Games | The Roguelikes Gallery: What is a roguelike? That's simple: a roguelike is a game that wants to kick your ass. And it succeeds, over and over again. And you like it.

Roguelikes, as the name suggests, are descendants of the ancient ASCII mainframe time-waster Rogue. While the actual mechanics and Rogue connections vary from title to title (especially on the console side), ideally every entry in this little sub-genre should possess certain consistent elements:

  • Global, turn-based gameplay, meaning nothing moves until the player takes a turn, at which point everything takes a turn. Or two, if you're very unlucky;
  • No leniency for death, meaning that when you die you lose everything in your possession, normally;
  • A strong emphasis on item use, meaning that you constantly find goodies as you're exploring and should use them freely, since if you don't you'll die and if you die you'll lose the items;
  • An element of item identification, meaning that the things you collect may or may not be cursed and it's wise to find a way to learn which is the case before using them; and
  • Randomly-generated dungeons, meaning randomly-generated dungeons.

The truest roguelikes are mostly on PC, although Chun Soft's Mystery Dungeon games can, at times, be very true to their roots. And other times, not so true. Console roguelikes tend to be based on Mystery Dungeon games and so possess a level of abstraction and distance from the original Rogue that leads to some very interesting, if not entirely faithful, variants.

(JP) denotes a game released only in Japan (or as of yet unannounced for US release) | (?) denotes a game that has been suggested as a roguelike whose actual nature I have yet to ascertain


Game Gear

  • Dragon Crystal (EU: Master System) (?)


  • Fatal Labyrinth (?)

Super NES

  • Mysterious Dungeon: Torneko's Great Adventure (JP)
  • Mysterious Dungeon 2: Shiren the Wanderer (JP)

Game Boy / Game Boy Color

  • Other Life Azure Dreams
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer GB (JP)
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer GB 2 (JP)


  • Torneko: Last Hope
  • Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (JP)
  • Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2
  • Azure Dreams (?)

Nintendo 64

  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 2


  • Time Stalkers (?)
  • Evolution (?)
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer - Jokenji Azuka Kenzan! (JP)


  • Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (JP)

PlayStation 2

  • Mysterious Dungeon: Torneko 3 (JP)
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shounen Yangus No Daibouken (JP)
  • Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigino Dungeon
  • Rogue Hearts Dungeon (JP)


  • Dramatic Dungeon: Sakura Taisen (JP)
  • Dungeon of Windaria (JP)
  • Dungeon Maker: The Magic Shovel of Courage (JP) (?)
  • Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja
  • Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer DS
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Space
  • Powder
  • Tao's Adventure


  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
  • Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 3 (JP)


Maybe I'll do these later. Like, in a few years. For now you can find a pretty detailed list here.