Game Reviews

Rogue with the Dead review - "Engaging free-to-play roguelike with an idle clicker twist"

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Rogue with the Dead review - "Engaging free-to-play roguelike with an idle clicker twist"

Despite the slightly odd title (which, given that I mistakenly first read it as "Rogue with the Dad", which gave me a completely different initial impression), Rogue with the Dead is a charming roguelike-slash-clicker game that's incredibly engaging once you get the hang of it. The core loop is exactly what you'd expect from a roguelike, but it adds its own unique twist to it in an F2P-friendly package.

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Right from the get-go, you'll be asked to choose which art style you want for the female guide who takes you through the tutorial, but the game itself is presented in nostalgic pixel art for both you and your foes.

Charming pixels aside, Rogue with the Dead offers a convenient portrait mode that's perfectly optimised for mobile, so you can be as lazy as you like depending on how much time and effort you want to invest in your troops. Each unit you unlock and recruit boasts its own unique designs as well, and this also applies to the enemies and bosses you need to overcome as you surpass certain distances.


With those distances, I do mean that all you really have to do within this game is to keep moving and reach the farthest distance that you can without dying. Your units will move automatically as soon as you deploy them, with portals that pop up where you can spawn your troops as you go along. You can choose to make your own character stay, retreat, or advance, as you can deal much more damage than your troops can. If you die though, you die for good, while your units can just keep respawning after a gruesome death.

Once you die, you'll have to start all over again from the very beginning of the run, but, typical of the genre, you can use in-game currencies earned to purchase upgrades, new units, spells and more to make your next run slightly less excruciating than the last. You'll simply have to keep moving, keep fighting, keep dying, and keep upgrading until you move past your best distance, and then you'll just have to keep moving some more. Rinse and repeat.


While I do feel like the game's pacing is a tad too slow - the movements of the units are literally too slow for me, save for a few speed boosts you can use every now and then - it's still an entertaining timewaster especially since it's free-to-play. The ads aren't intrusive at all - you'll only need them if you'd like to double rewards and such, so the option to watch ads is totally up to you. Also, despite this being an idle clicker, combat can still be a pretty strategic affair, as you can choose how to maximise your units' strengths or even which ones you want to recruit in the first place.

For instance, Pygmies are fast and squishy, but they cost less to upgrade and can overwhelm even the tankiest foes with ease. Rangers are extremely basic, but when you need some ranged support during a brutal melee brawl, they can certainly get the job done. You can also choose to upgrade your own skills - even one that can boost your tap power (yes, you can tap on your enemies to deal damage like a 4th-wall-breaking god) so you can literally lend your units a hand when push comes to shove.

While I'm not a fan of the incessant tapping myself, I like how I can step in and do some damage control whenever I feel like my units are getting obliterated. I also like how I can just choose to leave my units be if I'm feeling particularly lazy, or I can focus my full attention on gathering gold, upgrading troops, recruiting units, and levelling up my skills.

Rogue with the Dead review - "Engaging free-to-play roguelike with an idle clicker twist"

Rogue with the Dead is a unique roguelike clicker game with idle elements and charming pixel art visuals. How involved you want to be depends on how much free time you have on your hands, but if you prefer to leave it all to the hands of fate, you can also take this as an entirely idle game, and impressively, as a free-to-play game, it certainly brings its own unique flavour to the genre.
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine plays video games for a living, reads comics for inspiration, and writes because she’s in love with words. Her Young Adult fantasy novel, Of Myths And Men, has been published by Penguin Random House SEA and is her love letter to gamer geeks, mythological creatures, aliens, and epic quests to save the world. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. Check out her books at, or follow her on FB/IG/Twitter at @thenoobwife.