Tiny Rogue ($2.99) by Ravenous Games Inc. is a bite-sized, turn-based roguelike that will keep you occupied for a long time to come. If you’re a fan of other titles like Microgue from Crescent Moon Games or The Nightmare Cooperative from Lucky Frame, then you will love what Tiny Rogue has to offer.
In the past few years, I’ve taken quite a liking to the roguelike genre of games, whether it is on a console, computer, or my iOS devices. I’ve gone through several different games that follow the turn-based structure and randomized dungeons, but I just can’t get enough of them. In fact, I would say that these types of games definitely fall into one of my favorite categories, so I am always looking for new ones to add to my collection. Another thing to note is the fact that Ravenous Games is a rather reputable development studio, with fantastic hits like League of Evil and Random Heroes, so when I saw that they had a new turn-based roguelike (not platformer-style like Devious Dungeons), I had to check it out for myself. Needless to say, I’m not disappointed so far.
Like other Ravenous Games titles, Tiny Rogue carries the signature 16-bit art style that may look familiar from games like Random Heroes and Devious Dungeons. If you grew up with the classic consoles like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, then the graphics will remind your of your childhood, which is always welcome in my book. Even with the pixelated look and feel, the visuals in Tiny Rogue are incredibly detailed with proper textures and lighting effects. The colors in the game are rich and vibrant as well, so there’s plenty of eye candy to behold here. Animations are smooth and fluid, and the adventurous chiptune soundtrack is a delight to listen to. Sound effects are fun too, giving players audible feedback when they are hit or attack.
Since Tiny Rogue is a roguelike, players can expect a different experience with each run since the dungeons are always procedurally generated, so you never get the same thing twice. Unfortunately, there is only one character that you can play as, so there won’t be much variety in that area, but there are many different dungeon layouts, items, and enemies to strategize against. To make things even more interesting, Tiny Rogue is a high score chaser, since you will earn points for successfully reaching the next floor and defeating enemies. The goal is to get as far as you can while obtaining the most points before you die (only three hearts to start with). When the run is over, players get a nice stat screen of things like how many floors were cleared, enemies defeated, and other interesting bits of data.
Controls in Tiny Rogue are as simple as they come. Since it is a turn-based game, your character must navigate the dungeon grids one square at a time. To move, just swipe in the direction you want to go. If there are empty slots in your inventory, moving over a tile with an item will stash it away for you. To use items, just tap on the icon of the one you want to use and then follow the prompt on the screen to use it on yourself (defense) or an enemy (offense). When you’re adjacent to an enemy square, just swipe in their direction to do a melee attack. If you get hit, you will lose a heart, and if all three are gone, then it means game over and you have to start over on a new run.
But there is more to Tiny Rogue than just moving around and clearing out the foes on each floor for points. With each slain enemy, you will fill up a green bar at the bottom, which is your experience bar. When it is full, you level up and can choose one out of three randomized upgrades for your character. The game also has different missions for you to accomplish with each run, such as reaching a big treasure chest or slaying a formidable dragon. There is also Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements, so replay value is high.
As a big fan of roguelike games, I’ve been enjoying Tiny Rogue a lot since I downloaded it last night. The graphics are classic, the music and sounds are fun, controls are simple and intuitive, and the challenging, randomized gameplay keeps things fresh with every attempt. I love these types of games, and Tiny Rogue is a fine addition to my collection.
I recommend giving Tiny Rogue a try if you enjoy turn-based roguelike RPGs or are a fan of Ravenous Games in general. Tiny Rogue is available on the App Store as a universal download for $2.99.