Roguelike –is a subgenre of role-playing video games characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated game levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player-character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Though the roguelikes Beneath Apple Manor and Sword of Fargoal predate it, the 1980 game Rogue is considered the forerunner and the namesake of the genre, with derivative games mirroring Rogue‘s character- or sprite-based graphics. These games were popularized among college students and computer programmers of the 1980s and 1990s, leading to a large number of variants but adhering to these common gameplay elements, often titled the “Berlin Interpretation”. Some of the better-known variants include Hack, NetHack, Ancient Domains of Mystery, Moria, Angband, and Tales of Maj’Eyal. The Japanese series of Mystery Dungeon games by Chunsoft, inspired by Rogue, also fall within the concept of roguelike games.
More recently, with more powerful home computers and gaming systems, new variations of roguelikes incorporating other gameplay genres, thematic elements and graphical styles have become popular, typically retaining the notion of procedural generation and permanent death of the player-character. Indie games like Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Rogue Legacy helped to establish the use of roguelike elements in other genres. These titles are sometimes labeled as “roguelike-like”, “rogue-lite”, or “procedural death labyrinths” to reflect the variation from titles which mimic the gameplay of traditional roguelikes more faithfully. Other games, like Diablo and UnReal World, key titles in the action role-playing and the survival game genres respectively, took inspiration from roguelikes.