The best Roguelikes of the last decade?

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I guess I'm the only fan of this around here.

Can't praise this one enough. I adore the style (Imagine if Fury Road was a Ren and Stimpy episode), the gameplay is easy to get into, and it's very satisfying to complete a run even when the game seems to keep trying to screw you over (and it will try, oh yes...).

Drathnoxis:
Outer Wilds is a roguelike except it's nothing like a roguelike. There's no permadeath, there's no procedural generation, no randomness of any kind, the game is completely the same from run to run, there's no resource management, and no emergent gameplay. The game doesn't meet a single point of the key features of roguelikes listed on Wikipedia. I love the game but it's basically a walking simulator with a jetpack and a spaceship. If we are going to call Outer Wilds a roguelike the term has lost all meaning.

Well, I can't comment on Outer Wilds but the list of key features of a roguelike is stupid because they're just a list of features for the game Rogue. This thread probably won't even be a thing if roguelikes continued just being Rogue clones. I'm guessing 90% of the games listed in the thread aren't roguelikes if you go off that list of key features. Roguelikes actually became a genre because devs stopped trying to just make same game over and over again. This video by Mark Brown goes over history of roguelikes.

Like most term rogue like is a vague description, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. You can capture the idea of something even if you don't copy all the elements of it. The point is to give people a frame of reference when talking about game. If every time you had to describe a game from scratch it'd be a pain in the ass, and the usual vague description like "action/adventure" and so on are incredibly unhelpful.

Ultimately I think the only really important aspect of rogue like are the randomization and the expectation that player will die and have to restart the game. I think everything else is optional

aegix drakan:
Hand of Fate 2:

This game is a mashup of a narrative deckbuilder game, where you move from encounter card to encounter card (some of them yours, some of them chosen by the story) and where combat turns into an Akrham-style brawler.

This takes the basic systems of the first game, and all the mini-stories that game told, and makes it all much more structured.

Now, each chapter is a very different style of challenge, necessitating a more thorough strategy of which cards to take with you. Some encounters are better suited to some challenges than others, and some weapons are better for certain enemy types.

What REALLY makes it shine is the variety of not just chapter stories, but the smaller stories the cards tell, as well as how completing certain card stories will upgrade those cards to provide new stories until you might eventually get a massive Platinum card upgrade that makes the card an absolute win to find in a chapter.

It's honestly delightful as a game and I'm DEEPLY sad the studio that made it has shut down and gone into "caretaker mode" for their games. :(

Whoa, say woah! They shut down? I was not aware of this till now. Loved both games dearly, and am surprised they'd not bring the success their acclaim implied. Like Darkest Dungeon, the narrator very much brings it nearly all together.

Hm, Dead Cells is great, probably the greatest feeling when you get into the rhythmic sidescrolly high-speed dodge-roll murder. It doesn't seem like rng plays as much a factor like most others do, though some bosses get a bit speed-spammy and I've not reached late game bosses yet.

Darkest Dungeon am trying, dear Azathoth am trying.

Wanting to try Crypt of the Necrodancer, Sunless Seas (and its sequel) and Slay the Spire still. One day. Soon.
Enter the Gungeon I respect more than enjoy, as it's bullet hell and that is a whole load of undesired frustrations.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Darkest Dungeon am trying, dear Azathoth am trying.

Darkest dungeon is very counter intuitive because it's a game that punish success and reward failure, once you realize that it becomes very manageble.

leet_x1337:

In Act 1, you need to pick cards up just to be powerful enough to handle the boss. If you can start seriously building into a theme for your deck, that's a nice bonus, but for the time being you just need to be stronger. In Act 2, you can start being more choosy with your spoils of war, and hopefully your deck should be finished or only need one or two extras by Act 3.

Don't avoid elites; the relics they drop are often more useful than extra cards. Getting in regular fights as well early on can also help you build up gold to buy useful stuff (card removal, key relics/cards) from the merchant, as well as improving your deck, but later on when you don't need any more cards, it's better to avoid fighting regular enemies if possible. You can look at the map at any time to plan your route ahead.

You've probably worked all that out by now anyway, so regarding theme: try to pick cards that do the same thing, or affect other cards that you already have a lot of. If your Silent deck has a lot of Shiv generation, look for Accuracy. An Ironclad with a lot of block cards wants Entrench, Barricade, and Body Slam. The Act 1 and 2 bosses are guaranteed to drop three rare cards, so if you're still indecisive by the end of Act 1, that might help you decide on a theme for the deck.

I don't know if you've noticed yet, but it's possible to tell which boss you're due to fight at the end of each act by the icon that appears at the top of the map.

Overall: experience is the best teacher. The more runs you play, the more you'll be able to figure out when to take a risky route, when to take or leave cards, and how to handle an unfinished deck until you get what you need.

Thanks for the tips.

Phoenixmgs:

Drathnoxis:
Outer Wilds is a roguelike except it's nothing like a roguelike. There's no permadeath, there's no procedural generation, no randomness of any kind, the game is completely the same from run to run, there's no resource management, and no emergent gameplay. The game doesn't meet a single point of the key features of roguelikes listed on Wikipedia. I love the game but it's basically a walking simulator with a jetpack and a spaceship. If we are going to call Outer Wilds a roguelike the term has lost all meaning.

Well, I can't comment on Outer Wilds but the list of key features of a roguelike is stupid because they're just a list of features for the game Rogue. This thread probably won't even be a thing if roguelikes continued just being Rogue clones. I'm guessing 90% of the games listed in the thread aren't roguelikes if you go off that list of key features. Roguelikes actually became a genre because devs stopped trying to just make same game over and over again. This video by Mark Brown goes over history of roguelikes.

Meiam:
Like most term rogue like is a vague description, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. You can capture the idea of something even if you don't copy all the elements of it. The point is to give people a frame of reference when talking about game. If every time you had to describe a game from scratch it'd be a pain in the ass, and the usual vague description like "action/adventure" and so on are incredibly unhelpful.

Ultimately I think the only really important aspect of rogue like are the randomization and the expectation that player will die and have to restart the game. I think everything else is optional

I'm not saying that to be a roguelike it needs to check off every item on that list, but it's gotta at least have one or two. Most of the games mentioned will tick at least a few of the things on that list. Mostly random generation, permadeath, and resource management. Outer Wilds doesn't hit a single one.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Darkest Dungeon am trying, dear Azathoth am trying.

Meiam:

Darkest dungeon is very counter intuitive because it's a game that punish success and reward failure, once you realize that it becomes very manageble.

Darkest Dungeon starts off good but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. It just gets so tedious grinding up new heroes through the same dungeons over and over only to lose them to an enemy crit or some dumb mistake. And, my god, the walking speed, uuuuhhgggg. Most of your time with the game will be watching your party slowly creep through the same hallway over and over. Also, probably doesn't help that I was playing on original mode instead of radiant or whatever the new one was called.

Great that Outer Wilds is getting such discussion, only it wasn't the game I was asking whether it was a roguelike. I was more after asking if The Occupation counted as a roguelike or not.

evilthecat:
Sunless Sea - One of the most interesting aspects of roguelike games which I think isn't often talked about is the emphasis on developing player knowledge through repeated playthroughs as a major part, or even the entire point, of the game. Sunless Sea is fascinating because it takes that emphasis and builds a whole narrative game around it. There is combat and trade and lots of things you'd expect in a video game but it's kind of bad, generally pretty easy and not really the focus. The real focus is on stories, exploration and discovery, taking risks and then dying but coming back with a new understanding of the odds and maybe seeing stuff your previous character didn't. The writing really shines as well. If you're going to play it, my only recommendation is not to use a wiki, at least not initially.. maybe later on if you really can't figure something out. But generally, figuring out the stuff you'll get from a wiki is the game and you're spoiling it for yourself if you look too much of it up.

My main criticism is that there's a lot of RNG, and while failure generally isn't disasterous, some rolls can essentially lock you out of particular stories or paths with the character you're currently playing. You can always come back with a new character, but if you're the kind of person who gets annoyed by RNG (in which case, why are you playing roguelikes?) this might be mildly irritating.

I've been playing for maybe 20 hours now and I'm pretty mixed on this game. Biggest problem with the game is just how sloooooooooowly your ship moves. It's fine at the start when you are exploring the map and there might be something new and exciting around every bend, but now I have most of the map explored and need to keep going from one side to the other to continue stories. Worst part is there doesn't seem to be a solution to this outside of modding the game. You can buy a better engine, but now you go through fuel like a drag racer and you can't store enough in the tiny hull of your dinky ship. You can buy a bigger ship, okay but now your ship is 5x heavier and you've just cancelled out the speed increase you got from the engine. I like the stories, I like the atmosphere, but when I need to have something on my other monitor to keep me occupied while I'm playing a game something is very wrong.

Also the game seems to be designed like a stack of jenga bricks. The flag system the entire game runs on and how it presents itself to the player is just plain bizarre. It took me a while to comprehend what the game was trying to say when it told me an option was unlocked by: (big long sentence of some intangible thing I've never heard of.) The journal just plain sucks too. It doesn't always give enough information that was present in the quest description, and you almost need to need to keep your own notes to keep track of where you can get certain items and what you need to do.

Drathnoxis:
Biggest problem with the game is just how sloooooooooowly your ship moves.

The ship speed is actually a fairly common criticism. Apparently Sunless Skies is better in this regard, so the developers clearly felt this was a problem too.

Personally, I generally choose the miami vice speedboat approach. Get a Lampad, fit a giant engine and just beeline for a certain volcano town if you get low on fuel. You can also convert supplies to fuel if you run out, which wouldn't normally be economical except there are ways to essentially get supplies for free..

Drathnoxis:
Also the game seems to be designed like a stack of jenga bricks. The flag system the entire game runs on and how it presents itself to the player is just plain bizarre. It took me a while to comprehend what the game was trying to say when it told me an option was unlocked by: (big long sentence of some intangible thing I've never heard of.) The journal just plain sucks too. It doesn't always give enough information that was present in the quest description, and you almost need to need to keep your own notes to keep track of where you can get certain items and what you need to do.

Imagine this, but more. That's cultist simulator.

Personally, I love this kind of thing, but I think it's entirely understandable if you don't.

leet_x1337:
In Act 1, you need to pick cards up just to be powerful enough to handle the boss. If you can start seriously building into a theme for your deck, that's a nice bonus, but for the time being you just need to be stronger. In Act 2, you can start being more choosy with your spoils of war, and hopefully your deck should be finished or only need one or two extras by Act 3.

Don't avoid elites; the relics they drop are often more useful than extra cards. Getting in regular fights as well early on can also help you build up gold to buy useful stuff (card removal, key relics/cards) from the merchant, as well as improving your deck, but later on when you don't need any more cards, it's better to avoid fighting regular enemies if possible. You can look at the map at any time to plan your route ahead.

You've probably worked all that out by now anyway, so regarding theme: try to pick cards that do the same thing, or affect other cards that you already have a lot of. If your Silent deck has a lot of Shiv generation, look for Accuracy. An Ironclad with a lot of block cards wants Entrench, Barricade, and Body Slam. The Act 1 and 2 bosses are guaranteed to drop three rare cards, so if you're still indecisive by the end of Act 1, that might help you decide on a theme for the deck.

I don't know if you've noticed yet, but it's possible to tell which boss you're due to fight at the end of each act by the icon that appears at the top of the map.

Overall: experience is the best teacher. The more runs you play, the more you'll be able to figure out when to take a risky route, when to take or leave cards, and how to handle an unfinished deck until you get what you need.

There, beat the heart. Got a really lucky run as The Ironclad where I got 2 Demon Forms 2 Feeds early and a limit break as well as a Snecko Eye. Was pretty much unbeatable.

Phoenixmgs:
This video by Mark Brown goes over history of roguelikes.

I'm liking this Mark Brown guy. I think someone recommended his stuff a couple years ago, but I think he's improved since then. He seems to mostly focus on things that work and not what doesn't work. It's nice to see someone analyze video games without just writing hit pieces once in a while.

Drathnoxis:
There, beat the heart. Got a really lucky run as The Ironclad where I got 2 Demon Forms 2 Feeds early and a limit break as well as a Snecko Eye. Was pretty much unbeatable.

Great work!

Snecko Eye is one of those relics that looks too unwieldy for most decks, but in the right deck it's a huge benefit. With that setup, I can definitely see it putting in a lot of work.

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