Product Idea: Casual Roguelikes

So, casual games.  Let's all admit it, a lot of us probably play them to one extent or another, even if we don't want to admit it.  They're everywhere, they sell, they get attention.  Between the acceptance, the niche they feel, and the money they make, they're here to stay.

Of course, as I write this, some casual games seem all alike.  There's jewel-matching and other puzzles, some simple sims, and a handful of other genres.  So I'd like to look at a genre that is sometimes associated with hardcore games that would be perfect for incarnation in the casual genre.


For those of you unfamiliar with Roguelikes, they're basically randomly-generated dungeon-adventure games (referring to one of the earliest if not earliest, Rogue) .  One travels through a randomly-created environment, leveraging different items to survive by battling monsters, finding traps, and so on.

Rougelikes are usually known for being quite difficult, and having played some of the earliest, I can say that seems to have been more inherited from the earlier Roguelikes.  There's no reason they have to be overly challenging.

Where I see Roguelikes fitting into casual games is:

  1. The randomly generated dungeons mean a fresh game each time.  A Roguelike casual game would thus have a lot of life and replay value.
  2.  Roguelikes often have puzzle-like elements,  where players have to find food, figure out what magical items do, and so on.
  3. They operate in on a familiar game metaphor – the exploration of a dungeon.
  4. Some Roguelikes played quite quickly – the original Rogue itself could go quite fast (especially due to difficulty)

Simple fast fun dungeon crawls that take strategy and thought?  Sounds like a recipe for a successful casual game to me . . . and best of all, it continues a long pard of gaming history in a new form.

– Steven Savage