In Caves (Roguelike), or Caves for short, you venture through different levels of caves, with randomly generated maps. Supported by only the equipment you find, you can customize your stats and use different abilities and weapons to tackle the ever-looming threats of monsters, robots, demons, and more. There are over 100 different items to use along the adventure for you, to mix and match your own playstyle. Collect resources from the caves, make upgrades and see how far down you can go.


Roguelike is a subgenre of RPG games, characterized by random level generation, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death(permadeath) of the character. Items in roguelike games are usually not carried over to the next run, meaning that the items will be lost on the permadeath. However, in Caves, you can make permanent upgrades by collecting gold and emeralds, as these remain through permadeath. By continuously upgrading your abilities and armor, you can last longer and longer through the caves.

Game Start

You begin with selecting the difficulty of your gamefile. You can start in Easy, Normal, or Hard mode.

Easy Normal Hard
Damage: 70% 100% 150%
Death Penalty:

(Gold and Emeralds

carried over reduced by)

0% 0% 50%
Creating new game

You will then spawn inside your shelter, with a window that allows you to choose your armor (character types), your abilities, and stats for that run.

Next, you can buy some upgrades or items in shelter. It is advised to buy permanent upgrades - improvements, as non-permanent ones will disappear on death. If this is your first run, it is not advised to purchase anything, as you may want to spend you first couple runs simply familiarizing yourself with the game.

Finally, you can step into the purple glowing portal by tapping it. This will open an interface that allows you to purchase items to help you with your journey. The interface also has a button above the start button labelled "Difficulty", which allows you to toggle various modes.

Items available at Starting portal (Start a new Journey):

Item Initial Price (per item)
Bomb 5 coins
Health Crystal 30 coins
Energy Crystal 20 coins
Artifact 15 coins

Difficulties options at Starting portal (Start a new Journey):

Option Effects Description
Hunger Mode
  • Read Desc.
  • Health is affected by an added value called Fullness, which initially is 100%, drops 5% every ~9 turns. Various items like food can replenish fullness.
  • Regeneration of health, if the fullness is more than 20%.
  • More items than non-hunger mode, mainly food. Effects of some items are different from that in non-hunger mode.
  • Inventory is increased by 3 slots.
Starve to Death
  • Read Desc.
  • This is an add-on of Hunger Mode, cannot be active if Hunger Mode is off.
Enabled - Health gradually drops to 0 points if the fullness level is 0%

Disabled - Health gradually drops to 3-4 points if the fullness level is 0%

More Elite Enemies
  • More Elite Enemies
  • +10% Exp
Damage Taken -10%
  • -10% Damage Taken
  • -15% Exp
Damage Taken +20%
  • +20% Damage taken
  • +20% Exp
Weapon Damage +15%
  • +15% Weapon Damage
Increases damage to all weapons. Applies for character and all other creatures.

User Interface

The UI of Caves is rather clear.


It is recommended to check the green question mark in menu, as it briefs you about the essential basics of the game.

The ore sensor and enemy sensor only appear if purchased that run, which can then be installed as non-permanent modules.


The fullness bar (Yellow % bar in the top left) only appears if Hunger Mode was activated.

There are different Inventory viewing modes, and can be adjusted in menu.


Caves is turn-based. Moving, using/dropping items and attacking all take a turn. The same applies for most other units (enemies, allies,etc) in Caves.

Unit states and some tile states are affected by turns. E.g., health regeneration for 60 turns starts at the turn you acquire it and ends after you walk passes 59 tiles, and, throwing Fire Potion on tiles will light the tile on fire for 8 turns. 7 turns after throwing, the fire ends.

UI navigation and aiming is not restrict to turns. You can freely view your inventory and cancel your aiming without costing a turn.


Caves is tile-based. Meaning, the maps are made up of a grid of squares, aka cells/tiles.

'Tiles adjacent to character' means the 4 cells/squares side-to-side joined to the tile that character standing on. 'Tiles diagonal to character' means the 4 cells/squares vertex-to-vertex joined to the tile that character standing on. If adjacent tiles are called 1 tile away from character, diagonal tiles are 2 tiles away, although the visual distances from adjacent and diagonal tiles to character are similar.

There can be at most 1 unit or 1 obstacle on a tile at one time.

There can be at most 1 item on a tile at one time. There cannot be any item dropped on a tile occupied by facilities like lab bench and wooden shelves.

There can be more than 1 tile state (fire/acid/demonic portal, etc) on a tile at one time.


Each turn, character can move vertically or horizontally to a adjacent tile by tapping the tile. It is important to note while ranged weapons can fire diagonally, melee weapons cannot. The player also cannot walk on tiles diagonally.

You can also tap a distant tile in sight, character will move to that tile if there is a way.

You cannot move through blocks, obstacles, and non-friendly units, but you can kill or break some of them. Lakes can be walked in, but the character will not walk in them by default. While possible, this is often a poor idea due to receiving damage. Tapping blocks or obstacles adjacent to character breaks them. Walls and shiny stone cannot be broken by normal means.

You can stay for a turn by tapping the tile character standing on. If the tile is intractable, e.g. purchase tile, it opens up the UI and you also stay for one turn. Purchases do not take a turn.


The starting location of your first run is going to be location 1, the standard Caves (there are Acid Caves and Lava Caves). The map for each location is initially dark. Any area you explore will be recorded in the Map panel. You can mine for gold and emeralds, which are the resources that remain even after permadeath. Each location has an ancient ruins, where you can explore to obtain rarer items but have to face much more enemies. These are randomly generated closed indoor area, with few ores. Once you feel like your location has been sufficiently explored, you should find and enter the portal that sends you to the next location. Be careful! The next location is much more difficult and you cannot go back after leaving a location.

On every second location, (e.g. 2,4, and 6), you can find a home portal which sends you back to shelter. It is not the end of the adventure, it is only a mid-run station for doing some refills or upgrades.

Field of View

The maximum field of view is 4 tiles away from the character. Blocks can reduce the field of view. Without any blockage of sight from block, you will have square of light stretching away from the character with a diagonal of 9 tile units.

The field of view is dynamic so it can change every turn according to the map and your position.

Basic Combat

Melee Attack - Tap an adjacent enemy

Ranged Attack - Tap the aim/shoot button. targets within 2 tiles will be in highlighted-frames, and then tap your target to shoot. All ranged weapons consume ammo or other resources.

Some ranged weapons and abilities allow you to perform action even when you target an empty tile and not a unit. Common examples are the flamethrower, the grenade-gun, and the Teleportation ability.

Successful Attack - depending on weapons, attacker's stats and target's stat, there are chances that an attack is dodged, blocked or does 0 damage, which effects the amount of damage done.

If a ranged attack is dodged, then the projectile can hit the unit behind the target or destroy the obstacle behind the target.

Some effects can still happen if an attack is blocked. For instance, the fire sword can light the tile on fire even if the attack was blocked, hammers still produce Blast Wave, and acid arrow still spills acid on tile.

Attacks without being blocked or dodged are successful attacks.

Critical hit - critical hit deals extra damage and ignore target's armor. Critical damage is affected by Luck stats, weapons and some artifacts. Some weapons have a "quality" rating such as poor or perfect which can affect how much critical hits increase the damage.

Unit - All units have some commonalities with the character. They also have their own inventory, field of view and are subject to different effects.


Items make up a large part of Caves. You can check your items in the inventory. Tapping items opens up their description window.

Potions and scrolls are randomized every game. Often, the player must test them to identify them. After being used once, the player will be able to identify that object any time they see it from then on.

Every item has its own maximum stacking number. Once you have a full stack you will be unable to pick up any more until some has been dropped or used.

Every item can be dropped on tile.

Every item can be either equipped or applied. Equipment can be recycled in recyclers in exchange for gold, with high tier artifacts giving emeralds. Consumables, will be lost on application.

Equipment can be removed by opening the Equipment tab and selecting the items, then unequipping.

Applying potions, black scrolls, or other consumables have the same grid system as ranged attacks. First tap the 'Apply' or button in the description window, then choose the target tile or unit.


One of the main features of Caves, abilities, are special skills. The player can choose one of them when starting a new run. Abilities cannot be changed after starting, unless the player return to the shelter through home portal. Abilities are very useful skills that consume energy, which can often be easily replenished in the Caves.

Some abilities need to be purchased, and will not be unlocked initially. Any purchased abilities will remain permanently unlocked.

Abilities can be upgraded. Upgrades are permanent.

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