Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is a post-apocalyptic survival roguelike that takes place in a procedurally generated world filled with terrifying zombies and other creatures. The game offers an incredible depth of gameplay, with hundreds of items, crafting recipes, and monsters to discover.
The core gameplay revolves around exploring the world, scavenging for resources, and dealing with the various dangers you’ll encounter. It also features a robust skill system, allowing your character to learn new abilities as they progress through the game.
One interesting aspect of Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is the way it simulates the passage of time. Activities such as reading books or crafting items actually take time, so you’ll need to carefully plan your actions to make the most of each day.
For instance, while exploring the game’s vast world, you might:
Find an abandoned gas station stocked with supplies
Craft makeshift weapons using materials found in the environment
Encounter friendly or hostile NPCs and engage in combat
Build up a base and set traps to defend against zombie attacks
Learn valuable skills by reading books or training with other survivors
Fight powerful bosses and gain access to rare items
2. Pixel Dungeon
Pixel Dungeon is a classic roguelike game that has been highly praised for its simplicity and accessibility. Set in a dangerous dungeon filled with deadly monsters and precious treasure, the player’s goal is to descend as deep as possible and defeat the final boss.
The game features randomly generated dungeons, ensuring that no two playthroughs are ever the same. There is also a variety of different classes to choose from, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles.
As you progress through the dungeon, you’ll come across powerful items and equipment that will aid you in your quest. However, one of the game’s key mechanics is the concept of “item degradation,” meaning that everything you find has a limited lifespan before breaking or becoming unusable.
In Pixel Dungeon, you might:
Choose from various character classes such as warrior, mage, thief, and more
Explore randomly generated levels filled with unpredictable enemies
Discover rare loot and power up your character with enchanted weapons and armor
Navigate dangerous traps and environmental hazards
Experiment with different strategies based on your class and equipment
Push yourself to the limit to see how far down you can go
3. Rogue Adventure
Rogue Adventure is a unique blend of roguelike gameplay and deck-building mechanics. In this game, players navigate through a series of dungeon floors while battling enemies using a deck of cards representing their abilities.
The game features multiple classes to choose from, each with their own distinct playstyle and set of cards. As you progress through the campaign, you’ll gain new, more powerful cards for your deck, allowing you to strategize and create devastating combos.
One notable feature in Rogue Adventure is its metagame progression system. Even when a run ends, players may unlock new content, such as additional classes, cards, and dungeons, providing a sense of continuous progress.
A typical run in Rogue Adventure could involve:
Building a deck of attack, defense, and utility cards based on your chosen class
Taking on a variety of monsters and bosses, each requiring unique tactics to defeat
Finding helpful NPCs that sell items, alter your deck, or provide valuable information
Earning treasure chests containing powerful cards and equipment upgrades
Making game-changing decisions at branching paths throughout the dungeon
Unlocking new content to enhance future runs, such as challenging side quests or hidden classes
4. Slay the Spire
Slay the Spire is an innovative fusion of roguelike and deck-building mechanics that has quickly become a fan favorite since its release. Players choose one of four unique character classes and embark on a perilous journey up a mysterious spire.
The game’s primary mechanic involves collecting and upgrading cards to build a powerful deck, which you’ll use to battle enemies encountered along the way. Each class offers a different playstyle, with distinct strengths and weaknesses that challenge players to adapt their strategies.
In addition to deck-building, Slay the Spire also features randomized events and encounters. These can lead to various outcomes based on your choices and decision-making skills, adding additional depth to each run.
In a typical Slay the Spire run, you may:
Select from one of four distinct character classes with unique abilities
Fight your way through increasingly difficult levels filled with deadly monsters
Collect and upgrade powerful cards to create unbeatable combos
Experience random events that force you to make strategic choices
Take on epic bosses that test your ingenuity and tactics
Climb higher up the Spire and uncover its mysteries each time you play
5. Dead Cells
Dead Cells is an action-packed roguelike metroidvania that has received critical acclaim for its vibrant visuals, smooth combat, and challenging gameplay. In this title, you take on the role of a reanimated corpse trying to escape a sprawling, interconnected world filled with fearsome enemies and hidden secrets.
The game features procedurally generated levels, ensuring that no two runs are ever the same. Along the way, you’ll acquire a variety of deadly weapons and abilities that you can use to defeat foes and overcome obstacles.
Perhaps what sets Dead Cells apart from other games in the genre is its unique “cells” mechanic. By collecting cells from slain enemies, players can unlock permanent upgrades, making future runs easier and more varied.
During a Dead Cells playthrough, you might:
Explore an ever-changing world filled with hidden secrets and challenging enemies