I’m leaning towards the more real-time/twitch-controlled breed so a lot of time has gone into tuning the controls to make them feel just right. As for systems, it’s basically been torn down and rebuilt once already when I decided to shift focus away from firearms and gunplay (BoI meets Hotline Miami was the original idea), towards a fantasy setting with magic and more light hearted themes/characters.

Playtesting will hopefully begin soon. A few friends played a version back when it was still guns, but basically no one has seen or played the new stuff with magic.

And the title? Hmmm… it’s not quite final enough to say publicly. I’ve been through the process of delving into dictionaries and thesauruses for a while and have some ideas/keywords that I know will be represented. When I firm up on a few planned visual/narrative themes I’ll be able to say the name confidently!