@ Roguelike games

Cross-posting from the Deals thread:

Monster Train and Noita are highly recommended, especially with those discounts.

I'm tempted by Desktop Dungeons, Dungeonmans and Roundguard. Any enabling?

I also really do need to get back to ToME one day...

Edit: Luck be a Landlord isn't on the main page, but is 30% off. I really enjoyed the novel take on deckbuilding through slot machines. Well worth playing around with. You may have it as part of one of the huge Itch.IO bundles though.

Armoured Commander 2 is a gem and very reasonably priced given the content. Very good game. Highly recommended.

Dungeonmans is fun. Get kitted up, then run out to the dungeon, swat people until you feel unsafe, then get yourself back home safely. There are quests so you need to balance survival with success, as I recall. have not played it in a bit.

Highly recommend Desktop Dungeons too. It's smart and tight.

Dungeonmans is interesting for about 5 hours then it's pretty samey. There's not much strategy or critical decision making that distinguishes good roguelikes.Not a lot there except for crazy loot power creep but it does it well for a while.
Roundguard is RPG peggle. Also pretty samey after a while but fun in small doses.
Desktop Dungeons is a strange puzzle game. I have to admit that I never really figured out how to play it. For me it is very non-intuitive. I've tried and bounced off of it three different times. I think there's a great game there but without someone to show me how to play it I'll probably never try again.

Picked up Griftlands with an Epic coupon and whoopsie all of a sudden it's 1am.

I'm a Klei fanboy, and this game entirely feeds my fanboyism.

The deckbuilding is interesting, running two parallel decks makes for some interesting decision (although the game seems to suggest using the negotiation deck whenever possible), and the worldbuilding and narrative is surprisingly intriguing.

Didn't see anything posted here, so I'll do it. Our very own Ferret has been working on his Demon roguelike game for 8 years, and finally released the final version (barring, perhaps, whatever little additions or fixes are necessary over time). It's a turn-based charmer!

I last played Demon a few years ago, and I'm happy to say the game is now coherent, fully fleshed out and quite able to occupy your time with interesting discoveries and choices. To start the game, you choose an artifact, which biases a few bonuses in favor of particular play styles. Then you choose one of 3 Familiars, each with a different set of skills.

The object is to survive to the end of the dungeon. You enter the first level and you'll of course find items and entries to more levels, but also Demons. In most games, you'd kill all the Demons to clear a level, I guess, but in this one, you can recruit up to 7 Demons (initially) through a tricky dialog-based mini-game. You can only have 3 of them out on the map at a time (again, initially).

The Demons are all very different, and you can ideally assemble a squad that will work well with your chosen play style. You can copy skills from them, and even combine Demons to add a useful skill from one to another. Demons have a huge variety of skills, and so do you. The trick is to, well, not run out of resources before a fight ends. After the fight, you can rest, but once you lose a Demon to a foe, your team will be weaker, putting more stress on your spell resources and item abilities during the next fight.

Things get tougher as you descend into the dungeon, but you can add to your basic attributes as you like, again skewing towards your preferred style of play. There are QOL features, like an "explore" button, that let you basically skip from encounter to encounter.

The game always has you make interesting choices, and the fights in particular can be quite tense as you try to overcome the odds to survive. You can't recruit during fights so there are always issues where you might be part-way to recruiting a coveted Demon when another wanders on the scene and a fight breaks out. The game neatly avoids predictability and meaningless taptaptap on the keys in favor of getting stuck in quickly.

Demon uses tradition Roguelike controls, Numpad or vi keys for movement, other keys for other tasks and information, and mouse for things like information and target selection. Keys are not remappable. It's free at the link in the first paragraph.

I think you'll enjoy it!

Thanks for the heads up Robear. Will definitely try it!

It's been quite a while since I have played Demon (or any roguelike for that matter) and I'm looking forward to digging into it again. Big congrats to Ferret. This game is full of interesting original ideas and complex gameplay. Anyone interested in roguelikes needs to give it a whirl.

It is a coherent whole now, with each system flowing into and enabling the others. A cut and polished gem. Just what a turn-based Roguelike should strive to be.

I've been dabbling in some deck builders that aren't Slay the Spire and Monster Train thanks to the fun Epic Coupon.

Trials of Fire

There's just so much going on, but I also feel like it's not particularly complicated. I just don't understand the full ruleset yet. It's a really weird mix of feelings I have. It doesn't adhere to conventional deck building rules and I think that's throwing me off. I really like what it's trying to do, but I need some more time to actually figure out what that is.

I'm not sure if this is a case of me just not paying enough attention or it genuinely being a bit odd. It's good, but hasn't captured my full attention yet.

Roguebook

What a gem! It's probably the closest to StS in terms of deck builders I've played, but the world-map is an absolute joy to uncover and the dual-character mechanic reminds me of Monster Train, or Magic the Gathering's colour pairings. I love the importance of ordering your cards so that the right character is in the front row at the end of your turn (or at the start, if you are making use of the sword-user's passive).

I also think the gem upgrades are very interesting! You can modify any of your cards with interesting effects rather than simple stat upgrades. It does tend to get a bit bloated with each character getting "relics", on top of general use "relics" and such, but it's so wonderfully layered!

My only gripe is a personal one, it has permanent meta progression. After each game, you can use resources found in the world to provide extra upgrades. These can range from extra gold in chests to unlocking additional energy/mana to cast more spells at the start of a round. I generally dislikes this sort of thing in roguelikes, because it makes the game into more of a grinding experience and not something you could feasibly win on any given run based on good decisions and a little luck. I don't know if I'm losing because I haven't unlocked enough or if I made bad decisions. It doesn't fit the deckbuilder roguelike archetype at all. I don't mind some card unlocks as you play, but such impactful upgrades being locked behind time-played is a big turn-off.

Regardless, Roguebook is genuinely a treat. Good enough for me to overlook personal quibbles.

No, you're on the money with Trials of Fire. It's not particularly complicated to muddle through, it's VERY complicated to play well. So many interlocking systems. PC Gamer agrees: Trials of FIre is the most intricately laytered strategy game of 2021.

Re: roguebook - the meta progression is actually pretty spot in in this one. You can fairly easily get your first win with no unlocks, but they're necessary for climbing the harder difficulties. I've unlocked most of the progression, and am finding the Epilogue modifiers very challenging. I've been far more interested in plugging away at those higher difficulties than with StS or Monster Train.

I picked up Rift Wizard in the Steam sale. It's described as "tough as nails" and that's not kidding. I'm just getting started but I'm getting killed off much faster than I usually do at the beginning of a roguelike. It's quite unforgiving of any mistakes.

The big difference with other RLs is that you don't have a 'bump' attack- everything is done with spells that you're constantly acquiring, modifying, and using up. So there are a lot of ways to develop the character and a lot of synergies to be found. I think I like it but it's going to take a while to get good at it.

Thank you for reminding me of Rift Wizard! I really like it. For anyone who doesn't know, it's turn-based, not realtime. So any mistakes are your own damn fault!

qaraq wrote:

I picked up Rift Wizard in the Steam sale. It's described as "tough as nails" and that's not kidding. I'm just getting started but I'm getting killed off much faster than I usually do at the beginning of a roguelike. It's quite unforgiving of any mistakes.

The big difference with other RLs is that you don't have a 'bump' attack- everything is done with spells that you're constantly acquiring, modifying, and using up. So there are a lot of ways to develop the character and a lot of synergies to be found. I think I like it but it's going to take a while to get good at it.

I picked up Rift Wizard too and I'm having a blast with it. I'm terrible, but, every time I lose and walk away from the computer, I keep thinking about where I went wrong and what I want to do next time. I'm still at the point where I don't know what build I should even start with, when I should upgrade a spell or get a new spell, or when I should get a passive.

If you are AT ALL into min/maxing and/or build theorizing, this is a game for you. There are so many options for builds that you could probably with with thousands of different builds. It's great.

I'm liking the look of Relic Space a game purporting to be a combo of space combat RPG and turn based roguelike combat, whilst managing factions & missions collecting relics from the galaxy.

It's developed by the same dev who made Xenomarine (the groovey aliens/space marine roguelike)

Relic Space (dev site)

Theres a playable alpha demo available on Itch

Sounds interesting!

Sounds like Star Traders: Frontiers? Which is excellent…

Edit - Hmmm. More combat oriented, not as abstract. I am in for this one.

I picked up Tainted Grail: Conquest in the dying minutes of the last Steam winter sale. It is very good so far. Its core mechanics are very much Slay the Spire with a dash of Darkest Dungeon and a Diablo 2 or Path of Exile-esque visual style. The DD influence comes from having to keep your "wyrd candles" lit brightly, which will allow you to occasionally play bonus, beneficial cards from your deck. Allow your candle to dim or snuff out and suffer the consequence of having to choose to play a detrimental card (where there are also negative effects for choosing NOT to play the card).

There's a much more exploratory flow to the overland map since you're not stuck with having to choose from among 2 -3 forks in the road at a time and can instead wander freely.

I have significant misgivings about Wyrdhunter, which is the starting class (there are 9 in total btw, which seems really awesome for replayability). I've seen accounts of players doing extremely well with this class but for me I've found it to be a very poor class to lock beginners into playing. It's far too offensive based and in addition it is based on power ramp, in that you're trying to dish out multiple hits per turn in order to put enemies into a vulnerable state at which point you unleash your ultimate meter on them for big damage. Typically you're fighting more than one enemy at a time which doesn't make this game plan a very sustainable one. Enemies are constantly on the attack and there aren't enough Block cards to go around. That said, I've clearly been playing the class too defensively on past runs and need a few more attempts to get a better handle on things.

The next unlocked class, Summoner, on the other hand is pretty bad-ass right out of the gate!

There's huge variability in how classes play, too. Lots to see and do

A while ago I had finished a game of Iratus: Lord of the Dead on the easiest difficulty, and while I enjoyed it, it got a little boring because I was rolling through everything. Shortly after I started a game on the next difficulty, and the first level was still pretty easy - but then I started playing to unlock more character types and it got much more interesting. I started losing characters on some battles, but it was never really penalizing because I had enough brains to create new minions.

I think I only have one more to unlock (ghoul). Well there are a couple more after that where I need to finish and win my current game. I was actually ready to uninstall the game and move onto something else. During breakfast I thought I'd play a little before I uninstalled it. Next thing I knew it was lunch and I was really enjoying it. But, I think the 3rd difficulty is where it maybe really starts to shine because like I said I have enough resources I don't care too much if I lose a minion.

Still, it takes a while to get through all of the levels, so I don't know if I will make it that far - but this game has more legs than I originally thought.

Woo! Iratus is great. I've also been playing on the easiest difficulty and agree that it gets dull but I want to see it through before using what I've learned for a harder run.