Updated July 30, 2020: New entries added
The terms 'roguelike' and 'roguelite' are commonly attached to games these days. They've become buzzwords of the indie and mainstream gaming field of late.
But what exactly do they mean? Both terms refer to the legendary game Rogue, which introduced procedurally generated levels and a punishing state of 'perma-death' (one strike and you're out) to the home computer market in the early '80s. The combination of these key elements served to make each run uniquely rewarding - not to mention challenging.
Any game that adopts these systems, as well as Rogue's turn-based movement system and other shared concepts, tends to be labelled as a 'roguelike'. Because they're literally like Rogue.
Roguelite games tend to adopt just some of the key innovations of Rogue - typically permadeath and procedurally generated levels - but then apply them to different genres and mix them in with other mechanics. There are countless puzzlers, shooters, platformers and more that have attempted this trick on mobile.
There's a distinction, then, but it's a fairly subtle one. Which is why we've lumped together all of the best roguelikes and roguelites on iPhone and iPad.