Fans of roguelike games got a brand new one to try and conquer this year in Returnal. While most games of this genre are generally considered pretty tough, the newest edition is considered among the hardest of the group. Part of the reason for that is that there are fewer carryover items, and also the fact that Returnal doesn't have a game save feature. At least, not one that is up to par with what players were expecting. Nevertheless, it's not an impossible game to beat, and for those that did beat the game and realized they were interested in finding even more roguelikes to play, the good news is that there's plenty out there.
Because Returnal scratches a very specific itch, anyone looking for another roguelike to play once they're done with the space odyssey might want something that reminds them of the adventure they just completed with Selene. The good news is that there are several of the same genre that can remind players of Returnal, while perhaps not offering the same level of difficulty. Perhaps those who are looking for these games can consider them a bit of a palate cleanser that still allow them to play one of their favorite type of game.
Before Selene ever crash-landed on that strange, ever-changing planet, there was another roguelike that was all about space exploration. Of course, this game didn't involve landing on planets at all. FTL has been popular enough since it was first released, that it has since received mobile port. It's not a stretch to say this is one of the best space exploration roguelikes of all time.
The concept is simple enough. Players captain a spaceship through several hostile sectors of space while running from a sort of intergalactic government. Along the way, users will have the option of souping up their ships with new weapons, defensive utilities, and crew members. Plotting out how to make the ship more powerful is important, as the enemies will get harder the further the player progresses. Despite FTL having permadeath, it's an entertaining enough game that it's not all that annoying when the mission has to start all the way over.
It should come as no surprise that Hades is on this list. The roguelike that allows players to try and fight their way out of the underworld was a massive hit. Hades made most critics list of the best games in 2020, if it didn't win the Game of the Year award outright. The story is interesting, the art style is beautiful, and the combat is fun. There are a few similarities between this game and Returnal, in that the combat is also quite unforgiving. There's also the fact that the main character's story most often unfolds by talking to himself. It's not exactly the same storytelling devices as Returnal, but it's not altogether different either.
Space exploration roguelikes have seen an explosion in popularity as of late. Void Bastards stands out because it puts an entirely different take on what is still a pretty difficult roguelike. When comparing it to Returnal, there are two very obvious differences. The first is that this game has an animated look to it. Returnal on the other hand has that photorealistic look that makes it so impressive on the PS5. Void Bastards also has a much more comedic feel to it.
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