GatherYourParty is the latest site to take a crack at explaining roguelike games. Maybe they can explain why my blood pressure goes up playing them also.
The roguelike is a genre that has been gaining momentum and popularity, or so it appears to the bystander. The indie scene is being flooded with games that announce themselves as roguelikes, roguelike-likes or the newest word-salad: rogue-lites.
When talking about the roguelike genre I will be thinking of the classical view, the Berlin Interpretation. This is not to say that I am a purist and will try to force the Berlin Interpretation to the single last item on the list, however; roguelikes as a genre have a discoverable design-philosophy behind them, an irreducibly complex core, which makes them what they are for a reason.
Really well assembled article. However I think it's still hard to classify what a roguelike is. I think these other branches are exactly that: rogue"like". Not rogue"clone". However in the end, I think it doesn't matter getting hooked up on details. Does it improve upon the fun factor is the most important question.
"We buy things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like." -Dave Ramsey