Rogue-like, dungeon-crawling, and isometric hack & slash are the elements we’re searching for in games like Hades.
Supergiant’s latest title combined their entire catalog of indie entries for a hit game. It’s an indie jewel that acts, feels, and sounds like a AAA title.
If you played Hades, you know how it felt: press play, and it’s suddenly 3 AM. There’s never enough, so here come the alternatives.
Selecting Games Like Hades
We believe Supergiant Games’ fans would love titles featuring a mix or a twist of Hades’ elements:
- Genre: Hades is a rogue-lite isometric action RPG (or action rogue-lite) with hack & slash combat.
- Setting: You play as Zagreus, Hades’ son. The goal is escaping the Underworld, and each escape attempt is a “run.”
- Map design: There are four main areas in Hades, each with a boss at the end. The game randomly generates each instance.
- Boss randomizer: The bosses don’t always behave or talk the same. For example, you may find an increasing challenge after a successful run.
- Instance randomizer: You advance by defeating all enemies. When it’s time to advance, you get to choose one of two doors displaying the reward you’ll get.
- Hub: Each NPC on the Underworld’s main Hall has hundreds of lines. After each run, you can talk to them for new info and sometimes power-ups.
- Storyline: The plot moves forward on each run, and it takes hundreds of tries, and dozens of successful runs, to see the full plot.
- Rogue-like: You “wake up” back at the hub every time you die because you’re immortal. You lose every upgrade you gained during the run.
- Runs: You receive “Boons,” powers from the Gods on each run. These come with many variations, rarity levels, and uses.
- Healing: You go back to the hub when you lose all of your health, and recovery is scarce.
- Weapons: You can also choose one of five weapons for each run, albeit you have to unlock them. The Boons affect each weapon differently.
- Collectibles: You can collect special currency during your runs. The cash can buy permanent passive upgrades.
- Gifts: You can also find items on your runs. These are gifts you can give to NPCs to unlock more dialogue.
- Combat gameplay: You can dash, attack, charge, and attack from range. The skills change significantly with Boons and weapons.
- End-game: After you defeat Hades and escape the Underworld, you unlock difficulty modifiers that reward more currency.
- Difficulty: Combat is incredibly challenging but addictive. If you’re not used to the genre, it may take about 20 runs to defeat the boss of the first biome.
- Difficulty option: Additionally, you can engage an option that makes Zagreus more resistant after each death. It can ease your experience.
Hades is an incredibly playable title. It seems the story, gameplay variation, and character growth never stop. Moreover, the story is incredible and relies on a main character you can follow for hours.
Other games like Hades should also marry their storytelling with their rogue-lite design. Moreover, it relies on classic action-RPG combat and mechanics -on PC, it mostly means point, click, and mash your buttons.
Disclosure: in a technical sense, a “rogue-lite” game means there’s some form of permanent progression. It belongs in the “rogue-like” category, which often refers to no kind of permanent character progression.
Games Like Hades
- Developer: Housemarque
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: August 2021
- Platform: PS5
Returnal is a third-person rogue-lite title. We include the word “lite” as it includes big permanent upgrades. Also, we picked it to open the list because the story carries you through the end-game and explains the “respawning” characteristic of the title.
You play as Selene Vassos, a space pilot from the “Astra” program. She is exploring an alien planet to find the source of a strange signal, the “White Shadow.” Her discovery takes her to a time loop she must escape. Interestingly, the game has two different endings, so you could say it’s an action RPG.
The journey takes you to six “biomes,” each with several randomized instances. Because of the “time” theme, many instances force you to complete objectives on a timer, such as picking up loot or reaching a certain point. Combat, though, is incredibly challenging.
However, the game has two parts, and each part has three biomes. If you die, you’re sent back to the beginning of the half you’re playing. Similarly, you’ll loot special currencies to unlock permanent upgrades to Selene’s suit.
Some are for traversal; others offer passive boosts like damage mitigation or extra damage.
Lastly, the gameplay features a familiar third-person shooting with psychological horror elements. There’s also a fair arsenal of firearms, melee weapons, and gadgets. There are also a ton of temporary upgrades to test on each run.
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: May 2012
- Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Diablo III is the definitive hack and slash game, a must for Hades players. It’s an action RPG, but if you want a punishing experience, you can play in the Hardcore for permadeath without permanent upgrades.
You play the title as one of the seven classes. Then, you play through five acts, each one with many randomized areas. Characters progress by an endless cycle of picking up loot and leveling up to unlock skills.
The leveling system is quite simplistic, but it allows the player to test all skills available at each level without respecs or restarts. You can simply swap your skills and skill modifiers on your active skill slots. These slots are limited, though.
Diablo 3 has no WASD movement, but it has controller support. On PC, though, you move and aim your skills with the click and use the skills on your action bar for combat. The action is flashy, fiery, isometric, and familiar for rogue-like fans.
If you’re more into classic experience, you could also try Diablo II: Resurrected. It’s the remake of perhaps the most iconic isometric dungeon-crawler. Without a doubt, it was a major inspiration for Hades’ team.
- Developer: Luca Galante
- Publisher: Luca Galante
- Release Date: December 2021 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows, MacOS
Vampire Survivors is currently trending, and it’s incredibly popular. As Steam’s description is bare-bones, that’s impressive, and the marketing is almost non-existent. Rather, the game relies on good mouth-to-mouth advertising and over 78K reviews on the biggest gaming storefront.
This minimalistic title asks you for 250MB of storage and a very low price. The entry ticket pays for a survival rogue-like game, 16-bit graphics, and advanced AI systems.
This is a shoot ’em up RPG game. The goal is to survive the night and loot as much gold as possible for your survivors. You control an army of characters as they fight against monster waves. Depending on your chosen stage, you win by going past the 15 to 30 minutes session time.
The longer you survive, the more gold you get. You use gold to pay for survivors, invest in weapons, and improve your character stats. You can also collect gems, the currency that enhances your character’s stats and other items.
The experience starts by selecting a character, starting weapons, and bonuses. Then, the loop repeats itself endlessly, and Death is inevitable. If you die, you go back to the beginning.
But every time you complete a level, you get to select more weapons, passives, and skills.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
- Developer: Nicalis
- Publisher: Nicalis
- Release Date: November 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, PS5 PSVita, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, New Nintendo, Nintendi Wii U, 3DS, iOS
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a remake of a beloved indie roguelike game. There’re three expansions available for the title. Each offers about 5 hours of playtime for 20H of rogue-lite shooting – and it’s either solo or local co-op.
The story follows Isaac in a grim take on the biblical Isaac character. You control the protagonist, a young boy fighting against her mother’s will. Her mother is convinced she’s doing God’s work, sacrificing Isaac.
The title uses randomized instances and old-school 16-bit graphics. You start in your room, and the goal is escaping your mother’s watchful eye. The adventure goes through five episodic areas. Proper of the genre, you’ll go back to the beginning if you die.
On each run, you also collect items to customize your temporary build. You can modify your looks, abilities, and attributes with many combinations. Similarly, you find a special currency to buy permanent upgrades.
Lastly, combat is similar to a multidirectional shooter. You move the character around the screen as you shoot and evade projectiles from all directions. You can also use skills, throw bombs, and use tools you loot.
Risk of Rain 2
- Developer: Hopoo Games
- Publisher: Gearbox Software
- Release Date: August 2020
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Risk of Rain 21 is a dungeon-crawler rogue-like game with third-person shooting mechanics. It’s a sequel to one of the most popular entries in the genre. The second part, though, is also a top-seller game on Steam.
You play as a “survivor” on an alien planet. Surviving requires exploring linear instances to slay monsters, open chests, and pick-up upgrades for your character.
As you’d expect, the difficulty rises as you go deeper into the run. The mechanics are also difficult as it’s a third-person directional shooter. You need to aim, dodge, swap weapons, and use abilities.
The game procedurally generated the entire world rather than taking you to set areas. The goal is to reach a teleporter on each level, which takes you to another random level. Then, each area has enemy hordes, mini-bosses, and loot.
For progression, you can get XP and gold in combat. You use gold to open chests for powerful gear and your XP to customize your character’s powers. Ultimately, you’ll gain enough skill to
There’re extra activities on the game’s hub, outside the runs. You can unlock characters, objects, and tools that modify the gameplay. Lastly, there’re characters, each featuring unique skills, perks, and weapons.
Nobody Saves the World
- Developer: DrinkBox Studios
- Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
- Release Date: January 2022
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5
Nobody Saves the World is not a very popular game, but we’re glad to recommend it every time we can. This is an action dungeon-crawling RPG with rogue-lite elements.
You play from a top-down perspective as Nobody, an unlikely hero. He has a shape-shifting ability, offering you 18 forms to unlock. Each one offers different abilities, perks, and bonuses, and you can also mix and match one shape with the skills of the next.
For example, your first shape is a mouse, which allows you to crawl into tight spaces to reach secret areas. Each shape is necessary for exploring the world, finding loot, and solving puzzles.
The shapes are essentially your skill tree. Then, because there’s a large variety of enemies, you’ll be swapping between shapes on the fly to use the different skills and bonuses of your forms.
Lastly, the map has an overworld that connects the different areas and procedurally generated dungeons. Here’s where we find the rogue-lite element: you have to complete a dungeon on a single run.
If you die in a dungeon, you’ll have to start it from scratch unless you have already found the boss.
- Developer: Acid Nerve
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Release Date: July 2021
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
Death’s Door is an action-adventure game with simple mechanics and a gorgeous presentation. Then, combat feels like a hybrid between Hades (isometric and fast) and Dark Souls games (skill-based combat).
Combat relies on WASD movement and clicks for attacks, like Hades. However, it would be better to play it with a controller (like souls-like games), as you could have better doing for blocking and dodging. Also, it offers a more standard character progression system.
Gameplay happens in 3D, with isometric detail. You can launch projectiles, attack, dodge, and use tools like a grappling hook. Then, Sword strikes create combos and reward ammo for your bow. Finally, you can use a wide array of swords, ranged skills, and magic skills.
Lastly, the story follows a collector of souls, a reaper uncovering a conspiracy on the other world at Death’s Door. The goal is to collect three “Giant Souls” to open the underworld, and the plot is rich in lore, music, themes, and visuals.
Streets of Rogue
- Developer: Matt Dabrowski
- Publisher: tinyBuild
- Release Date: July 2019
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Linux
Streets of Rogue is a roguelike title focusing on player action, fun mechanics, and chaotic results. Unlike other titles in the genre, it also has stealth and a toolbar.
You play through various randomly generated floors in a city. Progressing the journey means completing specific missions on each floor using character skills. You’re fighting against a tyrannical major as part of resistance for the story.
There’s not much regarding permanent updates, though. Instead, you unlock new gadgets and abilities you can buy for the upcoming session after each run. Still, these upgrades are locked to the run.
However, combat is not the biggest part of the game. Rather, you’re free to use stealth, combat, or diversion to get the job done.
You play from a top-down perspective and 16-bit graphics. You interact with NPCs and items in each area, explore and combat. For combat, you point and click. Additionally, you can use the things on your inventory.
Lastly, the game has six stages with three levels each (except for the last level). There’re also various characters, many interactive NPCs, and support for 2-player local co-op.
- Developer: Motion Twin, Evil Empire
- Publisher: Motion Twin, Playdigious
- Release Date: August 2018
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Steam OS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android
Dead Cells is a rogue-like game with Metroidvania features and souls-lite combat in 2D. The developers call it “Roguevania.” More importantly, it has gorgeous visuals, flashy combat, and neat FXs.
You play as an amorphous humanoid puppeteering a corpse through a dungeon. The dungeon has a Metroidvania-type map, which means all areas are connected and available at the beginning. However, you need to find weapons, learn skills, or find items to unlock these areas.
As you explore the dungeons, you’ll fight monsters and gain cells. These purchase permanent upgrades for your characters and some items. You will lose all of your cells if you die, but not your updates.
You also collect weapons, skins, abilities, and power-ups during your runs. You also lose these pick-ups on death. Then, at the end of each dungeon, the game forces you to spend your “cells” to buy an upgrade.
Lastly, the game procedurally generated each level. However, it mixes pre-designed areas with randomized enemies, items, loot, and layout. As a result, the progress is non-linear. You could explore ossuaries and ramparts on one run, and sewers on the other.
- Developer: Duoyi Games
- Publisher: Duoyi Games
- Release Date: November 2021
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One , Android
Gunfire Reborn is an adventure FPS with rogue-lite and RPG elements. You choose a hero, play through various levels, and do a run solo or as part of a 4-player party.
Each hero has unique abilities. Then, the game’s system procedurally generated the levels and the loot. Also, unlike other games in the genre, there’re checkpoints far away from each other but allow you to preserve some progression.
You play in a first-person perspective with stylized visuals. You shoot, run, and upgrade your characters in many ways. Each run gives you multiple options to customize your characters and skills.
The adventure goes through four zones, each with various instances you need to clear to move on. Enemies drop a special currency you can collect to purchase guns and buy permanent upgrades.
Lastly, there’s also a Game+ mode with new mechanics and increasing challenges after finishing the game. Also, it adds improved versions of the over 100 present in the game.
- Developer: Nolla Games
- Publisher: Nolla Games
- Release Date: October 2020
- Platform: Windows
Noita is a rogue-lite action-adventure game. You play as a sorcerer who fights against creatures from Finnish mythologies. In particular, it’s lighter on the rogue-like features, and thus the combat is not as challenging.
The game features stylized 2D visuals and a procedurally generated world. In fact, the system generates and simulates every pixel, so the result feels very advanced and fresh.
Your journey is about exploring, melting, burning, and freezing your way out of 7 “layers.” Because of randomization, the world is highly interactive and even capable of accommodating itself to challenge you.
As a unique mechanic, you create the spells yourself by mixing a variety of spells. Your magic can also manipulate elements in the environments, which you can use in combat.
Lastly, as a rogue-lite game, there’s a permadeath mechanic. If you die, you go back to the beginning of the entire run. However, you won’t lose the spells you have crafted or learned.
Hyper Light Drifter
- Developer: Heart Machine, Abylight Studios
- Publisher: Heart Machine, Abylight Studios
- Release Date: March 2016
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS
You play as the Drifter, a player with access to long-forgotten technology. You explore a post-apocalyptic world to find a cure for mysterious diseases affecting survivors.
For combat, you can slash with your energy sword. Across the world, you’ll find upgrade modules to modify the weapon and add abilities to your arsenal. It makes the combat evolve over time.
On top of that, other weapons include long-range guns, area attacks, and other items.
The main mechanic is how you recharge ammo by slashing with your sword. However, monsters and bosses become increasingly difficult, asking you to play tactically, and invest in complementary skills and upgrades.
Lastly, the game has no dialogue, like classic SNES games. The story comes through the environment, the action, and the mix of the sceneries and the music. Speaking of which, the game’s quality is superb and haunting.