From moment to moment, few roguelite platformers feel as good to play as Dead Cells. Its nimble movement and combat mechanics are a cut above the rest, while the sheer variety of weapons at your disposal proves intoxicating. Every move will be as smooth as Bach’s symphony when you get the hang of it, and that will be rewarding enough. Action is quite sharp and quick, and it will always keep you at the edge of your seat.
If you want to know how well we liked this Switch roguelite, there’s a review of it somewhere on the website. It’s as good as you might expect – or better! We have made the Cavern key and Gardeners’ keys guides to help you acquire them in case you decide to give it a try.
Enter The Gungeon
A major contender for the finest twin-stick shooter ever made, Enter The Gungeon sets you loose in a handful of crazy gun-themed dungeons and gives you an endless supply of outlandish firearms to wield. Pixellated, but lovely graphics, where you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at each time. Frenetic action will remind you of the older titles (if you are older!) and you’ll fee right at home. Very demanding game, but you can complete it rather quickly if you know what you’re doing.
In our Enter the Gungeon review we mentioned how this game would be a great addition to every fan of shooter roguelike games on Switch.
The current darling of the whole roguelike/roguelike scene, Hades manages to add genuine narrative craft to its solid and detailed isometric dungeon-crawling action. Guide the son of Hades out of the underworld, one brutally failed push at a time. Action is very smooth, every skill and spell is executed masterfully, and whenever you wet your blade with the blood of your enemies, you’ll feel the adrenaline yourself. That gripping feeling won’t let you go even in the end game. Each run will unlock new abilities that you can use, and you can shape your gameplay in various ways.
Hades looks stunning, and the narrative that sets it in motion is not too shabby itself. It’s one of our personal favourites and that’s what landed it in our list of best roguelikes on Nintendo Switch.
Another esteemed member of the modern Switch roguelike pantheon, Rogue Legacy has you controlling a new generation of heroes with every run – with all of the genetic quirks and perks that brings. Its cliche story is not what will keep you gripped, as you’re one of the heirs to the throne sent out on a quest to look for a cure for your father, the king, who has been mortally wounded by an unknown assassin. You’ll jump, slash and dash your way through the cursed castle, encounter dozens of enemies and die more times than you can count. Oh, yes, Rogue Legacy is rather hard, comparable to Dead Cells, for example.
Did you know we also have a Rogue Legacy review? If you’re eager to learn just why you should give this platformer bonanza a shot, read the full review.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
The ultimate version of one of the titans of the modern roguelike/lite genre. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is a part twin-stick shooter, part dungeon crawler, but it thrives on a dizzying array of perks and power-ups that can transform a run into something very different. You will either play it for hundreds of hours or get bored of it soon, there’s no in-between here. It’s too catchy and too satisfying and at the same time frustrating that it’s incredible. Eventually, you’ll learn the boss patterns and items, and it will become a bit easier, I promise.
A literal binding between modern and classics, it is one of the most wholesome experiences you can have on Switch. Just read The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ review.
Slay the Spire
Arguably the finest deck-building card battler on the market is also one of the finest Switch roguelikes. Steadily assemble a powerful deck of cards as you pick a random path to the big bad in this tactical triumph. So, in essence, you get one character in the beginning, and you unlock the rest each time you complete the game. Not a hard concept to grasp, but very challenging to do.
Let’s be honest though – it has cards, it has brawls, and it has action. MAD action. Isn’t that what we all love about this genre? We loved it so much that we had to create a Slay the Spire tier list of best cards and we have also covered who’s the best character in Slay the Spire at the moment. You’ll find both of them more than useful if you’re new to the whole experience.
Moonlighter mixes Zelda-like dungeon crawling with a fascinating premise – what if you were responsible for setting the price and selling all that exotic loot you’re so accustomed to fighting for? It’s a game you must play, especially if Zelda fascinated you ages ago. And let’s be honest, Zelda DID fascinate you.
If you want to learn more, make sure you read our Moonlighter review. It’ll give you all the details you need.
Bad North takes the classic real-time strategy genre, condenses it, picks up a few tips off the tower defence genre, and then applies it to a roguelike structure. The result is a Norse-themed tactical masterpiece.
It’s a stunning game. We know it, you know it, everybody knows it. And while we don’t have a review for them yet, we do have a couple of Bad North tips to help you master this Switch roguelike. That, and you’ve probably encountered it on our other lists as well because we love it so much.
Cadence of Hyrule
If you’ve played Crypt of the Necrodancer, you’ll know what to expect. Everyone else, brace yourselves for something a little different. This is no carefully crafted top-down Zelda adventure, but rather a Switch roguelike rhythm action game with a randomly generated overworld and dungeons. Imagine how good it is when Nintendo gave their IP so they can use Zelda in Link in the game. Knowing how strict they are, it’s a big deal!
You shouldn’t miss our Cadence of Hyrule review! If you want to know how pt plays out from our perspective and whether or not you should give it a try.
City of Brass
City of Brass sports some of the most solidly executed first-person action on Switch. That includes a delicious whip mechanic that can stun or trip skeletal enemies and send you swinging across its randomly generated, trap-filled levels. The graphics is very colourful and convincing, although the developers went with the cartoonish approach.
It’s unlike any of the games on this list, and that leaves us wondering… is it that good? Well, we would say yes, it is, but that’s up to every player to decide. We decided to put it somewhere in the middle as we have written in the review for City of Brass . You can learn what works and what doesn’t from our point of view.
Risk of Rain 2
If you are looking for some crazy gameplay, Risk of Rain 2 is undoubtedly one of the best options. It is a game where you have to destroy hordes of enemies, including various powerful bosses. At each level, you will have to face more dangerous monsters, therefore, you need to collect numerous items to make your character more powerful. If too much time passes, enemies get stronger, and your chance of dying increases. This is why you need to time your runs carefully, because death means you need to start over.
Over time, you’ll unlock new characters that feature completely different gameplay. What’s more interesting is that this is a co-op game, so you won’t cry alone after you fail.
A remarkably lithe roguelite action-platformer that sees you zipping between targets with frightening speed and agility. If you’re playing it right, you’ll barely touch the ground as you reduce your foes to scrap. What really stands out when you start playing is the vibe it gives off – the game’s got an empowering aura about itself, which is all that it needs to make it one of the most intense Switch roguelike experiences.
Your fabulous ninja girl(?) is so quick, that your eyes will need some time to adjust to the frenetic action on the screen. When you manage to clear out a few levels without being hit, you’ll feel like a pro, which is kind of a rare feeling in games like these.
Terry Cavanagh takes yet another left turn with his latest project, laying on a remarkably charming roguelite built of tactical RPG and deck-building components. Your fate might be at the whim of rolling dice here, but there are plenty of strategies to back it up.
From graphics to gameplay, there’s a lot to love about Dicey Dungeons and not a lot to hate. It’s a wholesome game that delivers from every perspective – and if you’re feeling extra lucky, you might even roll something special. Oh, and before we forget. Dicey Dungeons might look cutesy, but it’s much more tactical than you might expect!
Ostensibly a first person sci-fi shooter with hints of System Shock, Void Bastards soon reveals itself to be a roguelike action game packed with randomly generated ‘dungeons’ and a filthy British sense of humour.
With a fantastic cartoonish approach and comic book-like features, this Switch roguelike shooter is ideal for kicking off on a Sunday afternoon and shootin’ up some nasty voidlings. However, if a more relaxed approach is what you seek, you might want to point your attention towards other titles.
Vlambeer’s twin-stick shooter is as brutally unforgiving and characterful as you’d expect from the developer. Highlights include a dozen distinctive protagonists, deformable levels, and a distinct shortage of ammo.
Don’t forget to read our Nuclear Throne review. It’ll give you all the details you need about the game and help you assess whether or not it’s the one you’ll want to try out or not.
It’s not Undertale, but UnderMine, and it adopts the top-down Binding of Isaac approach to roguelites, but with far more breezy charm, a more extensive permanent upgrades system, and a lot less poop (literally speaking).
You’ve got boss fights, shops, and a lot of smaller elements that make it a worthy experience. In fact, it’s a game that you will quickly fall in love with. It has all the right elements to call it a brilliant roguelite and role-playing experience. You wouldn’t want to miss it.
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos
‘What if Zelda but roguelike?’ isn’t exactly an original proposition, but Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos comes up with a more convincing answer than most. Its cutesy top-down adventuring is spot on in almost every regard, including multiplayer.
The pixelated approach gives it a slight retro appeal (the Zelda mention above), but it also takes us back to games that we felt like where all the rave back in the day. Except… with a more contemporary feel. Does that make sense?
All in all, it’s a more laid-back Switch roguelike game that you’ll need to add to your collection.
Ah, Darkest Dungeon. A side-scrolling RPG that really, REALLY wants you to be miserable. How many souls has it claimed yet? Too many I believe… If you dig Lovecraftian lore and like your decisions to have real weight and consequences, Darkest Dungeon is the game for you. You sadist.
For the most daring among you who would love to get a glimpse of what it looks like, please consult our Darkest Dungeon tier list, as it will explain to you which characters you should pursue and why. We also have a review for the iOS version, but it’ll give you a clear idea of what this is about. It’s one of the top representatives of the genre on any platform, so it certainly earned its spot amongst the best roguelike games on Switch.
A unique roguelike shooter that adds a dose of ’80s anime pizazz and spacefaring flight physics to the mix. Guide your fighter-mech through hostile asteroid fields, blasting aliens and upgrading your skills.
It’s a lot more colourful than you might expect, but all of the VFX and booms are there for one reason, and one reason only – to transpire you into the wholesome experience that is space shooting. It does that quite well, so if you want an alternative roguelike game on Switch set into space, Galak-Z is the one for you.
Curse of the Dead Gods
Curse of the Dead Gods brings a thick slice of dark Lovecraftian lore to the roguelite genre, along with oodles of crunchy melee-focused combat. It’s a potent combination.
With a top-down ARPG approach, Curse of the Dead Gods has so much potential and intensity that it’s a well-deserving title to honor our list. If you’re looking to play an underrated yet fun and exciting roguelite, you should check it out. We are 100% positive it’ll impress you as much as it did us.
In an eShop that’s filled with roguelites, Crown Trick is an all-too-rare roguelike. Its more considered turn-based dungeon crawling is a breath of fresh air, though it’s allied to some beautifully detailed 2D sprite work.
The animations are cartoonish and quirky but in an oh-so-good way. There are just so many elements to praise this game for, that it’s not even fair. Crown Trick is beautiful, it plays well, and it’s worth dedicating your time to. You’ll probably not find it as intense as Downwell or some of the other hardcoreSwitch roguelike games on this list, but rather a more toned-down wholesome experience.
Given that it started life as a VR experience, The Persistence on Switch is an unexpected treat. It effectively combines first-person action with tense sci-fi horror, all under the umbrella of solid roguelike mechanics. In a way, it closely resembles Doom Eternal, but on a slightly smaller console and with fewer… creature-y creatures.
Its horror approach is rather unique, in the sense that it’s more jump scare-y than intense. If you’re not into that, you might want to look at other games.
Gods Will Fall
A clever twist on the roguelite dungeon crawler, in which you guide a team of 8 warriors into war against the fickle gods that plague their lives. Each warrior is effectively a life, though each also has their own perks and hack-and-slash fighting styles.
There is a lot to learn, and even more to discover. The graphics are also pretty good, mashing a smooth 3D approach with some slight minimalistic elements. The result – a fun-looking, yet intense action to everyone’s delight.
Into the Breach
Well, one could argue that this is not a roguelike but a turn-based strategy, and although you’re right up to a point, you’re actually wrong. When you lose, you start over, so there’s no real argument here! Into the Breach puts you into the role of mech warriors who are trying to defend their piece of land against alien invaders. And it’s really a piece of land, you get a small batch that looks like a chessboard and it usually gets even smaller due to tremors. Terrain and obstacles are of utmost significance here, as you can push or pull your opponents into the black void.
Although the graphics is pixelated, the artwork is very nice, and it will all be clear even on a small screen. Music is pumping the atmosphere, and you’ll love it right from the start. The game is very catchy, almost like its big brother FTL but is unfortunately not available on Nintendo Switch yet. But hey, Into the Breach is fun as well, try it out!