Pokérogue Is An Unmissable Pokémon Roguelite And It’s Free To Play In Your Browser

Pokémon has inspired many fan games over the years and now Pokérogue, a free-to-play roguelite take on Nintendo’s franchise, is here to top them all. Developed by Pagefault Games, Pokérogue sees wannabe trainers assembling a team of Pokémon before embarking on an endless onslaught of classic turn-based battles. Each Pokémon has a numeric point value, with players building their squad up to a limit of ten points and six starter creatures.

Pokérogue menu showing Pokémon Charmander

Once assembled, Pokérogue throws wave after wave of increasingly challenging Pokémon and trainers at you until your entire party faints. Effective use of healing items and power-ups help prolong each run with the randomly generated battles keeping proceedings fresh for every new attempt.

The roguelite part of it all comes into play with a permanent string of upgrades, currencies, and items that carry over between runs, with the Pokémon player’s encounter and capture becoming available in subsequent attempts. There’s even an online leaderboard that introduces a competitive edge to the action with players competing to see who can survive the most waves in a single run.

Pokérogue battle showing Pokémon Charmander in action against Basculin.

Pokérogue showcases all of this action with beautiful pixel art, featuring emotive and characterful sprites bursting with personality and a chiptune soundtrack that’s a joy to hear.

Endangered Species

Pokérogue battle against trainer Cress.

While Pokérogue has only just hit the web, there is always the chance that Nintendo’s legal team will cease its operations at any given moment. Pagefault Games have made it clear that Pokérogue is a non-profit experience, free of any monetisation that typically lands other Nintendo-inspired fan games in hot water.

Even if Pokérogue isn’t charging its players for access, it still makes extensive use of the Pokémon IP that Nintendo will likely frown upon. There’s also potential that Nintendo will see what Pagefault Games have created and seek to develop their own Pokémon roguelite in the future (and potentially charge for it).

Pokémon menu in Pokérogue.

I love roguelites. Hades is one of my favourite games of all time, God of War: Ragnarok’s Valhalla DLC was one of my gaming highlights of 2023 and Vampire Survivors sinks its teeth into you from the start of your inaugural run.

Pokérogue successfully captures that magic of the best roguelites with its swift combat and tantalising progression system that consistently tempts players with ‘just one more run’. For now, while Pokérogue remains online, I’ll continue to build my Pokédex roster and commit myself to more randomly generated battles, and considering the overall quality on offer here, I implore you to do the same.

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