What I'm seeing in the games that say they're inspired by "Roguelike" games is unflattering and sloppy. Without fail, games like Spelunky and Binding of Isaac mistake giving the player nothing to work with as "challenge", or "difficulty". It's not challenging in BoI when there are dozens of treasure chests and treasure rooms I could use to upgrade my character to stand a better chance... but the game doesn't give me any keys to unlock them. It's not "difficult" when Spelunky makes it so I need bombs to progress when I don't have any. Or making you find treasure to get money to buy items, and then not putting in any shops, anywhere.
That's not challenge or difficulty. That's being a lazy, cheap-ass game designer.
The worst of this, oddly enough, isn't from an indie game company. It's from Valve. Left 4 Dead is their experiment in seeing if they can just make a game design itself, because they're far too busy
But hey, thank you for putting a Tank, Smoker, Boomer, Jockey, Charger, Spitter and Hunter in front of me, during a horde event, with a Witch blocking the only way to the safe room, when I only have two characters left alive, no health packs left and we're both low on ammo. Who needs enjoyment or excitement when I can be a brand-whore instead?
Aren't randomly-generated circumstances supposed to sometimes be favourable? Once in a while? If it's just an automatic brick wall, You Lose, Game Over every time, what was the point in even releasing the game? Why do these people bother playtesting and creating art assets and sound and music for a game when they clearly don't want you to get past the second level?
If a player can't beat the game because they're not good at it, they just have to keep trying. If a player can't beat your game because you didn't give them anything to work with, you've failed as a game developer. I'm starting to think the people who hate "Roguelike" games the most, or anything even remotely inspired by them are the people making them.
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