Roguelike Recommendations


Nah I wouldn’t say so. Even for me it’s kinda incomprehensible right now but Toady has been fleshing it out for the last few years so it’s better than it was. It is good if you’re interested in exploring a world with a realistic scale or have finished a game of fortress mode and want to make a pilgrimage to rescue your favorite relic or something.
If you’re in the mood for a wildly intricate roguelike for adventuring I’d recommend Ultima Ratio Regum. It goes a long way to making stuff readable and even procedurally generates flags and tavern signs which it then renders in full next to the description. Very gorgeous and interesting.
(e: Seems development of URR has been on hiatus since April 2015 and that v1.0 wasn’t reached. Still worth checking out for the cool rendering of symbols and objects.)


call me old fashioned, because I absolutely am, but I am a pretty big fan of Nethack and one day, God as my witness, I will beat it. and if you’re after a relatively obtuse game with no graphics but an almost alarming number of possible interactions between systems I would recommend it. don’t be afraid to consult the wiki early and often though, it’s an unforgiving mistress. (or master I suppose, no point being sexist about it).


Alright. Hear me out. A free, ASCII-art, @-dude-game
Brogue, somehow may be the most fun and visually beautiful roguelike I’ve ever played.

Brogue looks like one of your typical ADOM-style games, and with that comes so much stigma of complexity and inaccessibility. For the most part, that is wholly earned; I love ADOM to death but I don’t know if I could pick that game up today and successfully do much of anything due to the sheer number of commands and systems in that game. Brogue simplifies it. You can play the entire game with your mouse, so there’s no need to memorize a million key commands.

Brogue, on PRINCIPLE sets out to eschew every single thing you don’t like about old-ass ASCII dungeon crawlers, and in doing so, ends up, to me, being the best they have to offer. As the Wiki explains it, it is a game that favors simplicity over complexity, while still focusing on providing varied, interesting experiences and scenarios every run.

You’re tasked, like many roguelikes, to descend the Dungeons of Doom to retrieve and escape with the Amulet of Yendor. It’s nothing too special in that regard, but I find it just enough for me to easily immerse myself and craft my own stories out of my experiences. It’s a perfect game for putting on a spooky-dungeon playlist and getting lost in.

But I mentioned this game being visually striking. You can only get so much an impression from still images (here’s a video i haven’t screened fully so i hope this dude isn’t suddenly racist at some point) but Brogue is the only ASCII-art game I’ve ever seen that bothers to use color this extensively to its advantage as a graphical tool.

Red warmth on stone to indicate heat, from bright white, orange, and red lava, colors changing fluidly with every step you take, to indicate the bubbling surface. Blues and greens shift with every step over bodies of water to indicate waves and ripples. Walls of crystal glimmer with iridescence, sources of fire lighten the shades of tiles around it to indicate its illumination – color is used so, so creatively in this game, and it’s downright impressive how much its graphical limitation is pushed to create immersive worlds in spite of it. There’s nothing else quite like it.

It’s also worth noting, just how much Unexplored seems to have taken directly from Brogue, (in the same sense that Brogue takes so, so much from other roguelikes before it), how similarly those gameplay loops feel. If you’re a fan of Unexplored, it’s absolutely worth your time to give Brogue a shot. It’s free, after all! I hope you enjoy your descent through the Dungeons of Doom ~


Go for it! I was super bad at Crypt but it was fine and I kept getting better. I am not sure I could finish some of the advanced playthroughs even if I worked at it.
But I still had a lot of fun. It’s a nice game.


Brogue is a v. V. Good Game


my go-to for procgen diefests is Nuclear Throne. I had a long stretch with Binding of Isaac and Risk of Rain, and dabbled elsewhere, but NT is much much more to my tastes. The pacing and energy of that game is just perfect for me.

anyone else playing Ruin of the Reckless? I just picked it up yesterday and it ain’t quite, idk, clicked with me yet but I’m hoping I just need to give it time. I like that one of the player characters is Kung Fu Jughead tho


Hands up for Spelunky, Isaac, Rogue Legacy.

I wanna make sure Teleglitch gets its due, too. Even though it’s top-down, it’s one of the most Doom-like games I’ve ever played. I love the visual style and the crafting elements, and I’ve never gotten past, like, the 8th level.


I love roguelikes but I’m kind of a casual rogueliker, partly because I only recently decided I want more of them. Guild of Dungeoneering and FTL are both great, but Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 is really close to my heart as my intro to these type of games. I still replay it every couple years.


Gotta mention TumbleSeed, which released today! Omg is it difficult, yet fun.


i think risk of rain fits well enough & it is also one of my favourite games. like, properly, ever.


Brogue is the only old school roguelike that’s really clicked with me and also one of the only games that has so consistently wrecked my shit, yet left me feeling mainly entertained rather than frustrated. +1 recommendation.


WOW does this look like an original idea! Definitely checking this out.


The two that I spent the most time with were Spelunky and Dungeon of the Endless.

I found that Dungeon of the Endless had a really enjoyable difficulty curve and an enjoyable risk-reward mechanic for exploring each floor. I also really dug the art style.


I remember playing ToME when it was still Tales of Middle Earth. Apparently it started out as “PernAngband”, a crossover of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels and Tolkien’s work? Weird.

Anyway, if someone’s looking for a ‘classic’ Roguelike with some concessions for playability (like proper graphical tilesets and a limited permadeath mode), they could do a lot worse than Tales of Maj’Eyal.

Unfortunately I’ve never really gotten into the new school of roguelikes - I imagine I could get love something like Binding of Isaac or Spelunky given the time and effort, but I just like the dungeon diving aesthetic of the classic models. Eager to try some of the other recs in this thread, though.


I hated roguelikes until I randomly had a good run of Binding of Isaac. I beat mom, and finally the roguelike mindset clicked. Now, I have put about 35 hours into that and finally unlocked the “true” final bosses after the mom stuff, and I’m now grinding against that and trying to get better. Super fun.

I want to learn Spelunky and Enter the Gungeon, I own both.


Lately I’ve been playing Caves of Qud. One of the things that makes it so interesting to me as a roguelike is that its travel is very involved. Your journeys across the overworld map will probably involve you preparing by gathering water and food and trying not to get lost. Sometimes you find interesting things, sometimes you don’t. It does a very good job capturing the wonder of exploring that a lot of games remove through fast travel and minimap pointers.


For mobile roguelikes, I recommend one of the Pixel Dungeon variants (which is sort of a traditional dungeon crawl) and Hoplite, which is a very tactical game with deterministic enemy movement that makes for quite a challenging exercise in mechanics mastery.


I’ll toss in a suggestion for Downwell, which is a short and fun little game. If you haven’t played it, a lazy comparison would be that it’s not super unlike a combo-based, more action oriented, vertical Spelunky. It’s a lot of fun, has good music, is cheap, and has a surprisingly playable phone version (though I still prefer controller).


I consider Risk of Rain to be pretty rough around the edges but that hasn’t stopped me from sinking like 200hrs into it. The movement feels great imo (though you should absolutely rebind the default controls to WASD) and just getting into a good flow using your abilities feels great. Plus it frequently goes on sale for $2.50 so theres no reason not to try if you like rougelikes.

Uhh… a lot of challenge runs on normal games effectively make them into rougelikes if you haven’t tried any of that I’d say give it a shot! I didn’t expect how much I’d enjoy playing permadeaths on games like New Vegas but it was really some of the most fun gaming I’ve done in years. Pokemon nuzlockes too


Well obviously Spelunky, but outside that I really enjoyed Galak-Z. The control scheme takes a while to make sense but once you get it the level of control it allows is really satisfying. I also loved the early 80s anime trappings. Defo worth a pop.

Enter the Gungeon is also pretty boss. Really nicely made and a cute art style.

Downwell is cool but rock hard. I eventually had to put it down.