Death’s Door is a charming, but occasionally quite challenging, game about a little crow spirit working as a soul collector for the Reaping Commission HQ.

As you might gather, the job isn’t easy, because many souls quite enjoy not being taken into the afterlife. As a result, your little crow has to deal with a fair amount of increasingly complicated locations filled with enemies and environmental puzzles.

And there’s always a boss fight at the end, challenging your mastery of the tools gathered along the way.

DD is an isometric action-adventure game sharing some DNA with Metroidvania and Zelda-like genres due to its location designs and accumulation of tools and abilities unlocking previously blocked areas. It all works perfectly, and there’s even a true ending to work towards after you beat the game once.

Death’s Door is a fairly short game, however. Which is great for replayability and things never overstaying their welcome, but eventually, the game will end, and something will need to take its place.

Where would you find fun dungeons to explore, simple and fairly challenging combat, and a friendly aesthetic? We have some suggestions.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Okami Hd 2006-04-20 Adventure Clover Studio
Skul The Hero Slayer 2021-01-21 Indie SOUTHPAW GAMES
Have A Nice Death 2022-03 Action Roguelike Magic Design Studios
Dead Cells 2017-05-10 Action & Shooter Motion Twin
Ori And The Will Of The Wisps 2020-03-11 Action Moon Studios
Hades 2019-12-10 Indie Supergiant Games
Titan Souls 2015-04-14 Adventure Acid Nerve
Hollow Knight 2017-02-24 Action & Shooter Team Cherry
Tunic 2022-03-16 Action TUNIC Team
Victor Vran 2015-07-24 Adventure Haemimont Games
Hyper Light Drifter 2016-03-31 Adventure Heart Machine
Blue Fire 2021-02-04 Action Robi Studios
Bastion 2011-08-16 Adventure Supergiant Games
Biomutant 2021-05-25 RPG Experiment 101

Titan Souls

Release date:2015-04-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Acid Nerve

Before there was Death’s Door, developer Acid Nerve made Titan Souls.

The shared DNA is apparent in the theme of collecting souls from powerful enemies, in the restricted (although in different ways) ranged combat. Even some bosses might seem a bit familiar. However, where DD has a fair amount of exploration and a metroidvania vibe, Titan Souls is a boss rush.

It’s puzzle, because while both you and the bosses die in one hit, it can take a fair bit of effort to find an opening in the defenses of each titan. You also have just one arrow, so precision and good timing are required, or you’ll miss your chance. Thankfully, the arrow can be recalled, so you’re not completely screwed, the game is hard enough as it is.

Key features
  • 2D, pixel-art graphics
  • Well over a dozen unique bosses to defeat
  • One hit-one kill both for you and the bosses, the trick is to find a way to hurt them
  • Death’s Door’s predecessor

Hyper Light Drifter

Release date:2016-03-31
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Heart Machine

Hyper Light Drifter is an action RPG putting you in the role of… well, a Drifter, one of the people who explore the world looking for lost knowledge and ancient artifacts.

In the case of the specific Drifter you’re playing as, there’s also a personal motivation: finding a cure for the illness you’re suffering from. A great excuse to explore the vibrant, evocative world, isn’t it?

While the tone and atmosphere have been likened to Studio Ghibli movies, in terms of gameplay, Hyper Light Drifter is an isometric, pixel-art action RPG focused on exploration and dynamic combat amid the ruins of forgotten civilizations. It also shares Death’s Door’s idea of regaining the charges of your ranged attack through attacking enemies with your melee weapon.

Key features
  • No spoken dialogue: story told through art and sound
  • Combat uses melee attacks to recharge your ranged option
  • Explore a fascinating world in search of artifacts and cure for your illness
  • Progression system includes gaining new skills and gear

Hollow Knight

Release date:2017-02-24
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Team Cherry

If you’d like a shift of perspective and scope, Hollow Knight might just be the greatest metroidvania on the market, and the only thing wrong with it is that the sequel still isn’t out at the time of writing.

The combat is precise, brutal, and responsive, the world map is incredibly well-designed, the hand-drawn 2D aesthetic is stunning, and the story is fascinating.

In HK you’re taking on the role of the Knight, who came to the kingdom of Hallownest, a place consumed by a weird, maddening disease. You will discover more about both the disease and your own role as you converse with NPCs and explore the world, eventually leading up to one of several possible endings.

Key features
  • A rather sad setting: a once flourishing insectoid kingdom ravaged by a horrifying Infection
  • Beautiful hand-drawn aesthetic
  • Demanding combat and traversal
  • A sequel is in the works

Blue Fire

Release date:2021-02-04
Genre:Action
Developer:Robi Studios

Blue Fire is something of an outlier on the list: it’s a fully 3D action-adventure game with more focus pushed towards to platforming and movement than combat.

Exploration of the game’s levels is an essential part of the experience, but Blue Fire doesn’t shy away from combat either, presenting a hard to ignore danger during your acrobatic endeavors.

Blue Fire follows a character named Umbra, a masked figure composed partially of darkness itself. Umbra’s mission is to defeat corrupted gods and reach the Queen of Darkness, currently ruling the world of Penumbra, a somewhat gloomy place. There is some overlap with Hollow Knight, but the focus on mobility, 3D environment, and original story do give GF a strong identity of its own.

Key features
  • Excellent platforming with engaging mobility
  • Fully 3D world
  • Especially similar to Hollow Knight in some respects
  • Satisfying challenge rooms truly testing your mastery of the game

Hades

Release date:2019-12-10
Genre:Indie
Developer:Supergiant Games

Hades goes in a different direction than Death’s Door, as a roguelike with procedurally assembled levels, but the general presentation feels familiar, and so does the gameplay, even if it’s more oriented towards rapid bouts of flashy combat.

Even the story has some theme-overlap, as both games concern themselves with the workings of the afterlife, to some extent.

The difference is that in Hades you’re playing as the rebellious son of Hades himself, and you want to do anything BUT your job. In fact: you want to get out of the underworld, for personal reasons. It’s not a simple task, but your Olympian extended family is happy to aid you along by providing powerful boons improving your abilities and expanding the effectiveness of your weapons.

Key features
  • Isometric combat-oriented roguelike
  • Digs deep into Greek mythology to create its fantastic supporting cast
  • Many emergent builds possible thanks divine boons and an arsenal of weapons
  • There’s a sequel on the way

Skul: The Hero Slayer

Release date:2021-01-21
Genre:Indie
Developer:SOUTHPAW GAMES

Heroes are pesky, nosy troublemakers, never letting good, hard-working minions of the Demon King work in peace.

Somebody should do something about that, and that somebody is you. Enter Skul, a soldier in the DK’s army who ends up having to save his coworkers from captivity at the hands of heroes. That’s a lot of work for a small but determined skeleton!

Skul: The hero Slayer is a side-scrolling, 2D action roguelike with pixel-art graphics. What distinguishes it from the rest of the genre, other than the fun, un-heroic premise, is the fact that the little skeleton isn’t hugely attached to its head. In fact, you can replace it with the skulls of other servants of the Demon king to access their abilities, and even swap between two heads at will!

Key features
  • Plenty of fun transformations powered by replaceable heads
  • Save other servants of the Demon King from the rude heroes
  • The skulls can awaken to become more powerful, complete with new appearance
  • Exciting, dynamic, and rather spectacular combat

Transistor

Release date:2014-05-20
Genre:Indie
Developer:Supergiant Games

Before there was Hades, developer Supergiant Games made Transistor, a game about a singer robbed of her voice, and a talkative sword.

But it’s also a cyberpunk story about people’s consciousness transcending the death of their physical bodies. Add to that an out-of-control technology which endangers the city’s population and you’ve got a great premise to work with.

While the presentation is quite similar to Hades (and Death’s Door), Transistor’s gameplay is a mix of active and turn-based combat. Being able to plan a way out of a dangerous pickle is quite useful. Your sword, the titular Transistor, is very customizable, allowing for a variety of active and passive abilities you can reshuffle to your liking at any checkpoint, never locking you to a single build.

Key features
  • An interesting cyberpunk story about humans being digitized against their will
  • An interesting, dynamic blend of turn-based and active combat
  • Hades’ predecessor
  • Great music

Ori and the Blind Forest

Release date:2016-04-27
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Moon Studios

Ori is the second, after Hollow Knight, 2D (2.5D, actually) Metroidvania on the list.

This time more oriented toward platforming puzzles than nail-biting combat, but you shouldn’t expect the experience to be pacifism-friendly. In a true Metroidvania fashion, the map opens up as you acquire new abilities, be it from advancing the story or leveling up.

You’ll be playing as Ori, a small forest spirit, who has to protect a huge forest by bringing Waters, Winds, and Warmth back to it. While it sounds almost pastoral and less existential than collecting defiant souls in Death’s Door, don’t lets the gorgeous 2.5D graphics fool you: is a touching, emotional, and engaging story about loss and relations between parents and offspring.

Key features
  • Lovely graphics depicting an enchanting, if somewhat troubled, forest
  • Intense platforming
  • Complex world map that’s a joy (and a challenge) to traverse
  • A phenomenal sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Tunic

Release date:2022-03-16
Genre:Action
Developer:TUNIC Team

Let’s end the list with a game about a cute animal, shall we?

This time it’s going to be a valiant fox! Tunic is a mostly isometric action-adventure game taking you through numerous locations filled with traps, enemies, and ambient danger. The game has aspects of Soulslike games, not just because of handy combat rolls, but also due to enemies respawning when you at fox statues.

Combat is actually quite involved, for such a cute-looking game. In addition to basic skills like rolls or parries, there are also quite a few tricks you’ll learn as you collect the pages of the Instruction Manual, scattered around the world. In fact, the Manual is very important later in the story, which makes the free-form exploration of the world more satisfying.

Key features
  • Many tightly designed locations connected via the overworld
  • Uses an isometric camera to present a gorgeous, fable-like 3D world
  • Many tools for dealing with puzzles, enemies, and challenges
  • Interesting and meaningful collectible Manual, written in the game’s constructed language

One more dungeon

This is it for our list of alternatives for Death’s Door you might find interesting. Of course, it doesn’t exhaust the topic, as we haven’t even tapped into the more grim-looking options such as Salt and Sanctuary (let alone some other titles).

Hopefully, something caught your eye and you’re ready to spend a few (or few dozen hours) mastering the combat systems and exploring the maps in one (or several) of these fantastic roguelike and action-adventure games.