Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video games, characterized by procedural generation of game levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, permanent death of the player-character, and typically based on a high fantasy narrative setting. Roguelikes descend from the 1980 game Rogue, particularly mirroring Rogue‘s character- or sprite-based graphics. Some of the factors used in this definition include: These games were popularized among college students and computer programmers of the 1980s and 1990s, leading to a large number of variants but adhering to these common gameplay elements. Some of the more well-known variants include Hack, NetHack, Ancient Domains of Mystery, Moria, Angband, and Tales of Maj’Eyal. The Japanese series of Mystery Dungeon games by Chunsoft, inspired by Rogue, also fall within the concept of roguelike games.
More recently, with more powerful home computers and gaming systems, new variations of roguelikes incorporating other gameplay genres, thematic elements and graphical styles have become popular, typically retaining the notion of procedural generation. These titles are sometimes labeled as “roguelike-like”, “rogue-lite”, or “procedural death labyrinths” to reflect the variation from titles which mimic the gameplay of traditional roguelikes more faithfully. Other games, like Diablo and UnReal World, took inspiration from roguelikes.