Down to Earth: Roguelikes
There are times in life wherein I just don’t have as much time to put into gaming as I’d like, so I try to fit it in when I can. You might’ve noticed that this site’s been a bit…light on content lately, and all I can do is get in gaming in the moments where I can fit it in. This is why I’m so grateful that there have been a slew of fun roguelikes coming out of late, because they’re the perfect bite-sized snack I need to get me through these dry spells. Thanks to the recent Steam sale, there have been a few I’ve been playing that I wanted to share with y’all.
One Way Heroics is an interesting roguelike that has you continually going east. Some kind of “nothing,” to use the Neverending Story’s parlance, is eating the world in an easterly direction, and you have to keep moving east, fighting and eating along the way, to fight the demon lord responsible for it. The game has several classes, more of which can be unlocked as you play, and you can take certain items and skills from one session to the next using chests to save your items and points to update your skills, making you a bit better through the next session.
Worlds are generated by a key, and you can revisit previous worlds or start them anew. The neat thing is you have to keep moving, even if you run into a town and want to buy or sell stuff, you can’t stay still for long, and if you stay in one place to long, your character WILL die. It’s a really fun and fascinating way to play the game, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I actually got this one before the sale because it’s so inexpensive, and it was really worth every penny.
From moving to the right to moving downward, Super House of Dead Ninjas is a super fast-paced crazy thing. Seriously, it moves super fast. As a ninja stuck in this amazingly high tower, you use a combination of weapons and timing to kill your enemies, but you have to be quick because there’s always a timer running down. Killing enemies replenishes the timer a tiny bit, but finding time powerups is the one of the real keys to success. The timer means you have to keep moving, and to keep moving, you have to slice, stab or blow up everything in your path. Think Spelunky but even faster and more hectic.
This game is all about knowing when to use which weapon, and timing the use of that weapon just right that you take down your enemies without taking damage. It’s hard as hell, but when your timing starts to click, you feel like a total badass. Seriously, this game is damned amazing, and it has tons of content. Not only are the levels randomly generated, but there are hundreds of levels you can download via Steam Workshop, so there’s a crapton of gameplay here.
Pixel Boy and the Ever Expanding Dungeon is something a roguelike twin-stick shooter thing with crafting elements. I say “twin-stick” but the thing doesn’t seem to use a gamepad, which is its only weakness, really. In this game you’re working your way through four massive dungeons under the town of Resolutia, and these dungeons are filled with randomly generated levels. To move to the next level, you have to assemble the key to open the door, which is usually in several pieces, along the way you’ll find powerups that give you different ammo types and armor types. You can then craft these at various places to make even more varieties of ammo and armor, which makes the game even more varied.
I enjoy games like this with a meta level like the town, as it reminds me of the amazing Din’s Curse in that respect, but this game is much more an action shooter with RPG elements than an action RPG. So far it’s been a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to play more.
Magicite is the entry I’ve played the least out of all of these. Podcast cohost extrodinaire Jim explained to me that it’s “a mix of Terrarria and Dark Souls” and he’s not wrong. The crafting in this game is VERY simple, thank gawd (not a fan of crafting, honestly), while the gameplay is BALLS hard. Most of my time has been spent chopping trees down, crafting an axe or two and dying. So much dying. That’s part and parcel for a roguelike though, so it’s doing it’s job at least. Can’t wait to play this one more.
Dungeon of the Endless is the game here that’s surprised me the most. Given how lukewarm I was on Endless Space — to put it mildly — I was wary to try another game by the same developer. The reviews, however, looked so positive, dangit, and I loved the art style. I therefore took a risk and got it during the last day of the Steam sale. I have to say, however, that this game has blown me away. Even though it’s early access, it feels rock solid and fun as hell. It mixes elements of squad-based combat, tower defense (which I don’t even like), resource gathering/management and roguelikes into a VERY satisfying whole. Gameplay consists of opening rooms, and opening a room gets you more resources, which you use to build things like weapons or resource generators.
Using the production resource gives you the ability to produce room-based weapons and generators, while food heals your two characters (you always start with two) and level them up as well. The game gets VERY hectic, and while it’s not an easy game, the interface is quite streamlined and easy to use. Your squad, for example, will attack enemies on their own without needing to be told to, you just need to direct them to the right spot. Inventory management, healing and so on are also very streamlined. Overall, out of all the roguelikes I’ve been playing lately, this is the one I enjoy the most, and again, no one is more surprised by that than I am.
So there you go, this is what has been filling up my small amount of gaming time as of late. What about you guys? Any roguelike games y’all have been playing that you wanna share? Hit me up in the comments! Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!