Rogue variants / Roguelikes
Group DescriptionGames deriving gameplay and appearance from the 1980 mainframe game Rogue, later published for home microcomputers by Epyx and inspiring a long legacy of Hack derivatives, etc.
While there are some debates as to what constitutes a Rogue-like, the following three features are considered crucial among the community:
- Dungeon crawl with randomized dungeons, where maps, items, and monsters are generated anew with each new game.
- Perma-Death: You have only one save game and it is deleted upon death. If you die, you have to start a new game.
- Automapping: The dungeon is unexplored, entering a new room or section will reveal the room and will be permanently recorded.
- Turn-based gameplay, especially single-action-per-turn.
- Single player character game.
- A 2D top-down ASCII text graphics, with text symbols representing players, monsters, items, walls, (modern rogue-likes allows opportunity to replace them by graphical 2D tile sets or even isometric graphics), etc.
- Rogue-like games are traditionally freeware and often open source.
- Unidentified items: weapons, armor, scrolls, and other objects. Identifying them may require a scroll of identification (and its variations) or acquire the services from a storekeeper.
- The ability to throw any object (including non-weapons) and damage enemies with them.
A bordering case that is hotly disputed in the Roguelike community is Diablo, a game inspired by Roguelikes, which added real-time game-play and isometric graphics. These games should not be added here as it only has one of these additional features (single character play); also perma-death is not implemented by default (optionally added as Hardcore mode in Diablo II).
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Front cover for Epic Dungeon
Front cover for Doom, the Roguelike
Front cover for Dunzhin
Front cover for Cardinal Quest
Front cover for Castle of the Winds I: A Question of Vengeance
Screenshot from Doom, the Roguelike
Screenshot from Dunzhin
Screenshot from Beneath Apple Manor
Screenshot from Cave Noire
Screenshot from The Binding of Isaac