There is a copy of Dwarf Fortress on my desktop. In many ways, it's the PC gaming equivalent of having Tolstoy on the bookshelf. The hope is people will see it, be quietly impressed by my ASCII management aptitude, and, most crucially, won't ask any questions that would betray the fact I haven't played it. "One day," I tell myself, "one day." Until then, there are games like KeeperRL—which offer sprawling base management without the overwhelming complexity. As the name suggests, it's more in the vein of Dungeon Keeper... albeit also a roguelike.
Darkest Dungeon continues to be one of the games I'm looking forward to most. Red Hook Studios has cherry-picked its favorite aspects of XCOM, roguelikes, and turn-based strategy, and wrapped Darkest Dungeon in a gloomy fantasy art style that's evocative of Dark Souls while still feeling inexplicably cute. It also has one of the most fitting mechanics I've seen featured in a roguelike partly inspired by Lovecraft: a "stress" meter for representing the mental health of your party members.
The demo that Red Hook walked me through at PAX Prime this weekend was the first glimpse of Darkest Dungeon's town metagame, as well as four new classes, of the planned 16.
H.P. Lovecraft isn't quite alive enough to enjoy his birthday anymore, so Eldritch developers Minor Key Games have taken it upon themselves to bake him a cake, then toss it into their procedurally generated dungeon. By this I mean they've added some H.P. Lovecrafty stuff to their roguey, stealthy dungeon crawler Eldritch, and they've done so free of charge. The Asylum expansion is the biggest New Thing, but you can also expect trading cards, achievements, leaderboards and more should you decide to load up the game.
My ears prick up whenever there is mention of 'roguelike' and 'platformer' in the same sentence. For anyone who has poured thousands of hours into either Spelunky or Rogue Legacy (wel'll never get those hours back, but who needs them?) Vagante is sure to be of interest.
Given the frequency of updates lately, I'd hazzard a guess that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is approaching completion. Edmund McMillen posted this cooperative gameplay video earlier today, and it's looking good. Watch as Edmund and his sidekick Danielle rain tears of death upon their foes, and watch as Danielle faces off against a large sentient mound of feces named, um, Dingle.
Sick of suited up guys yelling into mouthpieces, incendiary shooter sequels and stuff that's Only On Xbox? This Below trailer provides a calm respite from the brouhaha of Gamescom. There's no new information (ie, we still don't know when it's coming out), but this Capybara developed top-down adventure roguelike is looking prettier than ever.
It feels like aeons since it was announced, but it looks like Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will be ready to play soon. The above video is the first substantial look we've had of the remake, aside from a bunch of teasingly brief animated gifs. According to creator Edmund McMillen writing on his blog, the round worm depicted in the footage above will replace the Parabite early in the game.
Metrocide is a forthcoming top-down stealth shooter developed by Sydney studio Flat Earth Games. The team, made up of brothers Leigh and Rohan Harris, is best known for the whimsical survival game Towncraft. Metrocide is entirely different: lush greens have been replaced with cyberpunk chromes, while instead of chopping down trees you'll be murdering in cold blood.
We still have no firm release date for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, but a bunch of new info was released earlier today. Most of it relates to the console editions, but there's some interesting details related to sharing game seeds. Each randomly generated run has its own seed name, which can be used to recreate a run for later play.
Darkwood is a top-down, roguelikey, randomised horror, and one that (based on trailers at least) appears to have an atmosphere you could cut with a rusty machete. We mentioned that it was coming to Steam Early Access back in April, but it turns out that "coming soon" meant "coming in a few months". A new interactive trailer reveals that Darkwood's now pitching camp in the Early Access wilderness on July 24th, a date which couldn't be more next week if it tried.
I can't imagine a combination of words more targeted to my interests than "rhythm roguelike". Maybe "chicken ice cream", but that would be disgusting. Crypt of the Necrodancer, however, is a sublime game—tying turn-based dungeon crawling to the beat of a Danny Baranowsky soundtrack. Even better, it will be available at the end of the month, with the Early Access version launching on 30 July.
What’s a roguelike? It’s getting harder to find an answer these days, with more and more games taking the basic idea of randomly generated worlds and adding enough of a spin that a single pseudo-genre can’t really cover it. Shattered Planet features most of the tropes, including randomised worlds full of painful death. You play as a series of disposable clones, sent down from a spaceship to Planet Hey, Isn’t This Bastion? to document wildlife and hunt for treasure on behalf of an occasionally generous employer. Where most roguelikes treat each life as a fresh, all-inclusive experience, here the currency found on each jaunt can be spent on permanent character upgrades. Does that disqualify it? Who knows. But it certainly helps when facing an army of killer aliens for the fiftieth time.
The Nightmare Cooperative has come a long way since its clever browser-based prototype back in March. It's still clever, but now it's gorgeous too, boasting a lovely angular art style that fits the turn-based puzzling like a glove. This new version of the single-player co-op roguelike (I'll get to that in a moment) now has a trailer, along with a release date: Wednesday July 16th. Thoughts and moving images after the break.
Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.
A public service announcement: Videogame characters; sure, delving headlong into an unexplored cavern might sound heroic, but caves are the first sign of a roguelike. Remember: if you see a cave entrance, think! Walk on by, and find something safer—a hidden object game or a point-'n-click adventure. No, not the Sierra ones.
With that out of the way, let's take a look at Vagante. It's a... oh, it's a cave-based roguelike. I don't know why I bother.
Nobody would blame you for having had your fill of sidescrolling, procedurally generated platforming roguelikes, but Crystal Catacombs might be worth a curious glance before you swear off the sub-sub-genre forever. For one thing, it's gorgeous, employing tiny yet detailed and colourful (but not garishly so) pixel art to bring its neon cavey world to life. It's a slightly different breed of game to something like Spelunky - the physics are nowhere near as delightfully precise - but you should find something to enjoy here if you traversed your way through Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night back in the day. Details and demo link after the break.
It's rare to find something genuinely fresh in a roguelike, what with 74.8% of the genre being both top-down and ascii-based, but We Need to Go Deeper is the rare example of a RL that grabbed my attention out of left-field. First there's that visual style, which presents an illustrated storybook world of giant squids, sharks, crabs and soggy mermen. Then there's the setting: a Beatles-style yellow submarine under the sea. Lastly there's the promise of an AI director guiding the two-to-four-player, co-op-heavy experience. You'll find a rather exciting trailer 20,000 leagues under the break.
Brutal sci-fi roguelike Teleglitch: Die More Edition has just updated with a brand new mode. Where in the main campaign, a handful of enemies would expectantly jump out at your frail, unprepared body, now you can turn the tables with the cathartic Arena mode. It lets you choose from a variety of weapon loadouts, and asks you to survive against a horde of the game's monsters.
What if Megatron was a first-person shooter and Devolver Digital slipped him way more drugs than he could handle? What kind of power-up do you get from wearing high heels? Do you really need more ammo than what a single revolver can hold? Heavy Bullets, out now on Steam Early Access, aims to answer these important questions.
Klei's season-survivor Don't Starve excels as a single-player experience, where a world full of dark forests, Moose-Goose, and warm beards tickles that roguelike itch in all the right ways. A missing and seemingly expected element of the genre—and a subject of heated debate across multiple closed threads on the game's official forums—is multiplayer support so friends can huddle together against winter's chill or place hats on neighboring pig-folk. Surprise: Klei's planning a multiplayer expansion out this summer and free for current Starvians.