Are you itching for a real challenge on your iOS device? Do you like games that leave you on the edge of your seat? What about games that make you feel nostalgic at the same time? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, perhaps roguelike mobile games are your cup of tea.
If you’re not familiar with the term: roguelikes are a sub-genre of games that originated from a single title in 1980 called Rogue. Rogue was a dungeon-crawling adventure game that gave players a different dungeon layout for each attempt. If you died, it was permanent.
This means that in roguelikes, every move counts, and even the smallest mistake can cost you. As such, this genre of games is often difficult to play, as you fight to survive.
Sounds enjoyable? We’ve rounded up the best roguelikes for iOS that you can find on the app store. All you need to do in download and install them, and then see how long you can survive!
1. Wayward Souls
Wayward Souls is one of several action-adventure roguelike games for iOS. According to the developer, “It was inspired by Spelunky, Secret of Mana, and our previous game, Mage Gauntlet.”
The game features a retro-inspired aesthetic with a pixel art style for the visuals. The graphics will appeal to anyone who grew up with a SNES. Developer Rocketcat also upped the ante with a spooky soundtrack that is sure to delight.
NB: You can now play SNES games on your Switch
In Wayward Souls:
- Players will find different classes they can play as. All classes have a distinctive play style, with strengths and weaknesses. They can also have pets, which are useful in battle.
- Since Wayward Souls generates a random map every time you play it, you’ll get a completely new experience through each attempt. Each game has different areas full of unique monsters, traps, and rare encounters.
The best part about Wayward Souls is that there is loot, and lots of it. The weapons and gear that your character uses may also change the gameplay entirely, so it’s best to try out everything that you can.
When it comes to gameplay:
- To move your character, swipe your thumb across the screen.
- The key to survival in this game is the timing and precision of your attacks.
- If you consider regular mode too easy, the developers have also developed Gauntlet Mode, designed for quick play sessions. Getting through this one requires a lot of skill, and it’s probably the most challenging task that you’ll face in the game.
Verdict: Wayward Souls is one of the best mobile roguelikes on iOS, and it’s a must-have for any fan’s collection.
Download: Wayward Souls ($6.99)
2. Tiny Tomb: Dungeon Explorer
Tiny Tomb is another roguelike iOS game. Despite the fact that it’s free-to-play, the quality of the game is incredible. The ads that it shows you are minimal, leading to an almost seamless, in-game effect.
The goal of this roguelike, as in Wayward Souls, is fairly simple: you must march your hero through a series of procedurally generated dungeons to retrieve loot and items, all without dying. Every step counts.
The difference here is that each dungeon layer in this game is tiny, and there are a lot of dungeon layers to each level. This, of course, gives the game its name: Tiny Tomb.
Things to note:
- Tiny Tomb sports a pixelated art style and addictive music.
- The game controls are simple, with the option to swipe your way across each screen.
Verdict: While this app definitely gets nerve-wracking at parts, it’s not actually fast-paced, meaning it strikes a nice balance between being difficult enough to be interesting, and easy enough to understand for those who are getting into the genre. This makes it one of the best roguelike games for iOS.
Download: Tiny Tomb: Dungeon Explorer (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Soul Knight
Are you looking for a Nuclear Throne clone for iOS? Then your search ends here with Soul Knight, a vintage-styled game with pixelated art that pays homage to the classics.
The main objective in Soul Knight is to get through each dungeon layer by eliminating all the enemies around you. Even though it sports a pixelated aesthetic, Soul Knight packs plenty of dynamic lighting and detailed textures into the game. Plus, the soundtrack is one that all gamers will fall in love with.
In Soul Knight, the gameplay definitely gets chaotic. While there are a variety of classes available in the game, you start off with one and must unlock the rest by earning enough coins to buy them.
- There is plenty of loot to discover and equip your character with.
- As you blast your way through the dungeons, you’ll come across NPCs that you can hire to fight alongside you.
- The developers designed the controls specifically for touch screens, so it’s easy to pick up and play. There is also an auto-aim function so it’s easier to hit your targets.
Verdict: Whether you’re a casual gamer, or a veteran, having less work to do means more room for enjoyment. Games like Soul Knight are always a win.
Download: Soul Knight (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. Crypt of the NecroDancer
Are you interested in an app that combines a rhythm game with a dungeon-crawling roguelike? Crypt of the Necrodancer fits this bill, and is definitely memorable.
Much like the other iOS roguelikes we’ve mentioned, NecroDancer features fun pixel art
that brings a sense of nostalgia. Music is half of the experience for the game, so it’s important that you have your sound turned on. Just watch the trailer to find out why.
- Players will find randomly generated dungeons that are full of dangerous monsters. It’s up to you to get rid of them.
- There’s a ton of loot you can score, too, which will prove useful in battle.
What makes this game stand out from the rest is that you must move in sync to the music, including when you’re executing an attack. As such, NecroDancer involves hand-eye coordination like never before, as you need to keep an eye on the score’s screen (and your health) while tapping to the beat to survive.
Verdict: Because of the unique rhythm mechanic in Crypt of the NecroDancer, it’s a bit more challenging than other roguelikes. However, once you get used to the controls, it’s an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.
Download: Crypt of the NecroDancer ($3.99)
5. Dungelot: Shattered Lands
Do you prefer trying out an iOS roguelike that’s incredibly easy to pick up and play? Unlike most of the games we’ve mentioned, Dungelot: Shattered Lands does not feature a retro art style. Instead, it offers up fun and cartoonish graphics that suit the quirkiness of the game. The soundtrack is also delightful.
In Dungelot, players get to explore three separate acts with increasing difficulty. The twist?
Like Tiny Tomb, each stage takes place on a small 5 x 5 grid. You have to tap on tiles to reveal enemies and items. To get to the next floor, you must find the key to its door, which is locked.
- Enemies will block adjacent squares until you defeat them.
- To engage in battle, just tap on your target, and they’ll take turns exchanging blows.
- Players can perform basic attacks, with the damage done being dependent on weapons and armor.
- Despite having a finite number of acts, areas, and dungeons, everything in this game is procedurally generated. This means that the enemies and loot that you find will never be the same.
Verdict: While Dungelot: Shattered Lands looks kind of simple at first glance, there’s a lot of strategy and planning involved. It becomes addictive to play as you keep trying to do better on the next run. However, it should be noted that this game has not received an update in several years.
Download: Dungelot: Shattered Lands ($3.99)
These iOS Roguelikes Will Keep You Entertained
Roguelikes go in and out of fashion depending on the year, but this repeat popularity means that there are always new options and old favorites to try out, available on platforms like iOS.
If the intensity of roguelikes stresses you out, however, here are the most relaxing puzzle games for your iPhone
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