Abandonware DOS title

Roguelikes: permadeath, procedural generation and all that

A roguelike is a genre of role-playing video games characterized by certain gameplay elements and mechanics. These games are inspired by the 1980 game "Rogue" which is where the genre gets its name. The defining features of roguelikes include:
Procedural generation: levels, maps, and other game elements are created algorithmically rather than being pre-designed.
Permadeath: when your character dies, you typically lose all progress and must start the game from the beginning. There are no checkpoints or save points to reload from.
Random loot: items, weapons, and equipment found in the game world are often randomly generated.

Roguelikes come in various settings and themes, ranging from traditional fantasy settings to sci-fi, horror, and more. The genre has seen significant evolution over the years, leading to sub-genres like "roguelite" and "roguelike-like" which may have some of the core features of roguelikes but with more forgiving gameplay mechanics or progression systems.

Most popular roguelike applications

rpgWindows XP/98/95, DOS, Linux, Mac
Castle of the Winds
rpgWindows 3.x
Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) v1.1
rpgWindows XP/98/95, DOS, Linux

Roguelike applications

  • alphaman-02
  • amuletyendor-4
    DOS19853.6/5 Keypunch Software
  • adom1.1-05
    Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1996freeware4/5
  • angband-03
    Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1992freeware4/5
  • beneath-apple-manor-04
  • castleofthewinds-3
    Windows 3.x1993freeware4.2/5 SaadaSoft

    Castle of the Winds (1993, by Saadasoft) is a perfect example of an atypical roguelike (no ASCII, runs in Windows) turned into a liberated game. Surprisingly Castle of the Winds is still very playable to this day, if you can make it run under a recent version of Windows.

  • dnd_text-02
  • dungeon-crawl-dos-03
    Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1997freeware4/5

    Dungeon Crawl (also known as Linley's Dungeon Crawl from the name of the original programmer: Linley Henzell) is a classic roguelike: an RPG with permadeath, procedural generation and high replayability. Dungeon Crawl was released on 1997 but it's not maintained anymore. The spiritual successr of Crawl is DCCS (Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup).

  • evets-5
    DOS1988freeware3.5/5 SAck Enterprizes
  • hack-5
  • incursion-04
  • larn-5
  • moraffrevenge-2
    DOS19883.8/5 Moraffware
  • moria-5
  • nethack-2
  • nethack-falcon-eye-02
    Windows XP/98/952001freeware3.8/5
  • omega-rpg-01
  • oubliette-3
  • ragnarok-2
    DOS1993freeware4.1/5 Gray Design Associates
  • reaping-the-dungeon-06
    DOS19934/5 Frontline Software
  • rogue-1
    Windows XP/98/95DOSLinuxMac19844.3/5 Artificial Intelligence Design

    Rogue is one of the first RPGs in the history of video gaming. It's a text-based dungeon crawler in which you have to fight your way in the dungeon to recover the Amulet of Yendor. Rogue became popular around 1980 on mainframes and later ported to various platforms, including DOS in 1984. Rogue is simply the father of all the roguelike games that c...

  • slashem-vampire-03
    Windows XP/98/95Linux1997freeware4.2/5
  • tomenet-04
    Windows XP/98/95Linux2003freeware4.3/5
  • unreal-world-roguelike-09
    Windows XP/98/95Mac1992freeware4.1/5
  • warp-rogue-01
  • witchhavenRL-01
  • 1