The RPG genre can fluctuate between a variety of different themes and gameplay mechanics, depending on the target audience and the intended atmosphere of the game. Thus, while some may encourage exploration and free will, others are created to relay a certain story, in which you are more or less obligated to participate. Naturally, both of these approaches can work wonders, since it all depends on the execution and the delivery of the result.
Try to survive a merciless dungeon
Rogue's Tale is, coincidentally, a rogue-like RPG in which you have to explore a massive dungeon system and try to survive the perils that await you at every step, whether it's vicious critters, hunger or disease. As it is customary for the genre, death is permanent and final, which means that you don't get to go back any time you want and avoid the trap you just foolishly stumbled into. While this might sound ludicrous and annoying in the age of checkpoints and continuous auto-saving features, it's a defining characteristic and it has a great impact on the overall fun-factor.
Although it is so far and dim in the background it is almost non-existent, the game has a story as well, which sort of gives purpose to your adventures. Hence, the main quest revolves around the Frostmourn Keep and the many dungeons located underneath it, which you must explore and clear of anything that does not resemble a human. The final goal is to reach the king of the keep and defeat him, in order to take his crown and declare yourself master over the kingdom.
Collect items and gain experience along the way
Now, the actual gameplay does not differ too much from a regular role-playing game, with the exception that you do not have a party and the world is never the same, considering the fact that the dungeons are randomly generated every time you start the game. Otherwise, things go as usual, with you trying to kill the other creatures and collecting better items as you go along. However, there are many more things that can kill you here, such as hunger, thirst, disease or curses. While hunger and thirst can be kept in check using the traditional methods of sipping water and eating rats, disease can hit you at any time and it has some pretty nasty effects, starting from slightly crippled abilities, to total blindness and excessive bleeding from every orifice.
Speaking of which, your character has four abilities that can be increased every time you level up, which are strength, agility, stamina and charisma. Depending on what weapons you intend on using, or whether you want to toy around with magic, you need to pay attention to how you spend the experience points. Moreover, there are also talents that can be acquired once every few levels, which help you become more proficient in a certain field and deal more damage with a specific spell or weapon.
Endless fun in a cruel and unforgiving world
All in all, Rogue's Tale definitely succeeds in recreating the addictive mechanics that made old rogue-like games so popular back in the day. Moreover, there's plenty of humor spread around the otherwise grim universe, which can make you crack a smile even when the last couple of hours were all for nothing and the game over screen makes fun of your highscore.