Tales of Maj'Eyal (TOME) is a viciously addictive roguelike adventure which contains a number of key features that both improve the gaming experience overall and crucially distances itself from other run-of-the-mill roguelikes. It is 2D and turn based, preferring gameplay and depth over graphical wizardry.
One important distinction between TOME and other roguelikes is the lack of emphasis on procedural generation. TOME actually has a plot, one that spans continents and the void between worlds, a story of darkness, magic and of course world domination. Throughout each playthrough, the story is the same, albeit with some slight alterations/additions depending on the actions you take and the starting class you select. There is a world map, and the major story locations do not change. Although the layout of each dungeon is procedurally generated, this is not empasised as a selling point of the game - it is merely a tool used to highlight the other qualities this game possesses. And boy are there a lot of qualities.
First and foremost - the character classes. Good luck finding a more comprehensive, deep and exciting set of classes in any other roguelike, or any other GAME for that matter. TOME has over 15 of these, ranging from the stalwart Bulwark to the insidious Shadowblade to the righteous Sun Paladin, TOME has you covered for any kind of playstyle you wish to try. Each class then has a vast array of talent branches to follow, and the branches you choose to develop will essentially create a subset of the class you have chosen. The customisation possibilities are massive, resulting in a lot of replayability and tactical flexibility.
Combat is a highly tactical turn based affair, with a strong emphasis on positioning, cooldowns, and your innate knowledge of your own abilities versus your opponent's. Once within your view, every enemy you encounter can be right-clicked on to view their statistics, abilities (passive and active) and resistances. There are no consumables in TOME. The use of each of your skills and items works on a cooldown system, and managing these cooldowns effectively will make the difference between you slaying a boss or becoming a small stain on a tower floor.
And believe me, the latter will happen far more often than the former if you're not prepared, because TOME is HARD. Hard as in one-hit-kill hard. Hard as in the game gives you 3 options - Rogulike (1 life), Adventure (gain lives as you level up) and Exploration (infinite lives) - and taking the Roguelike option early on will result in tears. Hard as in some of the more powerful enemies in the game are comprised of two separate random character classes, and God help you if you face one with two even remotely synergistic classes under its belt.
And to be honest, if there's one thing that drives me nuts about TOME, it is the difficulty. No doubt this makes me a console casual, but I'm serious. The difficulty of TOME is not embedded within the general gameplay, such as a game like Dark Souls, but rather in its frightening inconsistency of enemy threat. The existence of enemies with randomly combined abilities, together with the fact that there are over 10 different damage types (Fire Cold Darkness Light Mind Temporal Blight Nature bleh) means that at some point (normally after you've spent 10 minutes breezing through a horde of useless trash mobs) you will suddenly bump into a Godlike terror that sends you screaming into the abyss of death with a single, sloppy blink, simply due to having the perfect storm of resistances, abilities and relative level that results in a big tick in the Rekt column. Despite my affection for this wonderful, deep and mechanically interesting game, it is also by far the game I have rage-quitted the most.
Good - Excellent character classes, tactical combat and involving storyline.
Bad - Insane difficulty spikes
Overall - if you enjoy a good tough roguelike, you should already have this game!