What does Roguelike mean in gaming?

A game similar to the video game Rogue

Roguelike refers to a specific type of video game. These games are characterized by turn-based role-playing and the exploration of randomly generated dungeons. When the player character dies, a new “run” begins. This new game run involves a completely new set of dungeons, providing a unique gaming experience each time.

The term Roguelike originates from a 1980 game called Rogue. Rogue was unique in its representation of dungeons, monsters, and player characters as ASCII text in a terminal. For instance, it represented pathways between rooms with #s and zombies with the letter Z. Death in Rogue meant starting a new game, with different dungeons to explore.

However, the exact meaning of Roguelike can differ among gamers. Some games are categorized as “rogue-lite” or “roguelike-like”. This implies that while they incorporate some Roguelike mechanics, they don’t fully adhere to the traditional Roguelike format. There are many popular modern games that fall under these categories.

Example for using ‘Roguelike’ in a conversation

Hey, have you ever played a roguelike game?

Yeah, I have! It’s like those old-school RPGs where you explore dungeons and stuff.

Exactly! Roguelike games are turn-based RPGs where you go through randomly generated dungeons.

Oh, so you start a new run every time you die, right?

Yep, that’s right! Each time you die, the game generates a fresh set of dungeons for you to explore.

Got it! So, it’s like a never-ending adventure with new challenges each time.