In this article, I will explain a potentially unintuitive belief that I hold about a specific style of games: that the best possible experience of playing roguelikes and derivatives of roguelikes is usually attained by pursuing 100% achievement completion as the primary end goal of the game. My test case for this purpose will be Dodge Roll’s highly polished and mechanically satisfying top-down shooter Enter the Gungeon.
Like so many of its peers in the increasingly-loosely-defined genre it at least partially shares with notables like Rogue, Spelunky, and FTL—Gungeon is a game that is played by repeatedly attempting to win difficult randomization-heavy play sessions averaging less than an hour each, where dying means a total end to that playthrough; to continue playing, a newly-randomized session must begin from the very start.
And why do I think that pursuing achievements (or trophies, or badges, or whatever you want to call them) offers the best way of engaging with Enter the Gungeon and other games in this style? Simply, because doing so offers a balanced, varied, thorough, satisfying compromise between two inferior extremes.
Center the Gungeon: