Connect with us


What are “roguelike” games and why are they called that?

Roguelike is one of the gaming genres established by a defining game. Here’s how it came about and how the genre evolved.

Where does the name of the genre come from? The genre’s namesake first appeared in 1980 for Unix-based systems. The game was called “Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom” or just Rogue and was a dungeon crawler.

Players had to fight their way through multiple procedurally generated levels of a dungeon and find the Amulet of Yendor hidden in the deepest level. Along the way, you collected treasures with useful items, the purpose of which changed in each round of the game, and monsters, which appeared in different places each time.

Recommended Editorial Content

At this point you will find external content from YouTube that complements the article.

I consent to external content being displayed to me. Personal data can be transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy.

This is what Rogue gameplay looked like

In the 1980s, the game became very popular among students and PC-savvy people and led to a number of original creations such as Hack or Moria, which together with Rogue founded the genre.

fun fact: Actually, the game “Beneath Apple Manor” is considered to be the first game of the “roguelike” genre, since it appeared 2 years before Rogue (1978). It has all the core elements of a roguelike, but wasn’t successful enough to become the genre’s namesake.

How is a “roguelike” defined? While many games today contain elements of rogue, they are far from being considered true representatives of the genre. In 2008, the “Berlin Interpretation” was established for the roguelikes, which provides a more “traditional” definition.

Accordingly, such a game must have the “high value”, ie high-quality or serious, aspects that were collected from the original genre-defining games. This includes:

  • Procedurally generated dungeons (individually defined hubs such as starter areas are ok though)
  • Permadeath, death is final and cannot be reversed
  • Turn based combat system
  • Hack ‘n’ slash gameplay consisting only of fighting with no option for a peaceful outcome
  • Every action/plot must be available to the player anywhere in the game
  • The goals within the game must be achievable through different approaches and strategies (e.g. you can kick in a closed door or pick the lock)
  • The player must manage his items properly to survive
  • The player must explore the maps and discover new items, with progress being reset after each death

In addition to the 8 defining gameplay elements, there are a number of smaller, “low value” points. They may be present in the game, but are not mandatory.

This includes, for example, the ability to control only one character or that the dungeons must consist of rooms and corridors.

What is a “rogue-lite” then? However, depending on what gaming circles you’re in, the definition of roguelike games can be less strict. Today, the term is generally used for many games that, according to Berliner’s definition, are actually considered “rogue-lite”, i.e. a “weakened” version.

Developers have experimented a lot with different genre combinations over the past few years, resulting in a number of games that are now considered strong representatives of roguelikes, despite lacking some of the “high value traits”:

  • Games like Binding of Isaac and Hades both don’t have turn-based combat systems
  • Slay the Spire and Enter the Gungeon are card games and shooters, not RPGs
Binding of Isaac is one of the most well-known rogue-lites.

Also, the individual rounds within these games are shorter than in traditional roguelikes, and their difficulty levels are often well below the brutal requirements of the classic representatives of the genre or are adjustable.

Strictly speaking, these games are therefore considered rogue-lite (via Wikipedia), even if they contain core elements such as procedurally generated dungeons, permanent death and resource management.

Rogues and roguelikes have had such an impact on gaming that their core elements are also widely used outside of the genre. For example in .s like WoW and FFXIV, in which there are individual procedurally generated dungeons.

5 consoles that flopped so hard you probably don’t know them all

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


More Posts

EXTRAS7 mins ago

AMD advances the Ryzen 7000X3D: its best gaming CPUs

It seems that the rumors that we heard behind the scenes and that we published two weeks ago are going...

News14 mins ago

Misfits say goodbye to Europe after putting their LFL place up for sale

Image Source: LoLEsports The stage is over Misfits Gaming in Europe. Everything that tied him to the region is about...

Games21 mins ago

Poll: Pokemon Crimson & Crimson – Which edition do you take?

In November, many will ask the question: crimson or purple? With Pokemon Crimson & Crimson, we will get another “big”...

EXTRAS25 mins ago

Sony’s Jim Ryan traveled to EU to prevent Microsoft deal with Activision, decision in November?

Sony seems to want to prevent Microsoft from taking over Activision / Blizzard. They see the deal as having a...

News32 mins ago

Mythic Quest announces the premiere of its third season

Probably if you like video games and also have a streaming platform contracted, you have searched for focused content or...

News53 mins ago

A player recreates World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King in Unreal Engine 5 and you’re going to love it

A huge step up from the original 2008 game. If there is a moment in which we can say that...

News1 hour ago

FIFA 23: You can get 4 really strong packs that easily

In FIFA 23 Ultimate Team there are a few tasks that hide some really strong packs as rewards. We’ll show...

Games1 hour ago

Age of Empires 4 Team Discusses Steam Deck Compatibility and Coming to Xbox Consoles

Esports Extras has had the pleasure of chatting with Relic Entertainment where we address native arrivals on both platforms. When...

News1 hour ago

The Xbox controller recovers stock in several stores: get the best controller to play on PC on sale

One of the greatest strengths of the gaming PC is its great versatility in terms of peripherals and accessories. We...

Games2 hours ago

Ubisoft will allow you to bring your Stadia games to PC through Ubisoft Connect

Last Thursday, Google announced the closure of Stadia, its cloud gaming service that closed its servers next january to put...