Rogue Legacy

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Rogue Legacy
Rogue Legacy cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Cellar Door Games
Publisher(s)Cellar Door Games
Designer(s)Teddy Lee
Programmer(s)Kenny Lee
Artist(s)Glauber Kotaki
Writer(s)Teddy Lee
Benny Lee
Composer(s)Gordon McGladdery
Judson Cowan
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
June 27, 2013
Linux & OS X
October 15, 2013
PS3, PS4, PS Vita
  • NA: July 29, 2014
  • PAL: July 30, 2014
  • JP: April 8, 2015
Xbox One
May 27, 2015[1]
Nintendo Switch
November 6, 2018
August 8, 2019
Genre(s)Platformer, roguelike, Metroidvania[2]

Rogue Legacy is a 2013 platform game with roguelike elements developed and published by Cellar Door Games. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS.[3][4][5] A sequel, Rogue Legacy 2, was released on April 28, 2022 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.


The goal of Rogue Legacy is to explore a randomly generated dungeon, defeat four bosses in each of the four unique environments of the dungeon, and then defeat the final boss. Characters have the default ability to jump and slash with their sword, along with secondary abilities, such as magic attacks, which use mana. Players can also use their sword to slash platforms to make them extend.[6]

Whenever a character dies as a result of losing all of their Hit Points (HP), control will transfer over to one of three randomly generated heirs which the player may choose between, though this number may be increased to six with a later upgrade. Each descendant carries their unique characteristics and abilities,[7] including such genetic peculiarities as color-blindness (in which the game is presented in black and white), ADHD (in which the player moves faster) and dwarfism (in which the character is short and can fit into small gaps).

Gold found while exploring the castle can be used to improve the character's equipment and abilities, which are passed on to that character's heirs. Gold can be found by smashing pieces of furniture, opening chests, or defeating enemies. There are also various fairy chests hidden in special rooms throughout the castle, most of which require the player to complete an objective, such as taking no damage in the room, in order to be opened.

Spending gold on the manor, which appears after a new heir is chosen, can increase stats, such as health and mana, and unlock and upgrade new classes that may be carried by one of the heirs. These include mages, which can use more advanced spells, warriors, who have higher strength, and assassins, who can use various stealth techniques and have an increased likelihood of having a critical hit.

Gold can unlock the blacksmith, the enchantress and the architect, who each provide their own services. The blacksmith can use blueprints found in the castle to create new armor and equipment for the player, improving their stats. Similarly, the enchantress can use runes found in fairy chests to give the player enhancements, unlocking additional abilities such as double jumping and dashing. Finally, the architect can lock down the design of a previously encountered castle (so that a new one isn't randomly generated) in exchange for a percentage of any gold found.

Any unspent gold must be paid to Charon in order to enter the castle, though upgrades can reduce the amount required to pay.

Additional content[edit]

The game features a progressing "New Game +" feature, in which every completion of the game along a specific line of descendants increases the difficulty while also increasing the rewards offered by enemies and chests. After the second completion, the format for the name is "New Game +n" where n is the number of playthroughs since the first (Begins at +2, then +3, etc.). Notably, while enemies increase in difficulty theoretically forever, bosses do not get any harder across playthroughs. Furthermore, the player cannot normally increase in power beyond a certain point, though small increases to various stats beyond this soft-cap are possible through the "Fairy Chests" system.

A number of secret bosses exist, all of which are remixed versions of each of the ordinary bosses.[8] Upon defeating all of the secret ordinary bosses, one may challenge the secret version of the final boss in order to unlock the secret "Traitor" class, based on the first form of the final boss.


The game was developed by Cellar Door Games, a Toronto-based developer consisting of brothers Kenny and Teddy Lee. This was the brothers' biggest project to date and took 18 months to develop. The game was inspired by such titles as Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. Teddy compares the design to games like Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac, noting that their goal was to make the game relatively forgiving and accessible, while also allowing permanent progression.[8] Due to the need to streamline the game, several prominent features were cut during development, including an experience system. Kenny added that the revenue from the game will allow them to focus on larger future projects.[9]

The game cost the team about $15,000 of their own money to develop, all of which was earned back within an hour of release. Rogue Legacy went on to sell more than 100,000 copies within the first week.[10]

Most versions of the game were done in-house, but the Xbox One version was ported by Abstraction Games.


In December 2014, Cellar Door Games teamed up with IndieBox, a monthly subscription box service, to produce an exclusive physical release of Rogue Legacy. This limited, individually-numbered collector's edition included a flash-drive with a DRM-free game file, the official soundtrack, an instruction manual and Steam key, as well as several custom-designed collectible items.[11][12]

The Nintendo Switch version of Rogue Legacy was released on November 6, 2018.[13]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Metacritic gives the game a "generally favorable" score of 85/100 based on 43 reviews.[14]

Mitchell Saltzman of GameFront describes the game as "insanely hard for the unprepared".[28] Philip Kollar of Polygon and Mike Splechta of GameZone mentioned the short life spans of their characters,[29][30] and Scott Nichols of Digital Spy expressed frustration when first starting out.[31] Other reviewers remarked that the game actually encourages these short runs while rewarding the player via the broader progression system.[29][31][32][33] Ryan Stevens of GameTrailers described the game as "[riding] the line of frustration and fun".[34] Saltzman concludes that "difficulty may be a turnoff to those who get frustrated easily".[28]


Cellar Door announced a sequel, Rogue Legacy 2, was in development in April 2020.[35] It was released in early access on August 18, 2020.[36][37] It was fully released on April 28, 2022 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.


  1. ^ Philips, Tom (January 8, 2015). "Indie platformer Rogue Legacy confirmed for Xbox One". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Stanton, Rich (July 11, 2013). "Rogue Legacy: turning Game Over into a fresh start". The Guardian. Retrieved July 16, 2016. The dominant influence on Rogue Legacy is a genre of platformer long ago christened Metroidvania.
  3. ^ Tach, Dave (August 20, 2013). "Rogue Legacy headed to PS4 and PS Vita in 2014, along with several other exclusives". Polygon. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Lee, Teddy (August 22, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Coming to PS Vita, PS3, PS4". PlayStation. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Tach, Dave (July 9, 2014). "Rogue Legacy reborn with cross-platform features on PS3, PS4 and Vita July 29". Polygon. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Hancock, Patrick (June 27, 2013). "Review: Rogue Legacy". Destructoid. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Savage, Phil (June 28, 2013). "Rogue Legacy out now: a 2D roguelike about heroism and genealogy". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 5, 2013. Traits include dyslexia, tourette's and irritable bowel syndrome, among others.
  8. ^ a b Podgorski, Daniel (January 20, 2016). "Turned Up to 11: Rogue Legacy's Remix Bosses and the Virtues of Nonlinear Difficulty Scaling". The Gemsbok. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  9. ^ Stanton, Rich (July 29, 2013). "The making of Rogue Legacy". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  10. ^ Irving, Mike (March 17, 2014). "Rogue Legacy turned a profit within an hour on sale". VG247. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Cellar Door Games". Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  12. ^ "REVIEW / Indiebox (Rogue Legacy)". That VideoGame Blog. January 8, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Wales, Matt (October 23, 2018). "Brilliant genealogical platformer Rogue Legacy launches on Switch next month". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Rogue Legacy for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rogue Legacy for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Rogue Legacy for PlayStation Vita Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "Rogue Legacy for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  18. ^ "Rogue Legacy for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  19. ^ Staff (July 25, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review". Edge. Future plc. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  20. ^ Donlan, Christian (July 18, 2013). "Rogue Legacy review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  21. ^ "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1375". Gematsu. April 7, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  22. ^ Biessener, Adam (July 16, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review – Making Death And Grinding Fun". Game Informer. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  23. ^ Peele, Britton (July 8, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  24. ^ Shea, Cam (July 25, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  25. ^ Kollar, Philip (July 3, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review: Family Matters". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  26. ^ Wyndcliffe, James (August 21, 2019). "'Rogue Legacy' — Grab Your Sword and Shield, Castle Hamson's Open for Business!". TouchArcade. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  27. ^ Kohler, Chris (July 19, 2013). "Why Games Like Rogue Legacy Should Terrify Big Publishers". Wired. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  28. ^ a b Saltzman, Mitchell (June 25, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review: A Stellar Cellar Door Game". GameFront. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  29. ^ a b Kollar, Philip (July 3, 2013). "Rogue Legacy review: family matters". Polygon. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  30. ^ Splechta, Mike (July 6, 2013). "Review: Lead your heirs through the devilishly hard Rogue Legacy". GameZone. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  31. ^ a b Nichols, Scott (July 3, 2013). "'Rogue Legacy' review (PC): Carefully-crafted randomness". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  32. ^ Smith, Adam (June 27, 2013). "Wot I Think: Rogue Legacy". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  33. ^ Garland, Jordan (July 4, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review". NowGamer. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  34. ^ Stevens, Ryan (July 5, 2013). "Rogue Legacy Review". GameTrailers. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  35. ^ Wales, Matt (April 2, 2020). "Acclaimed Castlevania-esque rogue-like platformer Rogue Legacy is getting a sequel". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  36. ^ "Early Access Review: Rogue Legacy 2". Destructoid. August 23, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  37. ^ Frushtick, Russ (August 18, 2020). "Rogue Legacy 2 heroes have it rough, but at least they get disability benefits". Polygon. Retrieved September 10, 2020.

External links[edit]