Roguelike is a rather tricky genre to pin down, seeing as the term itself originated from the classic dungeon crawler title “Rogue”. Common characteristics include simplified graphics, randomly-generated levels, and progress not being carried (or very limitedly) across playthroughs.
These features made for compact and entertaining games that’s best enjoyed in short bursts – which in turn makes them perfect for the mobile platform. Below we have listed some of the most prominent roguelike titles available for Android and iOS right now. Let’s take a look.
Dimension of Dreams (iOS)
Since Slay the Spire is yet to make its way over to the mobile platform, tons of roguelike/card game hybrids have swarmed the app stores to try to capture that audience. Dimension of Dreams is one of the better ones we’ve got in recent memory. It does contain IAPs, but from our experience everything is pretty neatly balanced and it never feels like an endless grind. There are multiple deck archetypes for you to experiment around with. Our only complaint is that this one isn’t available for Android at the moment, otherwise it’d be a serious contender for the throne left empty by Slay the Spire.
Immortal Rogue is a prime example of the amazing things you can create when you take 2 by-the-numbers tropes and wrap them into a truly interesting bundle. Your vampire protagonist might not appear that special at first, but the fact that you’re waking up every couple of centuries or so to prey upon the human civilization across countless generations is not a concept you see very often.
The decisions you make during an era will have an impact on the future. Depending on who you choose to kill or spare, the technology and appearance of enemies could be completely different when you wake up again centuries later. This is an addictive experience that delivers the best of what the genre has to offer. For more information, check out our review.
Having achieved an overwhelmingly positive review rating on Steam (recommended by 96% of users), Crypt of the Necrodancer practically dropped a bomb when it finally went mobile, especially since it’s the Amplified version as well. That means not only can iOS users enjoy the original game, but they also get access to a lot of additional content including a new protagonist, new levels, and new enemies. This is undoubtedly one of the best roguelike games of the generation, and there is absolutely no reason not to give it a go if you haven’t already.
Card Crusade is what you get when you take the likes of Slay the Spire, Dream Quest, and Meteorfall and then roll them all together. It doesn’t exactly bring anything new or unique to the table, but it does what it does well enough to become a very solid title worth mentioning in this list. The usual premise applies here: You choose a class, then delve into dangerous dungeons to find loot and spells that will help you in subsequent runs.
That said, the game does offer its own innovations. For instance, it strays away from the traditional roguelike mechanic of fully healing the player every time they level up or clear a stage. The result is that any damage taken will have a long-term consequence. This is arguably the smartest choice that the developer has made, as it adds a sense of pressure while at the same time rewards clean, strategic gameplay.
FTL: Faster Than Light (iOS)
Faster Than Light sends you on a quest to save a corner of the galaxy, powering your spacecraft across sections while recruiting a capable crew and developing a deadly arsenal of weapons. The combat is real-time with pause and works around a cooldown system. Meanwhile, the graphics and chiptune soundtracks are neither completely retro nor AAA, but instead have their own pleasing aesthetic. A classic without question.