Best Roguelikes?

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Best Roguelikes?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » May 5th, 2020, 4:20 pm

The concept of roguelike games has always fascinated me. A game whose levels change with every playthrough and/or death sounds like the perfect recipe for a game with infinite playability! Theoretically, anyway. I haven't found one yet that I felt really lived up to the potential. What changes there were never seemed to impact the game in any meaningful way. That said, I'm planning on buying Void Bastards when it releases this Thursday for PS4. Hopefully that'll be the one that finally lives up to the procedurally generated hype.

What are some of you guys' favorite roguelikes?

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby Luigi & Peach » May 5th, 2020, 4:59 pm

I thought the first Diablo was fun. I like how the quests varied a bit each time.

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby SpaceGuitarist » May 7th, 2020, 8:11 am

I know to most people "roguelike" means an RPG/Turn Based game, but for a completely different take on the formula, try a videogame called Spelunky (it's available on PS4). Spelunky is a platformer/roguelike set in underground caves. The physics are a bit like Mario, but Spelunky has weapons and items which you can acquire, lose or abandon. It is much more complex than most platformers (and tough as nails).

The way each level is randomised is genius, and trust me - it never feels like you're playing a machine-generated stage. There's tons of different enemies, weapons, secrets, traps and whatnot. Every playthrough is unique and can take highly unexpected turns. And if you die you're back to square one.

I have been playing games for 30+ years and can honestly say this little indie game is in my top-10 ever. And I think it costs, like, 10 bucks!? For the hours of enjoyment you can get out of it - it's the steal of the century.
Don't take my word for it, watch some playthroughs on youtube (but make sure you watch runs of the proper game - there's a small niche of pros who play purposedly sadistic user generated levels - only available on PC through mods).

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby scotland » May 7th, 2020, 10:18 am

I do enjoy roguelikes. The turn based design, the procedural generated maps, the limited graphics, the limited interaction, and the randomized item effects all point to the early days of computing. I cut my teeth on simple turn based games like Star Trek (or Stellar Trek for the console types).

The Commodore 64 gave me grief early on with Telengard. In that case, the difficulty was set way too high. The Genesis' Fatal Labyrinth may not be overly popular, but its a simple game that can be fun. I've found mobile games have down this a lot now as well, sometimes adding in skill ladders to better customize your play experience.

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby evergreen13 » May 7th, 2020, 11:34 am

I love a good Roguelike. Honestly, they might be one of my favorite genres. Endlessly replayable, a focus on gameplay over story, you get better at the game by playing it, not memorizing levels. They're good for a quick fix but it's super frustrating when you make it far into a game only to have it end abruptly. They are tough as nails and encourage playing with the gameplay systems, almost to the point of trying to exploitation!

My top one is probably The Binding of Isaac. The art style is certainly not for everyone, and there's an over reliance on RNG, but when you get a good run in that game you feel like this powerful mutated beast that just destroys everything. .

After that, Dead Cells is absolutely fantastic. This one there's a bit more strategy in selecting weapons (in Isaac you mostly just take whatever comes your way, but here you want to select weapons that work best with your current build/playstyle). But the combat is so fast paced and fluid I can't help but have fun with it.

I also keep returning to FTL: Faster Than Light on my iPad. All the different ships and weapons and options you have are just incredible, and beating the boss is no easy feat! Just remember to pause frequently to plan your actions, as this game can get surprisingly hectic!

Spelunky is a classic, though I've never been able to get very far in it. That it's a blast to play and the ways you die can be hysterical. I hope the sequel makes its way over to the Switch eventually, but right now it's only in development for PC and PS4.

One that I recently discovered was Risk of Rain 2. A third person shooter that becomes absolutely nuts after about twenty minutes. It's still in early access, so enter at your own risk, but I'm definitely having some fun with it.

Other honorable mentions are Enter the Gungeon (twin stick bullet hell roguelike), Don't Starve (survival crafting roguelike), Downwell (minimalist mobile game roguelike).

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby goldenband » May 7th, 2020, 11:44 am

It's a very idiosyncratic roguelike, but I adore Tower of Doom on the Intellivision. Really fun and surprisingly deep game -- when you get a good item drop when playing as a weak character, it's like going from Clark Kent to Superman.

I'm trying to think of what other roguelikes I've played extensively. Fatal Labyrinth is one, and it was fine. I think there have been a couple on the Mac I've enjoyed, but I can't recall exactly which ones.

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby icepeople » May 7th, 2020, 2:04 pm

Wow...this discussion is way past me. Unless it's got ASCII graphics it doesn't seem authentic.

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Re: Best Roguelikes?

Postby Stalvern » May 9th, 2020, 10:55 pm

Yeah, these are all roguelites, not actual roguelikes. Criminal that Spelunky has been mentioned two times and NetHack not even once.

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