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 games

Rogue
rpgWindows XP/98/95, DOS, Linux, Mac
NetHack
rpgDOS, Windows XP/98/95, Mac, Linux
Castle of the Winds
rpgWindows 3.x
alphaman-02

AlphaMan

DOS19953.6/5
amuletyendor-4

Amulet of Yendor

DOS19853.6/5 Keypunch Software
adom1.1-05

Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) v1.1

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1996freeware3.9/5
angband-03

Angband

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1992freeware4/5
beneath-apple-manor-04

Beneath Apple Manor

DOS1983freeware4.1/5
castleofthewinds-3

Castle of the Winds

Windows 3.x1993freeware4.2/5 SaadaSoft
Castle of the Winds is a fantasy roguelike role-playing game developed by SaadaSoft in the early 1990s. It was designed for Windows 3.x and is notable for being one of the earliest graphical RPGs for that platform. The game features a top-down perspective and incorporates elements of dungeon crawling, exploration, and character development.The game...
decker-02

Decker

Windows2002freeware3.5/5
dnd_text-02

DND

DOS19844.1/5
dungeon-crawl-dos-03

Dungeon Crawl

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

Evets

DOS1988freeware3.5/5 SAck Enterprizes
hack-5

Hack

DOS1984freeware3.8/5
incursion-04

Incursion

WindowsLinuxMac2007freeware4/5
larn-5

Larn

DOS1986freeware3.9/5
moraffrevenge-2

Moraff's Revenge

DOS19883.7/5 Moraffware
moria-5

Moria

DOS1992freeware3.9/5
nethack-2

NetHack

DOSWindows XP/98/95MacLinux1987freeware3.7/5
NetHack is an open-source roguelike game that's been around since the early 1980s. It's a single-player dungeon exploration game where you navigate your character through a randomly generated dungeon filled with monsters, traps, treasures, and various items. The goal is to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, located deep within the dungeon's lowest leve...
nethack-falcon-eye-02

NetHack - Falcon's Eye

Windows XP/98/952001freeware3.8/5
omega-rpg-01

Omega

DOSLinux1988freeware3.8/5
oubliette-3

Oubliette

DOS19833.3/5
ragnarok-2

Ragnarok

DOS1993freeware4.1/5 Gray Design Associates
reaping-the-dungeon-06

Reaping The Dungeon

DOS19934/5 Frontline Software
rogue-1

Rogue

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinuxMac19844.2/5 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

Slash'Em

Windows XP/98/95Linux1997freeware4.1/5
tomenet-04

TomeNET

Windows XP/98/95Linux2003freeware4.4/5
unreal-world-roguelike-09

UnReal World v. 3.20

Windows XP/98/95Mac1992freeware4.1/5
warp-rogue-01

Warp Rogue

WindowsLinux2004freeware3.9/5
witchhavenRL-01

WitchavenRL

WindowsLinux20133.8/5
ZAngband-02

ZAngband

WindowsMacDOSLinux1999freeware4/5
Zangband is a variant of the popular roguelike game Angband. Zangband, short for Zelazny Angband, was developed by Chris Weisiger and first released in 1994. The game features a fantasy world with diverse races, classes, and monsters. Players explore dungeons, caves, and other environments in a quest to reach the bottom level of the dungeon, d...
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