Elona Wiki

Elona was the first roguelike I ever played, and remains my favorite. Still, back then I became curious about the roguelike genre as a whole, so I got around checking other titles. The first thing I realized was that Elona is more like a RPG with sim aspects than pure roguelike, and is actually really easy for a roguelike (even when playing on Nightmare mode); the second is that the roguelike genre is almost completely dominated by western developers, indie developers at that, and Elona itself draws a lot from ADOM, a western title, which is a more adventure-driven type of game compared to most of the genre; the third is that roguelikes are really hardcore...

So of course I got around playing a few. These are my personal opinions, and they in no way reflect how the games could be perceived by other players:

One of the first titles I checked was Red Rogue, a kind of fan-sequel to Rogue. Red Rogue is not actually a typical roguelike, but more akin to a platforming dungeon crawler. It was really fun at first, the challenge was high but not overwhelming; however, after some time I got bored enough to drop it. The game is really short, there are only four endings (not counting the "permadeath" game over), and no variety, meaning nothing to do once you beat it. Yes, there's an "endless" mode, but I didn't see the point since there's no reward, and the community is non-existant, thus no real challenge. Also, the oppressive atmosphere got tiring, even if it fit well into the story.

Soon after that I tried Izuna, both titles. The first one I felt was kinda clunky, something "lacking" in the mechanics. The map design was really uninspired, but the game itself was fun enough, and with many moments of hilarity. The "talisman weapon forging" mechanic was an interesting spin on weapon mechanics. The sequel was better, and the addition of two characters and tag-attacks made it rather unique, but the maps remained quite uninspired. Never finished either title though, can't remember why, I just dropped both sometime during the mid-to-endgame. Maybe someday I'll finish the second one at least.

I tried Iter Vehemens ad Necem for, like, twenty minutes. If you ever wondered what it feels to be utterly, violently and cruelly murdered in a game, give it a try.

Around 2014 I played Cardinal Quest 2. It's short, but very fun. It's not a full roguelike in the sense that many traditional mechanics are missing (ex: hunger, gods, punishments for loitering around...), the levels are short, and both classes and skills are very simplified. Still, that simplification really helps getting into the spirit of the game, and the final bosses are as varied as they are challenging. I ended up getting all the Kongregate medals for the game and finished it around three times, but still haven't finished will all the classes. Later I played the original Cardinal Quest, which was made by a different developer, and it felt incredibly bare-bones in comparison; maybe it wouldn't have been so bad, given it was made for Newgrounds, if it didn't lack even a proper final battle...

Recently I tried Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup in "Tiles Mode". For now it's been really addicting, and it has some features that take away from the fake difficulty of other roguelikes, namely auto-pickup, auto-exploring, and warning when doing dangerous or counter-productive actions (ex: you're incapable of walking into deep water or lava unless flying, you get warning when about to do things that will anger your god, dangerous items are marked with names in red letters...). This doesn't mean it's easy, it just means that if you die, it'll be your own fault (well, when the game isn't throwing out-of-depth monsters like crazy, which fortunately isn't that often)... Currenntly trying with the easier races (Hill Orc, Merfolk, Kobold...), still haven't gotten even the first rune.

Some titles that I've considered trying are the Shiren series and ADOM; the latter I tried to play before but couldn't made much sense of the ASCII characters, plus it kind of hurt my eyes, so I stopped; I still want to try it someday, as I've read great things about it, maybe if I get my hands on the Tiles version...

I also tried Tower of the Archmage on Kongregate, but didn't like it much. Something about the spell mechanics irked me.

As you can see, I kind of have a broad definition of what a roguelike is...

So those are the ones I've played so far :D

Must say, that despite the difficulty and the fact that I've only ever finished two of these kind of games, this might be one of my favorite game genres.