There’s a time and a place to relax with easy video games, but sometimes, we really want a challenge. What could be tougher than having to start from scratch with each death, or at the very least, going back to the beginning again? The roguelike genre loves to test players and their willpower, and our list of the best roguelike games on Switch and mobile is here to give you the challenge that you badly want.
If you’re a Switch owner looking for even more great games, there’s no need to head into the catacombs, as we have all the right guides ready and waiting. Be sure to head on over to our articles covering the best Switch fighting games, the best Switch strategy games, best Switch simulation games, and the best games like Animal Crossing on Switch and mobile.
Alright, time to dive into our guide on the best roguelike games on Switch and mobile.
Dead Cells – Nintendo Switch and mobile
Developer Motion Twin released this thrilling roguelike back in 2018. But, Dead Cells continues to go from strength to strength in the years since. Explore a huge castle and eviscerate enemies with a wide array of sharp, satisfying weapons. The trick to Dead Cells is that no matter which way you play, it all feels fantastic. Plus, the castle itself changes each time you embark on a run, so there’s an endless amount of areas to discover.
Dead Cells doesn’t seem to stop growing, as it continues to expand in the years since it first hit the market with new areas, biomes, and even more weapons. Meanwhile, Motion Twin updated the title to include DLC based on Shovel Knight, Hollow Knight, Guacamelee, and many more. There’s even an upcoming DLC based on Castlevania, bringing one of the title’s main influences into the fold. We’ll never tire of killing enemies in this fantastic roguelike, and with so much content, we won’t have to.
Into the Breach – Nintendo Switch and mobile
Time for something a bit more thoughtful. Imagine a futuristic chess match with bugs, mechs, and time travel. Into The Breach is a grid-based, turn-based roguelike where players lead a team of soldiers who must save humanity before it’s too late. The army of the future are masters of time travel, so if you mess up the mission, it’s time to start all over again.
This entry is so satisfying because of the intricate, methodical gameplay. Plus, the tactical action lends itself both to handheld play with Switch, and any mobile device you can find. There’s no bad way to play Into The Breach, and if you have a Netflix subscription, you can play it for free with the Netflix Games service. Join the fight today.
Hades – Nintendo Switch
If you like roguelike games and have yet to hear of Hades, you’re in for a treat. Supergiant Games created this isometric roguelike off the back of huge titles Bastion, Transistor and Pyre. What makes Hades so special is a fantastic marriage of gameplay and story, as every death brings you back through the depths of hell.
Young Zagreus wants to escape hell and the grasp of his father, Hades. But, his battle to the surface is fraught with challenges, only alleviated by godly gifts from a fun cast of characters. Dionysus, Aphrodite, Hermes, and many more are ready to add skills to Zagreus’ arsenal, each with wildly varying effects. Hades is so addictive it’s criminal, and we could play it forever thanks to its incredible action. Yet, the character progression and slow addition of story elements push you to finally free Zagreus from his father’s cruel grasp.
Plus, if you love and complete Hades, you have our list covering the best games like Hades on Switch and mobile, and the Hades 2 release date to look forward to…
Slay the Spire – Nintendo Switch and mobile
If you can’t handle demanding action gameplay, Slay the Spire offers all the difficulty in a card-based package. You must ascend and slay the titular spire, and the key to this is building the perfect deck of cards. The cards you find are random, and death means starting all over again. Because of this, there’s little that matches the thrill of a run where the cards are your perfect picks.
Like many roguelikes, this is a title that you can play almost infinitely. And with so much content, areas to explore, and enemies to defeat, there’s very little stopping you. Other than maybe your day job? Thanks to the style of turn-based deck-building gameplay, this is another title that works great on both Switch and mobile. So, there’s nothing to stop you from slaying that spire!
Moonlighter – Nintendo Switch and mobile
I always appreciate a game that balances different styles, and Moonlighter is high on that list. Explore a series of dungeons to pull ancient artefacts from enemies, and then open up a shop to sell them to villagers. Moonlighter is as much about your shop and the townsfolk as it is about the action, and both aspects work brilliantly.
When you open your shop, you decide on the price of your artefacts, and there’s a knack to get the right price for your pillaged goods. Meanwhile, the action is no slouch either, utilising a simple control scheme with surprising depth. The dungeons are never the same twice, but the action and enemies are consistently challenging and fun. This entry is also free with a Netflix subscription, so download it from the Netflix Games service when you can.
Don’t Starve – Nintendo Switch and mobile
In case our previous picks aren’t morbid enough, here’s an entry that delights in pushing players to the edge. Don’t Starve is a survival game about scavenging to stay alive, and building structures to last through the night. Animal enemies are nipping at your heels, and you must utilise science and magic to keep them at bay.
The balance of hunger, building, and general survival can all be overwhelming, but it makes it so satisfying when you make it work. Better still, the title continues to see updates since its release which add heaps of content, so there’s plenty to play. Plus, the Nintendo Switch is home to Don’t Starve Together, in case you want to share the addictive misery with a pal.
FTL: Faster Than Light – mobile
Oh man, if there’s one entry here that we wish was on Switch. FTL: Faster Than Light is a classic of the roguelike genre and lets us feel like the captain of a spacecraft, with all the stress that includes. Command a ship as it travels through procedurally generated galaxies, and react swiftly to each new challenge to save your crew and the mission.
The beauty of FTL is in the layers of intricate systems, allowing you to feel like a master of space travel when it works. But, when it all goes wrong, there’s a good chance you’ll feel stupider than Captain Kirk with an armful of Tribbles. Take your seat captain and get ready for a demanding and thrilling voyage like no other.
Alright, folks, that’s all we have for today. But for even more great guides to the freshest titles on handheld devices, head on over to our guides covering the best Switch games for kids, the best Switch adventure games, and the best Switch casual games.