Roguelike can generally be described as a computer game that is free to play , played in turns, and has a strong focus on intricate gameplay and replayability. It is a representation of the abstract world that uses ASCII- based visualization , as opposed to 3D graphics. Of course, as with any genre, there are deviations from the norm. Roguelikes allow the player an indefinite time in which they can make a move , making the game more comparable to chess than reflex- based games., like first person shooters. Since the graphics are limited, the imagination of the player must come into play to win the games, it is for this reason that the game is more like reading a book than watching a movie.

What is the Roguelike?

They are exploration games aimed at the player using chips and dice but they have been adapted to the computer . It is played in turns , but this can also vary and be the opposite.

  • Roguelike history
  • Roguelike Features
  • Name’s origin
  • Featured games of the Roguelike genre

Roguelike history

Roguelike’s game creation comes from hobbyist programmers and computer hackers , who were trying to create games for the nascent field of computing in the early 1980s, mainly influenced by the 1975 text adventure game Colossal Cave Adventure. or Aventura, as he was popularly called, and high fantasy of the scenarios of the board game Dungeons & Dragons.


Some elements of the Roguelike genre were present in dungeon games written for the PLATO system . This includes pedit5 (1975), believed to be the first dungeon crawling game , and which featured random monster encounters , though it only used a single fixed dungeon level .

The pedit5 inspired similar PLATO-based dungeon crawlers such as Orthanc (1978), Moria (1978), and avatar (1979). It is not clear whether these PLATO games inspired the Roguelike genre as there is no evidence that early Roguelike creators had access to these games.

The core Roguelike games were developed independently of each other, many of the developers did not learn about their respective projects until several years after the genre took off.

Roguelike Features

The main characteristics of this type of game are the following:

  • These are usually single player games .
  • They usually have a shift system or micro turns that last until the player does not perform an action or when the game does not react.
  • They have an emphasis on random content such as randomly generated dungeons with enemies and items.
  • The gameplay is the main aspect, before aesthetics or accessibility to the player.
  • When the player dies he must start from the beginning .
  • His difficulty is very high, which stimulates learning the details of the game to advance.
  • Includes mechanics that reward player’s perseverance and knowledge.
  • The premise of the game is straightforward and has little narrative . In general, the main objective of the game is to reach the last level and get back.
  • It has permadeath ; that is, once you die, everything is over and the character will not return.
  • Normally the game system is by means of turns , but there are also examples such as the famous game known as The Binding of Isaac where the opposite happens.

Name’s origin

The Roguelike genre takes its name from Rogue, which was a role-playing video game that was based on the role- playing games of Dungeons & Dragons , and included concepts such as statistics and experience points .

Featured games of the Roguelike genre

Among the most prominent games of this branch we find the following:

  • NetHack Web – It was developed since 1987 and is one of the most famous. Its setting is medieval fantastic and has a viewing mode by tiles , as well as external viewers as “Falcon’s Eye” to view isometrically.
  • Tales of Maj’Eyal: Age of Ascendancy Web – is considered by many to be the best . He was the winner of the Roguelike of the Year award in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is also fantastic medieval and has the ability to unlock races and classes . It’s not entirely random, but its background is pretty good. It has a combat system per turn , with passive and active abilities and cooldown.
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup Web : It has a graphical mode and ASCII mode . It allows quite good customization and while looking for the exit to the next floor we can find the ghost of one of your previous characters, which makes each dungeon more difficult than the previous one. It also has an online game mode , but it is still a replay of the game and the possibility of meeting the ghosts of other players.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor Web – This is the game most accessible to the public, it is simple and very addictive.
  • Angband Web EOL – is a freeware and open dungeon exploration game . It is based on the work of JRR Tolkien and refers to Angband , the fortress of Morgoth . In the game you must explore a deep dungeon to kill enemies and try to equip yourself with the best weapons and armor you can find. The objective of the game is to defeat Morgoth .

Leave a Comment