These games typically included one or two text lines presenting the player's current status at the bottom of the screen, and text-based menu screens to manage inventory, statistics, and other details.The player's character was nearly always represented by the could indicate a green dragon that would shoot acid.Early roguelikes were developed to be played on text-based user interfaces, commonly UNIX-based computer mainframes and terminals used at colleges and universities before transitioning to personal computers.Games used a mix of ASCII or ANSI characters to represent elements of the dungeon levels, creatures, and items on the level.
The Japanese series of Mystery Dungeon games by Chunsoft, inspired by Rogue, also fall within the concept of roguelike games.
The Berlin Interpretation set out a set of high-value and low-value factors, basing these lists on five canon roguelike games: ADOM, Angband, Linley's Dungeon Crawl, Nethack, and Rogue.
The Interpretation is designed to determine "how roguelike a game is", noting that missing a factor does not eliminate a game from being a roguelike, nor does possessing the features make a game roguelike.
On multi-user systems, leaderboards are often shared between players.
Some roguelikes allow traces of former player characters to appear in later game sessions in the form of ghosts or grave markings.