recommend your literal rogue-likes...

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hellbent

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#1  Edited By hellbent

after enjoying the first two episodes of going rogue i've got the itch but dunno if i can handle the ascii graphics of the original. does anyone know of or can recommend a rogue-like that is basically the same thing as original rogue, but with, ya know, graphics, that aren't ascii?

searching for rogue on various platforms is... not as easy as it would first appear.

sil-q is a tokien based rogue-like but still runs in ascii graphics unfortunately but im still experimenting with it.

moraff's world is pretty close. someone should make moraff's world look cooler than it does.

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AndrewJPlant

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Nethack is the ur-roguelike in my opinion, it spun off from a clone of Rogue in 1987 and, except for a quiet period from 2004 to 2016 still has an active dev team pushing patches and updates ever since, the latest release was this year. it's still, in it's purest form ascii, but the standard Zip includes a tile-based graphical executeable.

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Obeast

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The Mystery Dungeon games should be a great place to start if you want a more graphically rich rogue like that plays more like games like Rogue and NetHack where it's all turn-based movement (outside of towns and hubs). These don't seem as punishing as the older ones since (at least in the Wii Shiren the Wanderer) you keep knowledge of magic items like potions, staffs, and scrolls between runs as long as you don't delete your save after every death or play on some super hard difficulty. But, all the dungeons are randomized and give the same feeling of not knowing if you're gonna walk into a room on some fucked up situation.

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Neondragons

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Dungeons of Dredmor is probably what you're looking for. Although if you do decide you don't mind the Ascii look then Nethack is probably my favorite.

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FinalDasa

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#5 FinalDasa  Moderator

I've been told Caves of Qud is pretty traditional. Just bought it on the Steam sale and looking forward to diving in and dying immediately.

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Gundato

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#6  Edited By Gundato

These days, there are probably four or five good choices for roguelikes (Berlin and otherwise) with modern-ish design sensabilities

As others have mentioned, Nethack is about as Rogue as you can get. Think it is still free but there is a paid version on Steam that supports development and has an integrated graphical tileset. Also worth mentioning is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup that, at least for me, always felt more like a platform than a game.

Others have mentioned Dungeons of Dredmor which very much feels like Rogue-lite (hee hee). I always wanted to like it but something just didn't click for me.

If you are willing to take a detour from Berlin then Tales of Maj'Eyal (TOME) is probably my all time favorite. I don't think there is a curses (ascii) based version (maybe a mod but it is still inherently graphics based) and there is an overall progression because you unlock classes (and QOL features) by making progress and completing achievements on runs. Also, TOME does away with the "you need to identify the potion/scroll" bullshit that I personally always hated. And, in general, the game is built around being accessible for the first tier or two of dungeons (you explore a world map and do dungeons for loot and quests) and ramping up hard after that. So resource management tends to be more "per encounter" in ways that I like. And a lot of the classes play radically different than others (one involves playing as a parasite that takes over ever stronger boss enemies) so you can usually find something that suits your mood.

And if you want to diverge considerably, Jupiter Hell (the sequel to DOOM RL which is exactly what it sounds like) is in early access and I should check back in on that at some point. Very much an RL-style take on totally legally not DOOM. Probably some of the best ranged combat in the mega-genre. And then there is Caves of Qud which is probably also early access still and is set in a fallout-ish post apocalpytic world. I like it in bursts but it always feels like the character sheet is more important than anything else in that game. Like, the quests and world progression are just an excuse to look back at your character sheet and get some cool new mutations or whatever.

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fisk0

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#7 fisk0  Moderator

I've always been fond on The Land by Mike Riley, based on Stephen Donaldson's "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" books.

It was originally released in 1984, but I'm most familiar with the 1992 graphical version. Apparently there was an updated version (still for DOS) releaesed in 2013 available here: http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=The_Land

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Gundato

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#8  Edited By Gundato

OH

Dwarf Fortress also has a roguelike mode. Again, probably violates Berlin Interpretation for a bunch of reasons but there is a lot to say about exploring your failed fort.

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fisk0

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#9  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

The original Rogue was ported to a bunch of other platforms, some of which had graphics as well. The Atari ST version has graphics for example, and the Mac version uses special fonts that makes stuff like walls look like walls, while still being text based. I'd consider giving them the money for the Steam version though.

Atari ST version
Atari ST version
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chaser324

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#10 chaser324  Moderator

I'll also recommend Dungeons of Dredmor. It's a great traditional roguelike with a lot of variety.

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norm9

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#11  Edited By norm9

Pathos is free on xbox (and mobile/pc) and worth checking out. It's essentially nethack. There's about five or six different tiles, including ascii

No Caption Provided

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BluPotato

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#12  Edited By BluPotato

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a fantastic deep but easy to learn roguelike with a focus on quality of life features for the player based on the community feedback. Its always my go too when I'm looking to scratch that itch. https://crawl.develz.org/

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Kirbloid

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Shiren the Wanderer just released on Switch and is a fantastic take on Mystery Dungeon-style roguelikes. Tons of quality of life stuff, a subtle feeling of permanent progression, and a ton of bonus dungeon content. No classes or builds, just 100% pure item based with some clever item mechanics.

Tip I didn't know for a while: You can use the bumpers to put multiple items into a jar at once.

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SeaKitten

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#14  Edited By SeaKitten

I’m really glad this feature is inspiring people to try out roguelikes. There are some absolutely fantastic games in the genre.

A couple of recommendations:

Brogue - It’s still ASCII, but it’s got a lot of style as well as a better interface which makes it a lot easier to jump into. It’s free, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

Caves of Qud - This is quite a bit different than Rogue (think of it like a roguelike version of Fallout combined with the movie “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”). It’s also still getting updated every week and has daily challenges/leaderboards. One of my favorite games.

ADOM - The Steam version has some nice looking graphics (for the genre at least) and there’s a ton of depth to it. This is probably my second favorite roguelike after Caves of Qud. You’ll want to have a wiki open while you play it - one of the big complaints about this one is how obscure it gets.

TOME - Diablo started out as a turn-based game. TOME is what would have happened if Diablo stayed turn-based and was iterated on by crazy people. It’s got sprite-based graphics (they are extremely ugly though).

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MagnetPhonics

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#15  Edited By MagnetPhonics

If you are new to the genre, then DRL (formerly known as DoomRL)is the perfect place to start. It does a surprisingly good job of capturing the feel of Doom's combat, but also has the gameplay, depth and progression of a good roguelike. The control's are relatively simple, without needing to span the entire keyboard. A single run is also relatively short (it's a "Coffee Break" roguelike.) It is also freely available (GPL2), has ASCII and tile (art by Derek Yu,) mode.

Brogue is also a great game on a similar scale. It's unusual amongst modern-ish roguelikes in that it its primary influenced by Rogue itself, but way more technically advanced. It's playable entirely with the mouse. The stylized ASCII graphics are quite distinctive too. Also free, and finished(!). Brogue CE is a community maintained fork with some new features.

Nethack is close to the best game of all time (objectively the 2nd best ever so far according the the HG101 Top 47k games list, behind only Tetris and ahead of all Mario games, doom, etc.) It's visually similar to Rogue at first, (it comes with a graphical tile version as well now, but it is bad,) but there is way more stuff in it; multiple genders/races/classes, shops, themed levels, non-linear level progression, bizarre but entirely-consistent item usage and interaction, the entire library of Terry Pratchett, weird pop-culture references to books/movies/other games, A quantum mechanic enemy that drops a box with a 50% chance to contain a pet cat named "Schrodingers cat" and 50% chance to contain the corpse of a pet cat named "Schrodingers cat".

Nethack is the roguelike I recommend the most, but it is also brutally difficult and quite intimidating. Using their semi-official "spoiler" policy I guarantee nobody here starting the game now will ever finish it, using a wiki it is merely "extremely hard". It is probably the primary influence/inspiration that lead to the Spelunky/Binding of Isaac/Nuclear Throne/"Roguelite" genre. Also free (using their own free software license.)

Of modern games for sale on Steam/Itch/GoG: Caves of Qud is brilliant, it's set in a post-post-post-post-apocalypse surreal, body-horrorish open world. Most similar to Fallout or Wasteland, but entirely original. The writing is superb, both the main quest dialog and the "lore hidden in items descriptions". Has a fixed overworld + main quest and some fixed sidequests, but is mostly procedurally generated otherwise. Has an astonishing array of starting builds (either a cybernetic human, or a mutant with potentially dozens of powers) that give a similar feeling to when Deus Ex lets you start with a rocket launcher. Controls can be confusing at first, but incredibly simple compared to most roguelikes (space and ctrl-space context menus do most of the niche actions that would be spread across the keyboard normally.)

Cogmind is a mech roguelike where you play as a robot trying to escape a facility. Has a very unusual progression system, you upgrade attributes by finishing a level and upgrade your parts by scavenging spare parts or disassembling the other robots you defeat/blow up. Has a visually distinct style (Your robot's "sensors" project a graphical overlay on the underlying pseudo-ASCII) and implements a soundscape similar to what the Trent Reznor Doom 3 soundtrack was supposed to be. Also, only Caves of Qud has better writing IMHO. Entirely controllable with the mouse as well.

Finally a non-game recommendation. Roguelike Celebration is an annual roguelike convention that has a lot of interesting talks from developers/players/fans. It uses an extremely broad definition of what is related to Roguelikes (including "roguelites") so there is almost definitly something most fans of this website will enjoy there.

@fisk0 said:

I'd consider giving them the money for the Steam version though.

If you want to give the original creators of Rogue money, the Steam version isn't it. It's just being sold by some guy who acquired the rights to the entire Epyx catalog. It's doesn't seem to be illicit as some have suggested, but don't consider it the morally correct version to get.

Rogue was also 5 years old by the point the commercial Epyx version for DOS was released. It wasn't the original, nor is it the most recent version.

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BlackLagoon

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#16  Edited By BlackLagoon

Angband is an expansion of Moria, which was one of the original games inspired by Rogue in the 80s. It's now open source and available on modern platforms. It's default form is still ASCII, but it does have a graphical mode you can switch to.

You can download it at https://rephial.org

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hellbent

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great job everybody. i now have more rogue-likes to try than i have time!

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Nuttism

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ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery) Is my favourite Roguelike. I have only played the original ASCII version, but you can also find a version with more developed graphics on Steam. It is brutally unforgiving though, and quite opaque, so definitely would not recommend it as a first. I have never gotten close to beating it, but I once watched a series of an experienced ADOM player beating it on his second try, and it's one of my favourite series. How the developer expected anyone to beat the game without a guide is truly the ancient mystery here.

I think the best one if you are just starting out is definitely Shiren the Wanderer. It looks quite nice and I think the item based progression and upgrades are a good development of the core Roguelike gameplay.

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BladedEdge

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Dungeons of Dredmore and TOME are the ones I tend to point people too myself. Mainly because they can both be played with a mouse. Neither are perfect, but in terms of good games to try out the genre in they are both decent.

In terms of 'pure rogue like" Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is perhaps the one I hear the most about/seems to get the most play and suggestion as a fantastic newbie experience while still being very indepth and etc. If there was going to be one game I would suggest Vinny/Ben play after this Rogue series, if they still want a very similar game but to take a look at a more modern take, that would be it.

In terms of interesting twists on the formula, Caves of Qud is perhaps the one I've seen the most interesting stuff from. Its got a set story, world building, lore, quests and so on. Its still got procedural generation, but the major locations/quests are static.

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CombatBoots12

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Just got into Caves of Qud. It's the classic Rogue concept stretched into an open world. It also has save/load options in the debug if you just want to explore.

Doom RL is a treat, those guys recently put out a spiritual successor called Jupiter Hell and I still need to check that out too.

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DaviKaze

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It might be less Rogue-y than what you're looking for, but I had a helluva time playing Tangledeep. Really interesting character building and surprisingly fun combat and exploration. Comes with varying permadeath and carry-over options as well.

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hellbent

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No Caption Provided

Level 4, new record. note to anyone going down this particular route, Rogue ST has some sneaky copy protection on it that makes it nigh impossible to play unless you are using the correct/compatible TOS file for the Atari ST (1.00 is the only one that works as far as I can tell).

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LOTR_Dan

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Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup is excellent. Deep and complex, but still pretty accessible with EXCELLENT controls and QOL features.

The Shiren rerelease on Switch is also excellent.

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ZedFlips

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Played so much rogue back in the day on an 8086, when my dad thought buying a 20 meg hard drive was more than we'd ever need.

Can someone kindly provide a link to the Berlin requirements for a "rogue-like" - I'm not familiar with it.

Appreciate the discussion, back to lurking.

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MagnetPhonics

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#26  Edited By MagnetPhonics

@zedflips:

Here is the text on Roguebasin

It’s quite controversial for multiple reasons obviously. And probably wasn’t meant as the strict definition many take it to be.

It’s also important to remember that this is a pre-spelunky artefact. And any similar-to-roguelikes-but-not games it is could be viewed as a reaction against, (mostly Dwarf Fortress, RPGs and some other ASCII games,) have nothing to do with the Spelunky/Binding of Isaac/Rogue Legacy inspired stuff that dominates Today.

(Also note the Giantbomb citation in the commentary)

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ZedFlips

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@magnetphonics: Thank you, and also appreciate your commentary / second paragraph on it. the timing information is particularly helpful to knowing what the material is reacting to.

For what it is worth, I generally don't see a linking as an endorsement / complete agreement with the linked material.

Happy and safe 2021, all.

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LunarBeing

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My personal recommendation for a more traditional roguelike is the first one I played: POWDER.

Originally developed as GBA homebrew many years ago, it was ported to several systems, including PC. The tilesets available are pleasant and the writing is quite charming. Easy to understand the basics, very hard to finish - as you would expect. I love that there are Gods that meddle with your fate in the game depending on your attire and actions (I'm assuming that came from Nethack).

POWDER
POWDER
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ArmCommander

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@lunarbeing: I second this. POWDER is the game I played most on my DS. It's a complex game, but still much more user-friendly than the original Rogue.

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I recommend Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Easy to learn, hard to master, free, and you can see your scores etc.