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ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Etrian Mystery Dungeon crawls to 3DS on April 7


Atlus sets roguelike role-playing game's release date in stone
Jan 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Etrian Mystery Dungeon will arrive in North America on April 7, Atlus USA announced today. The project is a collaboration between Atlus and Spike Chunsoft, pairing the character classes and skill trees of Etrian Odyssey with Mystery Dungeon's exploratory roguelike design.  Atlus plans to include a bonus soundtrack disc with all pre-orders and first-run copies of the game.
Crystal Catacombs photo
Crystal Catacombs

Kickstarter-funded Crystal Catacombs arrives on Steam tomorrow


Classic 2D platforming meets roguelike randomness
Jan 14
// Rob Morrow
After nearly three years in development, Levels or Lives' retro-inspired roguelike pixel art platformer Crystal Catacombs is almost ready to make its debut on Steam. Successfully funded on Kickstarter in July of 2012,  ...
Path to the Sky photo
Path to the Sky

Path to the Sky teaser debut, game details revealed


It's been a long time coming, but it's been well worth the wait
Jan 11
// Rob Morrow
I've been talking with Berlin-based solo developer Johannes "Dek" Märtterer since early September of last year. Some of you may already be familiar with his work. He's the creator of the charming neo-retro-sty...
Distant Star: RF photo
Distant Star: RF

Distant Star: Revenant Fleet is an Early Access title to keep an eye on


Blazing Griffin's Scott Boyd gives us some pointers on how to die less often!
Jan 09
// Rob Morrow
I've tried to keep one eye on Blazing Griffin's lovely looking real-time space strategy game Distant Star: Revenant Fleet for a while now, however, the slippery devil somehow managed to sneak past me and ...
The Depths of Tolagal photo
The Depths of Tolagal

The Depths of Tolagal is fairly brutal, but it's also addictive


Have I mentioned the Destructoid community has a great taste in games?
Jan 06
// Rob Morrow
Knowing my penchant for habitually tinkering around with retro-inspired roguelike games that I dig up on Steam, community badass and all-around awesome person Phil Ken Sebben tapped me on the shoulde...
Children of Morta photo
Children of Morta

Children of Morta coming to Kickstarter in January


I haven't been this pumped for a Kickstarter since Hyper Light Drifter
Dec 23
// Rob Morrow
Remember that gorgeous pixel-art roguelike hack-and-slash we posted about a couple months back? Well, if you liked what you saw the last time we covered the delightful Children of Morta, you're in for a treat! Dead Mage stud...
NEO Scavenger photo
NEO Scavenger

Brutal turn-based survival game NEO Scavenger out now


No longer in Steam Early Access
Dec 16
// Jordan Devore
I kept seeing NEO Scavenger pop up Twitter yesterday, and now I know why: it's just come out of early access and is now available on Steam and GOG.com for $14.99 (Windows/Mac/Linux). This is a turn-based survival game, and an...
Tower of Guns photo
Tower of Guns

Tough but fun roguelike FPS Tower of Guns coming to PS3, PS4, Xbox One


Face full of bullets, more like
Dec 12
// Jordan Devore
Tower of Guns was in a recent Humble Indie Bundle, which means I played a little of it but didn't stick around quiiite long enough for it to take hold of me. It's good, though! Hard, too. The roguelike first-person shooter o...
Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Etrian Mystery Dungeon comes west next spring


Atlus goes rogue!
Dec 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Etrian Mystery Dungeon is heading to the Americas in 2015, Atlus USA announced today. The crossover project is a partnership between the Shin Megami Tensei studio and Spike Chunsoft, makers of strange series like Da...
Necropolis photo
Necropolis

Shadowrun Returns dev's next title is Necropolis


A game of brutal combat and survival
Nov 08
// Rob Morrow
Gorgeous low-poly aesthetic? Check! Development team headed up by one of the original creators of Shadowrun? Check! Roguelike gameplay designed to cater to third-person action game enthusiasts? Check! I'd nearly swo...
Convoy photo
Convoy

Convoy: if FTL were about driving through the desert


Welcome to the Thunderdome
Nov 07
// Darren Nakamura
Back when consumers were more willing to put money toward projects on Kickstarter, FTL: Faster Than Light was one of the first big indie videogame success stories on the crowdfunding platform. It set a modest goal of $10,000...
Dungeon of the Endless photo
Dungeon of the Endless

Dungeon of the Endless leaves Early Access


Let the tears of joy flow
Oct 27
// Rob Morrow
French independent studio Amplitude's Dungeon of the Endless is leaving Steam Early Access today. Staying true to its roguelike nature, if you picked the game up during the Early Access phase, your progress will be wiped and...
Spelunky photo
Remarkable feet?
Spelunky players are always finding new and interesting ways to torture themselves. Let's face it -- besting Spelunky's unforgiving randomly generated mazes is an accomplishment unto itself. Learning to do it with your feet ...

Risk of Rain update photo
Risk of Rain update

Risk of Rain's new engine should mean less slowdown


Update brings characters, items, and challenges
Oct 22
// Jordan Devore
Risk of Rain is a great little action platformer that'll make you feel like garbage before building you up into an unstoppable force of destruction. Try it, sometime! You can even bring friends along. Developer Hopoo Games ha...
Ziggurat trailer photo
Ziggurat trailer

Ziggurat welcomes its upcoming official launch with a great-looking trailer


Move zig
Oct 09
// Darren Nakamura
A couple months ago, Rob wrote about Ziggurat making it on Steam Early Access, and it looks like this one will not be wasting away there for long before its full release, which developer Milkstone Studios says is "very close...

Review: Heavy Bullets

Oct 08 // Caitlin Cooke
Heavy Bullets (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Terri VellmannPublisher: Devolver DigitalReleased: September 18, 2014MSRP: $9.99 At its core, Heavy Bullets is a clean, yet unforgiving roguelike shooter-dungeon-crawler hybrid. Its pace is fast and its enemies faster, pouncing at a moment’s notice and leaving little time for reaction. A few simple mistakes will land you back at square one with a new, randomly generated dungeon full of new surprises. Each of the game's eight levels is a hunting ground beckoning for strategy. Stepping through this jungle is at first easy, almost calming -- enemies seem fairly tame, the vending machines and hidden items plentiful. The graphics are old-school, crisp, and bright, while the sounds of bleep bloops ring through the levels, reminiscent of a bygone era in gaming. Heavy Bullets' most important feature, however are the titular bullets, which rebound from a successful kill and can be immediately recycled for future use. The game quickly ramps at Level 2 -- pathways become more windy and narrow, and mobs appear where you’d least expect them. Each playthrough is completely random, so it’s virtually impossible to predict exactly what scenarios might arise. Only one thing is certain in Highrise Hunting Grounds: enemies continue to increase in numbers and difficulty while resources grow thin. The one saving grace is the banking system, a useful feature that allows players to store cash or a single item for future runs. Last Wills and Insurance can also be purchased from banks, which upon death carry money and bullets through to the next run. However, only one item can be carried at a time so unless a Last Will is equipped, everything is lost save for what’s been deposited in the bank upon death. Heavy Bullets has a number of useful items to discover and equip. Basic FPS items are present like mines, bombs, a knife, etc. -- but there are also a few interesting items with a variety of applications, including the boom box, high heels, and proximity sensor. The usefulness of the nontraditional items is debatable and I was often confused or unclear on exactly what some of them did, even after equipping them. Medical and ammunition vending machines are also sprinkled throughout the levels. But since everything is randomly generated, it’s often difficult to come across these stations right when you need them. Backtracking through the levels doesn't prove useful either -- the game throws up laser barriers from time to time to prevent players from going back too far. Walking through them is possible, but at the risk of depleting life. Although I enjoyed the idea and aesthetic behind Heavy Bullets, I couldn’t find myself getting excited to start the next run every time I died. Difficulties aside, for a simple game with such little forgiveness, I felt it needed to be a bit tighter. For example, enemies would sometimes go straight through a corner or a wall to attack me, which was obviously not intended. I liked that the levels and enemies were randomly generated, but I found there was still something left to be desired. Perhaps the game could have benefited from more enemies, events, discoveries, or more unique items. The neon charm was always a pleasure to play through, but overall I felt Heavy Bullets wore thin over time. If you’re a huge fan of rogue-like dungeon crawlers it’s worth a shot, but not six bullets.
Heavy Bullets photo
Roguelike FPS wrapped up in neon swag
The security system in Highrise Hunting Grounds has gone rogue, and you’ve been sent to shut down the mainframe. With only six initial bullets, you must fight your way through eight levels of neon jungle rife with lethal spiders, turrets, bush worms, and feisty cat-balls. It’s a good thing your bullets bounce back, because you’ll need them.

Children of Morta photo
Della morta
I love this flowing, watercolor reminiscent pixel art. It benefits all the happy dancing in the trailer and the exaggerated, unrealistic movements sort of remind me of the animation style of Masaaki Yuasa (Ping Pong: The Animation).  Anyway, Children of Morta basically looks exactly like something I want to play real bad.

Wii U photo
Wii U

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth teased for Wii U


Smiley face
Oct 07
// Jordan Devore
Fans of The Binding of Isaac have long wanted the game on 3DS and while that'd be great to see one day, I'd be just as happy to to have it on Wii U. Which might actually happen! I know! Nicalis uploaded this video yesterday and that blip at the beginning sure is a Wii U overlay. There's also this Twitter exchange between designer Edmund McMillen and Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez. [Via GoNintendo]
Heat Signature photo
Heat Signature

Heat Signature is already looking hot


I couldn't help myself
Sep 29
// Alasdair Duncan
Heat Signature was one of the games I most wanted to get my hands on at EGX. Designer Tom Francis was the guy behind Gunpoint, one of my favorites of 2013, and this next title similarly allows a great deal of player expressio...
24 Killers photo
24 Killers

A monster squat competition is one thing that happens in 24 Killers


What
Sep 22
// Darren Nakamura
Watching the above video, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what happens in 24 Killers. After finishing it, I felt more confused than before. Upon investigating the Kickstarter campaign, it turns out that 24 Killers fo...
Binding of Isaac photo
Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is everything I hoped it'd be


PS Vita owners especially are in for a treat
Sep 08
// Jordan Devore
One of my favorite parts of PAX Prime this year was an appointment with Nicalis. Not only was the meeting away from the crowded, noisy Washington State Convention Center, it was an opportunity to get sucked into The Binding o...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Vagante is a tough, promising 2D action-platformer


There's an alpha demo with four-player co-op
Aug 19
// Jordan Devore
Nuke Nine has launched a Kickstarter for its action-platformer with RPG elements Vagante and the best part about the pitch -- well, besides several attention-grabbing .gifs -- is the included demo. Vagante has permanent deat...
Binding of Isaac photo
Binding of Isaac

Co-op in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is looking good


A short Let's Play preview from the McMillens
Aug 19
// Jordan Devore
Here's Edmund and Danielle McMillen previewing cooperative play in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth including one of the game's twenty challenges, Head Trauma, in which you have tons of tears spraying all over the place but the...
Ziggurat photo
Ziggurat

Milkstone's dungeon-crawling FPS Ziggurat now available on Steam Early Access


Get your roguelike on without relying on luck
Aug 15
// Rob Morrow
Milkstone Studio's gorgeous but frenetic-looking Ziggurat is a first-person shooter with roguelike elements that's now available on Steam Early Access. Inspired by the classics Hexen and Heretic, Ziggurat is a dungeon-crawli...
 photo

Dear Below, I need you in my life now please


I need the roguelike hole in my heart filled
Aug 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Just look at it. Look at how gorgeous Below is. I need it. I need it NOW!

Review: Road Not Taken

Aug 11 // Chris Carter
Road Not Taken (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Spry FoxPublisher: Spry FoxReleased: August 5, 2014 (PC, PS4) / TBA (Vita)MSRP: $14.99 (free on PS+ in August) It's very easy to get hooked on Road Not Taken right from the get-go. As a unique-looking creature not unlike He-Man's Orko, you're tasked by the mayor of a town with one job: protect the children of the land from getting lost in the woods. Yep, somehow, someway, a magical storm sweeps up kids once a year and deposits them in the woods, and you have to save "at least half of them" annually. You have this job for 15 years (levels), and then your task is done. How do you complete this task? Through a combination of a grid-based puzzle setup and a "match" mechanic. You see, every "board" in each forest is comprised of objects like wolves, children, mothers, trees, and rocks. You're free to move across a square at no cost, but once you use your powers to "lift" an object, you start losing stamina at the cost of one digit per square moved per object -- so if you were carrying a child, you'd lose one stamina per step. Your ultimate goal is to conserve stamina by throwing objects across the screen (or even between screens), so you technically don't need to carry them unless you absolutely have to. To further complicate matters, sometimes you can't physically move if you're carrying a child and an obstacle is blocking your way, so you have to put them down, move some stuff around, and carry on. As you can imagine, things can get a little complicated. If a board is full of objects it might take half your stamina to just move things out of the way, then you have to get the child back to their respective matching mother, or back to the start of the level. This sounds extremely straightforward, so where developer Spry Fox mixes things up a bit is through the various combinations of objects you can create by mixing (read: throwing) things together. [embed]279355:55212:0[/embed] For instance, if you pick up a child who refuses to move, you can throw them into a fire and "create" one who follows you automatically without having to "lift" them constantly. You can combine certain ghosts to create a tool used to hack down foliage and the like, which you can in turn be used for something else. Some items can even be combined to create nourishing food (that earns you stamina points), and other more deadly enemies can attack you for a loss in stamina. It's fun in practice, and makes you think quite a bit about what your next move might be. There's also a light communication element when you start each year in your new hometown, as you can trade currency such as coins, berries, rabbits, and rice to villagers for extra talismans that help you complete your jobs a little easier. It's not rocket science as the game generally tells you what each villager likes and dislikes, but it's a nice little way to connect to the world and earn something useful while doing so. The art style and whimsical music are the cherry on top of the cute presentation. But what starts off as an interesting tale with a unique art style eventually becomes an exercise in repetition. It's novel at first that most of the game's nuances must be "discovered," but once you start throwing around combinations willy-nilly a few hours in, your journal will let you know what's what, and the actual equations aren't all that complicated. By year five, the game also becomes extremely obtuse, to the point where it will scare off most casual players. Now, I'm not saying the game is "too hard." Sadly, instead of having players master combinations to get ahead gradually, the game basically packs every board to the gills with objects very early on -- so much so that you can barely even move. The curve is far too steep and unbalanced, to the point where most players will pick up the game, adore the first few stages, and then promptly drop it once it reaches frustrating status. The kicker is that Road Not Taken has a permadeath system, where you're forced to start from the beginning if you run out of stamina. In case you're wondering, you can only forgo the objective of "saving half the children" once, and although you can restart by way of a modified checkpoint shrine mechanic, you lose all of your items -- which ultimately inches you closer to true death anyways. The game definitely could have benefited from a few different modes, most notably a creation tool or challenge gametype. Although each board is procedurally generated, there isn't much to do once your task is done, as most levels tend to manufacture a feeling of déjà vu near the end. When I first started playing Road Not Taken, I was completely enamored by its premise, style, and world. Slowly, bit by bit, I started having a little less fun as the levels progressed, as the game's initial intrigue wore off a little more. That's not to say it eventually becomes unplayable as I did enjoy the majority of the game, but make sure to bring extra patience along with you on this trip through the beaten path.
Road Not Taken review photo
You can throw children at fire and make them more obedient in this game
The term "roguelike" gets way too much airtime these days. If anything has permadeath, it's instantly a roguelike. If it takes place in a dungeon -- "roguelike!" But the original Rogue's core mechanical element was its grid-b...

Steam Early Access photo
Steam Early Access

Your friends are the monsters in Crawl, out now on Steam Early Access


Powerhoof expects to have Early Access updates 'through at least early 2015'
Aug 06
// Jordan Devore
After a short delay, Powerhoof's four-person dungeon crawler Crawl has been released on Steam Early Access for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It casts your friends (soon to be enemies) as monsters and traps while they try to take ...
Awakened Fate Ultimatum photo
Awakened Fate Ultimatum

This Awakened Fate Ultimatum trailer is very anime


It was either this or the other thing
Jul 31
// Kyle MacGregor
NIS America released the first English trailer for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum today, and there's about three seconds of gameplay throughout its two-minute duration. The PlayStation 3 "roguelike role-playing game" ...
Next great roguelike photo
Next great roguelike

Man, I wish I were playing Crypt of the NecroDancer right now


It's out on Steam Early Access
Jul 31
// Jordan Devore
Are you playing Crypt of the NecroDancer? You should be playing Crypt of the NecroDancer. It's a rhythm-based roguelike in which you hop around dungeons to the beat of music, a novel mechanic that ends up being enjoyable -- n...
Binding of Isaac photo
Binding of Isaac

Replay runs, customize controls in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth


PS Vita visuals won't be exactly on par
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
I convinced myself long ago that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth was something I needed in my life, so every additional detail or feature we're told about in the lead up to release is just icing on top. This week, customizable ...

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