The developer of Crying Suns has clearly played a few game games of FTL. This tactical rogue-lite has many of the same spacefaring elements, but it also adds a compelling narrative and entertaining flight-squadron combat mechanics.
Publisher: Raw Fury Games
Bad North combines RTS and tower defence elements with a run-based roguelike structure. It makes defending your islands from a Viking onslaught endlessly repayable.
We still don’t have the ultimate roguelike twin-stick on mobile (that’s Enter The Gungeon by the way), but Juicy Realm is a cracking alternative, with super-detailed cartoon graphics and a constant supply of zany firearms.
Developer: Tiny Touch Tales
The developer of Card Crawl, ENYO and Card Thief has produced this exquisite turn based swiping puzzler. Move a mouse around a randomly arranged 4×4 grid, vanquishing clockwork enemies. Brilliant.
A unique tile-matching game that mixes a little freewheeling roguelike scope in with classic match-3 puzzle-RPG components. That’s quite a heady list of ingredients, but Starbeard pulls it off with style, and no little charm.
Genre: Action, Platform
Downwell practically buzzes with kinetic energy, whether you’re bouncing on the head of a frog, blasting through layers of rock with your gunboots, or ducking into time bubble to buy some weapon upgrades. A truly thrilling roguelite.
Developer: Motion Twin
Genre: Action, Adventure
Dead Cells provides one of the slickest, most satisfying action-platformer experiences on mobile. Run, leap and dodge through randomised levels, picking up a deadly range of swords, shields, projectile weapons, automated turrets and magical attacks. Then die and do it all again – but a little differently.
This stunning roguelike hack and slasher is so slick, you can play it with one hand. It’s far from brainless or shallow, though. Each fearsome enemy requires a different approach, while there are plenty of decisions to be made with your warrior’s progression.
Wayward Souls (formerly Wayward Saga)
Developer: RocketCat Games
Publisher: RocketCat Games
Genre: Action, RPG
Imagine if someone made A Link to the Past into a combat-heavy roguelike, with each successive dungeon a punishing assault course of random design and brutal enemies. That’s Wayward Souls, and it rocks. Still.
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Genre: Adventure, Hardcore
A brutal survival game with a distinctively spindly comic book aesthetic. Guide Wilson through a hazardous alternate world, crafting your way to some form of temporary safety.
Developer: Mi-Clos Studio
Publisher: Mi-Clos Studio
Who says roguelikes can’t have narrative heft? Out There is an atmospheric choose-your-own space adventure where no two runs are exactly the same.
Developer: Magma Fortress
Publisher: Magma Fortress
Genre: RPG, Strategy
Hoplite is the roguelike stripped down to its basics, and we love it for that. Guide your Spartan hero through successive randomly generated grid-like levels, waging snappy turn-based warfare on your foes.
Void Tyrant is a colourful deck building game build on solid roguelike foundations. At the heart of its is a game of interstellar Blackjack, as you aim to draw higher than your space alien foes without going bust.
Genre: Action, Puzzle, RPG, Strategy
Rust Bucket sees Nitrome taking the roguelike casual. You’re still essentially moving through randomised dungeons, one square at a time. But the pace is snappier and the world much more inviting than usual.
Black Paradox juices up the classic 2D shooter with the judicious application of roguelike elements. It’s got a bullet hell vibe, but with a little extra spice.
Developer: QCF Design
Publisher: QCF Design
Roguelike dungeon crawlers have flooded the mobile RPG space in recent years, and this PC conversion is one of the meatier examples, thanks to an overarching kingdom-building element.
Road Not Taken
Developer: Spry Fox
Road Not Taken splices roguelike elements into the tile-sliding puzzler, and the results are brilliant. Add into the mix a gorgeous cartoon art style and a surprisingly emotive story, and you have one of the most unique roguelikes on this list.
Heroes of Loot 2
Genre: Action, Shooter
Heroes of Loot 2 does away with the dual-stick shooter controls of the original, leaning more heavily towards the dungeon crawling aspect of its roguelike heritage. It remains a frantic arcade blast, though, with a neat character-swapping mechanic to liven things up.
Developer: Freehold Games
Publisher: Freehold Games
Sproggiwood is a roguelike dungeon crawler in a similar vein to Desktop Dungeons. It sets itself apart with an altogether quirkier and more appealing Finnish fairytale aesthetic.
Genre: Action, Shooter
A neon-soaked twin-stick shooter set in a rich cyberpunk universe. Neon Chrom’s gunplay is gloriously hard-hitting, while its procedurally generated levels and run-based gameplay give it cybernetically enhanced legs.
Publisher: Weather Factory
Genre: Card/board game, Strategy
Cultist Simulator is described as a roguelike narrative card game, but that doesn’t adequately prepare you for the sheer freewheeling possibilities of this cosmic game of Poker. Draw cards, explore arcane rites – then die and try it all again.
Death Road to Canada
Publisher: RocketCat Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Zombies have infected every gaming genre known to man, so a zombie roguelike survival action RPG was always on the cards. That’s Death Road to Canada in a slightly unwieldy nutshell. It’s awesome.
A solo card crawl with hefty roguelike elements, Card Quest is an absolute treat. Its finely balanced card combat leaves ample room for experimentation, and inching through its rich retro-RPG world is a delight.
Roguelikes might be having a bit of a phase right now, but it’s not a new phenomenon. NetHack is a port of a 1987 roguelike, with suitably retro visuals and genuinely Rogue-like action.
Like NetHack, Angband is a classic roguelike in the ultimate sense, having originally released in 1990. This Android port is as faithful as you like, with the original’s ASCII visuals and somewhat daunting level of complexity.