Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites And Run-Based Games

Modern video games often employ the term “roguelike” to describe one type of gameplay mechanic. While some players may be drawn to it like moths to a flame, others may shy away at the mere mention of it. The term originated from the 1980 dungeon crawler game Rogue and has since become a common label for games with randomized elements that are tackled in one “run.” Players steadily strengthen their gear and abilities until they either conquer the game or perish and must start over. However, even those turned off by the term should not miss out on the range of genres offering roguelike or lighter “roguelite” mechanics.

Fortunately, there is no dearth of run-based games on the Nintendo Switch, ranging from roguelikes to roguelites and everything in between. Below, we provide our picks of the best run-based games on Switch, in no particular order. This extensive list is subject to change and evolution, so we welcome your contributions and feedback in the comments section.

1. Dead Cells (Motion Twin)

Dead Cells is a sparkling example of expert roguelike design, combining intense action sequences, stunning landscapes, and an addictive loop of unlocks and rewards into a captivating and immersive experience. With its multiple hours of content and almost endless playability, this game is a must-buy for Switch owners.

2. Ironcast (Ripstone)

Ironcast is a match-three puzzler that delivers a rich and engaging gameplay experience, weaving together different genre elements to create a highly addictive game that never gets monotonous.

3. Enter The Gungeon (Dodge Roll)

Enter The Gungeon is an endlessly replayable twin-stick roguelike that has earned its place among the best indie games on Nintendo Switch due to its satisfying combat, random levels, and plethora of imaginative weapons, items, and secrets.

4. Cadence of Hyrule (Brace Yourself Games)

Cadence of Hyrule is a roguelite Zelda game created by Brace Yourself Games that fits perfectly into the Zelda franchise and feels like a celebration of it. This game is not only a brilliant rogue but also an excellent Zelda game.

5. Yōdanji (KEMCO)

Yōdanji is a challenging roguelike with a delightful theme, addictive and goal-oriented gameplay mechanics, and tremendous replay value. With 21 distinctive characters, each acting as its unique class, discovering and mastering each monster’s mechanics is pure nostalgic bliss.

6. Darkest Dungeon (Red Hook Studios)

Darkest Dungeon is an RPG that challenges players from the beginning to the end, with its dauntingly deep, and thoroughly absorbing dungeon crawling gameplay that swallows players up for hours at a time.

7. Unexplored: Unlocked Edition (Digerati)

While Unexplored’s art style may not be astounding, its unusual approach to balancing combat and map generation definitely is. This game is an absorbing dungeon crawler that allows gamers to create their adventures and offers ample scope for weaponsmithing and permanent perks.

8. Slay the Spire (Humble Bundle)

Slay the Spire is an infinitely addictive roguelike card-battler that finds the perfect fit on the Switch. With its brilliantly balanced gameplay mechanics, ferocious battles, and entertaining chance encounters, players will find every step to the top profoundly engaging.

9. Everspace – Stellar Edition (Rockfish Games)

Everspace manages to build its unique identity as players warp between sectors, steadily increasing their arsenal and skill level. With its combative space action, addictive roguelite core loop, and entertaining writing, this game performs admirably on the Switch in handheld mode.

10. Moon Hunters (Kitfox Games)

Moon Hunters is a dynamic roguelike RPG that is unlike any other game on the Switch. Its bite-sized and replayable adventure can be played both alone or with friends. Although the game may have minor issues regarding flexibility, it still earns a solid recommendation from us as it offers a lot in a small package.