My Love for Roguelike Games
I'm not sure where this love story began.
I was never a fan of roguelike games in the past, and to this day I have never played Rogue or Rogue Legacy. Something happened in the last 18 months since the Nintendo Switch came out that made me really dig into this genre in a way that I never had before.
This realization came tonight during my stream where I went 45 minutes deep into a Dead Cells run. There aren't many other genres that have games both phenomenal and awful to pick up and play at the same time.
I look at my current Nintendo Switch library and I've purchased plenty of roguelike games since the console launch, which is wild to me as I had never purchased a single game in this genre in my entire history of gaming previously.
Is it because "indie games are better on the Nintendo Switch?" Absolutely. Does it have something to do with the fact that my initial roguelike purchase (Binding of Issac) was simply due to a lull in releases early in Nintendo Switch's life cycle? Yes. However, I still had some thinking emojis on why I all of a sudden fell in love with this genre after decades of neglect.
As of this writing, I've purchased The Binding of Issac, Enter the Gungeon, Dead Cells, Wizard of Legend, GoNNER, Bad North, and Has-Been Heroes, all games with roguelike/roguelite game play mechanics. But, why?
This is a two part answer; unlimited replayability & detachable story.
Is it a bit late to discuss what "roguelike" means for those who I may have already lost? Wikipedia defines a "roguelike game" as, "a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character."
So, we will start with the first point, unlimited replayability.
The levels always change. The bad guys are never in the same point. There's no "right way" or "wrong way" to push through a level. Death (generally) means death, and you just have to saddle back up and try again. Most of the time, the only variable between you and your success in progressing through the game (aside from an extreme amount of RNG) is your ability as a gamer and your understanding of the game's mechanics. It is incredibly unlikely to ever have the same run twice, which then leads to a game of unlimited replays.
Next point, detachable story.
The story in these games is often not the focus, in favor of incredible gameplay, diverse level designs, a wealth of items, and a wild amount of bad guys. Due to this, there's the ability to put down the game and walk away, unlike other games in the same overarching genre (role playing games) which use a compelling story and character development to keep you pushing forward and not changing games. However, as I've recently found out with Octopath Traveler, I DON'T HAVE TIME for long form RPGs at this point in my gaming career. As long as I'm not on a real good run, I can easily set any one of these games down and walk away for a generous amount of time and play whatever else is on my mind.
I know this is a little bit all over the place, but much like the indie presence on the Nintendo Switch in general, roguelikes find a very nice home comfortably nested in your portable hybrid console. With me able to 'pick up and play' these games both literally and figuratively, it has quickly become one of my favorite genres on the Nintendo Switch.
However, I have yet to complete one run on any of these games... because I keep buying them... instead of getting good at the ones I have.
But, that's on me. Let's talk about roguelike games over in the Discord, and until next time -- Game On!