Exploring the World of Roguelike Games in China

Exploring the World of Roguelike Games in China

Introduction: The term “roguelike” has been widely used in the Chinese gaming industry, but its true meaning has become blurred. This article aims to clarify the concept of roguelike and examine how it has been implemented in mobile games in China. We will explore the origins of the genre, distinguish between roguelike and roguelite games, and provide examples of successful roguelite games in the Chinese market.

Unknown Future (黑潮之上) was somewhat unjustifiably marketed as a roguelike.

The Origin of Roguelike: Roguelike games trace their roots back to the original Rogue game, developed in 1980. Rogue featured turn-based gameplay, grid-based dungeons, permadeath, and procedurally generated levels. These defining elements gave birth to the roguelike genre and influenced future RPGs.

Defining Roguelike and Roguelite: A roguelike game is a turn-based, grid-based dungeon-crawler RPG with permadeath and procedurally generated levels. In contrast, roguelite games retain some characteristics of roguelike games, such as permadeath and randomized level design, but often adopt a more casual and fast-paced gameplay style.

Misuse of the Term: In recent years, the term “roguelike” has been misused in the Chinese gaming industry. Games that only feature random elements are often labeled as roguelike. This misuse has led to confusion among players and diluted the true meaning of the genre.

Proper Roguelite Games in China: Soul Knight is a prominent example of a roguelite game in China. It is a dungeon crawler shoot ’em up with retro pixel graphics, procedurally generated levels, and permadeath. Soul Knight focuses on gameplay quality rather than monetization, but still includes monetization elements like character unlocks, pet collection, and cosmetic items.

Monetization in Roguelite Games: Monetizing roguelite games can be challenging due to their single-player nature. Soul Knight tackles this issue by including synchronous co-op gameplay and utilizing incentivized ads. Players can watch ads to obtain weapons, gold coins, and other in-game rewards.

Special Game Modes with Roguelike Mechanics: To cater to the demand for roguelike gameplay, many Chinese games have introduced special game modes with roguelike mechanics. Underground Castle 3, for example, combines turn-based battles with text adventure elements in its “Arcane Territory” mode. This mode features randomized dungeons, permadeath, and a time limit, providing players with a unique roguelike experience.

Using Roguelike Mechanics in Live Events: Another way to incorporate roguelike mechanics is through live events. These events offer temporary content with roguelike elements, allowing players to experience the genre within a limited timeframe.

Conclusion: The term “roguelike” has been misused in the Chinese gaming industry, leading to confusion among players. Proper roguelite games like Soul Knight have found success by focusing on gameplay quality and implementing monetization strategies. Special game modes and live events have also utilized roguelike mechanics to provide players with unique experiences. By understanding the true meaning of roguelike and roguelite, players can better appreciate and enjoy these games in the Chinese market.

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