Darkest Dungeon is a challenging gothic roguelike turn-based RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring. Recruit, train, and lead a team of flawed heroes against unimaginable horrors, stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark. Can you keep your heroes together when all hope is lost?
User reviews: Very Positive (4,076 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 3, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Darkest Dungeon already has a ton of content (10 hero classes, 3 dungeon environments, dozens of monsters, 130+ items, and more ) and we want to give fans a chance to play the game now! This in turn gives us a chance to improve the game based upon player feedback and otherwise involve the community in development!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to be in Early Access for approximately six months, which time we will use to add more dungeons, more character classes, and many new features. Our intent is to release the full version of the game sometime in the 2nd half of 2015.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“For the full release, we are planning to add more dungeon environments (one of which is the Darkest Dungeon), more character classes, story mode completion, additional monsters, items, quirks, narration, and dialogue. We also have reserved some time to add other new features and make changes based upon player feedback!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current Early Access build is playable with 3 complete dungeon environments (Ruins, Weald, and Warrens), 10 character classes, 9 town building types, 5+ quest types, 30+ monsters, 130+ items, and more than 30 interactive dungeon objects. There is currently no end to the Campaign Mode in Early Access, so players can keep raising heroes and embarking on quests indefinitely. The full version of the game will have an end to the story.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Final pricing for the game has not been determined, but the initial price will not be below Early Access list price.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The community is encouraged to post feedback on the official forums: http://www.darkestdungeon.com/forums/. Also, purchasers are asked (but not required) to opt-in for anonymous gameplay data collection, which we use directly to collect play stats to assist with gameplay balancing.”
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Recommended By Curators

"Darkest Dungeon wears its Lovecraftiness on its sleeve, which means that in addition to freaky monsters, the game embraces madness as a game mechanic."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (21)

February 27

Build Update #7794 (PC and Mac)

  • Potential fix for Steam Overlay problem
  • Fixed profile editing issues
  • Fixed incorrect torch animation playing when loading into a dungeon
  • Fixed problem with curio quest item interaction not playing the correct sound effect
  • Fixed weird problem on Mac where you would always get a negative quirk and a positive quirk in the raid results
  • Fixed bug where you could drag loot from the loot box to your inventory even though it was supposed to go to the hero
  • Fixed curio quirk purge banner staying up indefinitely
  • Fixed quest generation to guarantee quest for each dungeon that is unlocked
  • Fixed scouting banner staying up when you switched to the inventory
  • Fixed act out reactions so that they only happen by heroes and in reaction to heroes who are alive
  • Fixed issue to ensure that any loot taken from a dead hero in a hallway doesn't interrupt the overlay events
  • Fixed overlay event assert
  • Fixed many spelling mistakes
  • Unnamed Curse is now a negative result!
  • Knife board was accidentally tagged as "drink"...not anymore

65 comments Read more

February 26

Build Update #7756 (PC and Mac)

  • Fixed issue with corrupt save file handling
  • Fixed "Prop type not handled" assert
  • Fixed camping sound effects not stopping when quitting to main menu from camping
  • Fixed camping skill error with "Clean Guns" where some buffs were not applying
  • Fixed missing strings for block buff masochistic
  • Updated art for round indicator (no more purple!)
  • Party surprise will now always move at least one hero in the party

30 comments Read more
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About This Game

Darkest Dungeon is a challenging gothic roguelike turn-based RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring.

Recruit, train, and lead a team of flawed heroes through twisted forests, forgotten warrens, ruined crypts, and beyond. You'll battle not only unimaginable foes, but stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark. Uncover strange mysteries, and pit the heroes against an array of fearsome monsters with an innovative strategic turn-based combat system.

  • The Affliction System – battle not only monsters, but stress! Contend with paranoia, masochism, fear, irrationality, and a host of gameplay-meaningful quirks!
  • Striking hand-drawn gothic crowquill art style
  • Innovative turn-based combat pits you against a host of diabolical monsters
  • Ten (and counting!) playable hero classes, including Plague Doctor, Hellion, and even the Leper!
  • Camp to heal wounds or deliver inspiring speeches.
  • Rest your weary, shell-shocked characters in town at the Tavern or the Abbey to keep their stress in check.
  • Classic CRPG and roguelike features, including meaningful permadeath, procedural dungeons, and incredible replay

Can you stem the tide of eldritch horrors erupting across your family’s ancestral estate?

Descend at your peril!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.9+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.9+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
Helpful customer reviews
159 of 183 people (87%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Early Access Review
I took my 4 best units, which isn't saying much, and headed for the apprentice Necromancers lair, I blazed through the dungeon without breaking a sweat, loot everywhere, over eight-thousand golds worth. Found the Necro-♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ in the last room on my last torch. he fell in exactly six turns without doing more than half the health of my party, it was time to rush his last and finish up.

Don't rush the minion.

My Highwayman, Crusader and Plague doctor all missed their attack, the Vestal got a single point heal on the entire party, no issue, just attack again next turn. The ten health minion landed a crit on my Highwayman, inflicting bleed. He died on the first tick. That's it, i thought to myself, I attacked with my remaining three units, Crusader missed, Plague Doctor didn't inflict blight, the Vastel only did three damage.

He crits again on my Vastel, she drops to deaths door and all three have a resolve test.

They all become heroic. The next Crusader turn I landed a hit for sixteen damage and left the dungeon.

Amazing Game, would have a heart attack again.
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90 of 101 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Early Access Review
Most depressing game? Quite possibly.

Darkest Dungeon is a game I only recently discovered, and I'm very glad I did.
An incredibly punishing game that should please masochists the world over - Darkest Dungeon combines a variety of gameplay elements spanning several genres, and heavy influence from Lovecraftian mythos with dark gothic themes.
Playing as somewhat of an RPG/DnD/adventure/roguelike hybrid, the game focuses upon building a party and completing quests through side-scrolling exploration riddled with turn-based strategy for combat. This may sound fairly stock-standard, but the added element of "stress" adds a layer of depth unlike any I've seen in a game.

Each character has a set amount of HP. Simple? Yes.
Each character has a set level of stress at any given point in time. Simple? Not quite.

Actions while questing, fighting, resting and returning to town in-between quests will all have an impact on a character's stress; this is what turns an otherwise fairly simple RPG into a challenging, punishing experience of a game. Once stress level on a character hits 100, they turn insane: acting irrational, spreading stress among party members, attacking of their own accord in battles. This is exactly what you want to avoid.

I could go on about Darkest Dungeon for several pages, but that would simply be detracting from the amount of time you could be spending actually playing it. Though early access (at this moment), it's easily worth the purchase and will have you cursing for hours on end as your party members trudge through dungeons, are faced with insanity and eventually perish.

Buy this game.
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64 of 75 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
Early Access Review
Let me preface this by saying how much I dislike turn-based combat. In all my years of gaming, games like Final Fantasy and, well, any JRPG really, rubbed me up several wrong ways when I came back to the realization that my party and the enemy were taking it in turns to stand in a forest clearing and kick each other in the shins until the guy who didn't bring enough healing potions fell over. The only game with turn-based mechanics that I ever liked, even loved, was XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which felt like playing a massive, high-stakes board game where tactical positioning and cover was of the utmost importance, and the turns progressed in a way that made sense.

Well, after several years of being in a Pathfinder group, and about a decade of being in love with gothic horror in general, Darkest Dungeon did for me what XCOM did. It did the impossible. It got me to like turn-based combat all over again.

That said, calling D.D. a "turn-based" game is doing the fantastically well-implemented RNG elements a disservice. RNG is infamously difficult to get right, especially in rougelike titles where they basically hold up the entirety of the experience, but D.D. has found that precarious balance between unrelenting and fair, where challenges feel surrmountable and all of the numbers mean very important things that become gradually evident over time. There's this problematic occurance in a lot of RNG games I've played where the slightest mishap in balancing the numbers is the single, tenuous line between monstrously unfair and insultingly easy. D.D., to its credit and my endless amazement, has found the balance upon the edge of the knife.

And, holy crap you guys, this game is still in Early Access. Oh my good lord, but I cannot WAIT to see how these guys polish their formula, because it's already a mirror finish.

In general, there's a whole bunch to love about D.D., but I'll rattle off a few things that I find immensely pleasurable:

--The "crowquill" art style and gothic, Lovecraftian influences are drop-dead gorgeous. Props to their art designer (and also to Mike Mingola, who kind of started the whole thing) for making some of the creepiest, grimiest, flat-out prettiest aesthetic choices I've seen since Dark Souls (the first one, that is).

--The varied player classes and character builds makes for some damn fun experimentation and augmentation as you build up resources and plan your parties' ventures. I love how almost every class is viable in almost any position with the right build and gear. I've already had great fun trying out new kinds of parties, mostly failing, and learning a lot from those failures. There's some deep, rich mechanics under this game's surface, and I, for one, am eager to puzzle them out.

--The tactical positioning mechanics. Holy crap, this might have basically sold the entire thing to me. As I mentioned previously, turn-based games aren't my thing. Turn-based tactics, on the other hand, now there's an entirely different bugbear. The way you suss out how different squaddies fit together, the best party orders, the best adventuring combo teams, and then watching in abject terror as your team gets suprised and jumbled and your entire oder is screwed up and you have to scramble, sweating and swearing, to reassemble your precious roster row before that dreaded, incoming TPW. Glorious. Simply glorious.

--The weight of the player's decisions. Everything matters in this game. Every little decision the player makes can have massive consequences in the short AND the long. I seriously have not played anything so maschostically challenging, nor as powerfully rewarding, since Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

That's about it. There's so much greatness in this game, and so much I could talk about. It is in early access though, so I think a brief list of more things I'd like to see is in order:

1. Random events in dungeons: coming across a lost family searching for a way out, or perhaps an ancient tome of eldritch power that the party can't decide what to do with, or maybe recuing a hapless villager from the clutches of the swine hoards. Those are pretty simple examples off the top of my head, but this game is absolutely RIPE for the odd proc gen, or maybe even scripted events that can only occur once per playthrough, that comes along to mix up the formula. Some great opportunities for challenging mechanics-driven decision-making here, guys. Love to see it implemented.

2. More character classes: yeah, there's already a lot, and I know some more have been planned, but holy crap guys, I cannot believe how many concepts for classes didn't make it in to a game like this. The Huntress, the Archaeologist (Indiana Jones, anybody?), the Librarian, the Investigator (I'm thinking Shadow Over Innsmouth), the Sheriff (or maybe Marshall?), the Muskateer, the Assassin, and that's just right off the top of my head. Seriously, to see more awesome adventuring dudes and dudettes to send to their untimely demises would make me just the happiest.

3. More insight into the world and the story of the Ancestor: seriously, the bridging narrative (what there is of it) in this game is turning out to be some sick, twisted, wonderfully macabre worldbuilding. I want so much more. I seriously can't get enough. If there's a way to implement it (as perhaps in a way similar to number 1 up above), more story missions would be the absolute tops. It's already great, you guys. I just want more.

So, yeah. Early Access. Already an absolute gem. Only going to get better. GIVE THESE GUYS YOUR MONEY. THEY EARNED IT. Want to see more of it. Probably will. Eagerly await new content and alterations.

Peace.
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82 of 112 people (73%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
88.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
Early Access Review
>Be me.
>Get letter from wealthy recluse relative.
>Family Estate is overrun by beast, brigands, and evil ones.
>Reclusive Relative dead.
>Estate is mine, bit of a fixer-upper, comes with very own butler.
>Butler spends most of his time at the pub. #moocher
>Hire a couple of laborers to clear brush, gotta flip this property.
>One worker a transient, one a religious pilgrim doing a work/travel abroad thing #dontjudgemeiwontjudgeyou
>they're a bit rough around the edges, eat too much, always complaining about not having the right gear and missing the common sense to avoid fingering dead things.
>Workers return with syphilus and tetanus and a fear of the dark.
>Invest in heathcare and benefits of non-unionized laborers. #becausewecare
>Hire more workers. #offthebooks
>Labour saftey regulations in this country are lax.
>workers die off. #shallowunmarkedgraves
>get more lambs for the slaughter workers.
>0 days since last workplace injury.
>upgrade heathcare. It's like offering Roman gladiators dental. #uselesscuztheygonnadie
>turns out this fixer-upper is a money pit.
>Restart game.

>Repeat.


This is by far the most entertaining realestate simulator I have ever played.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 52 people (85%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
Early Access Review
Darkest Dungeon is, essentially, a dungeon crawler, but, thanks to the visual style, narration and well-crafted game mechanics, it transcends the bounds of genre and expectations.

It should be noted, that, regardless of EA stage, the game is not only playable, but reliably enjoyable. Except for the lack of story ending and access to some of the dungeons, it could totally pass for the feature-complete product. It's nice to know, though, that developers are still going to add even more content - if they accomplish that goal, the finalized game well may reach such remarkable quality level, that it will set a new reference standard among indie game projects.

Good things
  • Game mechanics

    Developers managed to find the fragile balance, making game mechanics deep, but inuitive and easy to grasp at the same time. You won't be completely lost from the very start, but there is a bit of intriguing sophistication to make sense of later. The "Stress" system is an especially good addition to the gameplay.

  • Interface

    The bane of number-crunching, turn-based games, the interface is well-managed here. Well-proporsioned and unobtrusive elements blend into gameplay process fast and easily.

  • Difficulty and replayability

    In spite of the waringins about "making the best of bad situation", the game is not too hard for a more casual player. Hardcore dungeon explorers may find it a bit lacking for their taste. But the balance is good, and the game finds amusing ways of bringing even the experienced player down to earth sometimes. In my second playthrough, just as soon as I started to think that I'm dealing with things too well, the tide of events made a sudden turn and I found myself escaping the dungeon with only half of the team, badly beaten. And, to my astonishment, it feeled just as a natural matter of hard luck, not a difficulty-balancing smite from the game engine!

  • Style

    Despite everything mentioned above, the game could still come out relatively mediocre, if not for the visual, sound and narrative style.
    The disembodied voice of narrator gently but firmly guides you through the early stages and offers timely comments later, which greatly enriches the atomshpere. Unvoiced phrases of your heroes really make the story shine, though. You'll have a lot of fun watching them express their opinions and emotions while in action. Not to mention the heroes bickering, which is hilarious, but disasterous for their combat effectiveness
    Visual style is in carefully crafted superposition between self-irony caricature, Lovecraft-ish illustration and all-too-serious dark fantasy. Play the game for a little while, and be engulfed in its atmosphere.
    Sound only adds to the effect. The soundtrack links to the game events well, but it doesn't leap to the foreground.

Things to wish for
  • Minor loading screen glitch fix

    Sometimes the level loading screen seems to be stuck - and if you try to nudge things along with a mouse click or a keystroke, the game may crash. I've only encountered the glitch a couple of times.

  • More content

    The more, the better. More character phrases, more dungeons, more monsters, more bosses with peculiar stratagies!


All in all, the game is not only good already, but has a lot of potential to become better! A nice example of a well-made Early Access project, for a change.

Absolutely recommended.
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86 of 120 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
Early Access Review
You will go crazy.
You will rage.
You will contract Syphillis.
You will die.
And then you die some more.

Best game of 2015 and best early access. Would go insane again.
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61 of 88 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
100.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Early Access Review
Needs a lot of work before I would recommend it to anyone. Just SOME things this 100-hour player (including 20 Level 5 heroes with level 5 everything - each class at one point or another, at least twice over) has to say:

- The dev's, like many before, do not understand that RNG cannot be let loose on it’s own - it needs to be there for some games, but it should never be left to it's own devises. You need to make sure that nothing can Crit over and over and over and over, nor can you have misses happen over and over and over (90% chance to hit misses more than 50% in other games, IOW). Dear RedHook, learn the same thing that GGG did with their evasion mechanic: allowing pure rng made the mechanic broken. They learned that they needed to enact a system where too many missed or too many hits could not happen - you can read about it on the Path of Exile wiki. PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT HAVING AN ISSUE WITH RNG ITSELF, OR HOW MUCH IS LEFT TO RNG - I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANY DEV WHO JUST ALLOWS THE RNG TO PURELY DO ALL THE WORK. CONSTRAIN IT!!! EX - Any programmer will tell you that if you write code to randomly spit back 0 or 1, and you just use RAND() (or whatever the function/method/class in your favorite language calls it) - you can run it hundreds or thousands of times and check the results, only to see, 1 come out sometimes 20 times in a row. So your programmed a 50/50 chance, yet what happens? You get one of the two values repeatedly. You could have the same thing happen if you randomly generate 0-9 or whatever you want. My point is, few find unbridled rng to be fun, and I imagine they might like some sales from hardcore lovers who like their hardcore fair, not full of lazy AI and mechanics.

- AI needs work! If the rng wasn't there to give it a kick, and they didn’t hide turn order (with a laughable excuse for why they, RedHook, won’t), it would be a total joke. The only thing "smart" I have seen it do is target a specific player (randomly, it seems) and have most or all the mobs fight him. Not a bad tactic, I guess, but it feels cheap, and then the AI changes target just when they were close to killing the first. I have also seen the AI "pull" a teammate to the front (there are pull and push abilities), only to push them back the very next round (the AI has no memory of actions, except, I guess, to pick one target and stick to it, until RNG says to move elsewhere. Lot's more crap like this to experience... I have zero faith this will be fixed because most gamers are too stupid to notice bad AI, and even if they did, it's that last consideration (possibly below bug fixing, if that is even possible).

- The economy is in need of adjustment. Not really much to say there, I believe the dev thinks so too, just not sure when it will happen (unless you find a "broken" party setup that clears content easily) as far too often you feel stalled in progress due to there being lots of ways to spend money but no many ways to earn a nice amount, until late game... which reminds me...

- Early game is unforgiving, mid game is brain dead easy, and then end game is ridiculous in how it swings between the two, but when it gets unforgiving (in the bad way), you will litterally want to uninstall the game and swear the devs off.

- Trinkets continue to drop that are broken - that is - they provide bonuses for a class that cannot help them (increased chance to blight and bleed for a class that does not have any poison or bleed skills, e.g.). They say they are aware and will fix it, but update after update, this is still broken.

- WAY TOO REPETITIVE (this coming from some that loves randomized-content games). No matter how many times you run a dungeon, level it up, kill one of the three levels of the boss for that dungeon (same boss, exactly, each time - YAWN!), it’s the same tile sets, and the randomization is rather lackluster in terms of how the rooms and connecting hallways are laid out. Having the last two dungeons added will alleviate this a tiny amount, but it's just going to end up repetitive again. Why can't dungeons get altering tile sets and layouts as they level up, or at least for the boss runs? Why, if this game is supposed to be random in its layout, have I seen the same layout NUMEROUS times? This is a game that is begging to be paid for hundreds of hours, but I guess the devs don't have the same vision (which is odd, games that give you so much value end up selling post-release content at a way higher rate, and the sequel does better too).

- Stess system is broken. Getting crits give, on average, way more stress than giving them takes away. The walking around stess is also a poor decision. Level 4 heroes with Level 5 skills, armor and weapons should not get random stress from walking around in a Level 3 quest in a level 3 dungeon. Stress received and taken away needs some consistencey. +10 to you +5 to party/close-by friends if received, -10 for your and -5 for party/close-by charecters if you give one. Or have the scaling, since it also seems based on how hard you crit, also be as consistent. While I understand that a character that has hit 100 stress might say thing that bother the others, most of what leaves the mouth of these toons isn't stressful for anyone already in a very stressfull situation (fighting to the death).

- Hunger system is purely RNG'd and tiles are secretly labeld "hunger" - instead of travling distance and fighting rounds making this something consistant, you can sometimes never get ungry, or get it twicein the same hallway, even right after a fire rest. How does a party who just had a fire and had a feast become hungry two hallway tiles away?

- This game can be a performance hog on some system - which is crazy since this game is no way taxing of GPU or CPU based on the graphics. (the art is good, I just don’t see how this 2d game can made some systems crawl) My monster gaming rig has zero issues, beyond weird bugs and random hangs, but my tablet with a beefy enough cpu/cpu to plat CiV, has major issues with this game.


All in all, there is a great game to come of this prerelease version, I just hope the right changes are made - at least they are allowing mods so hopefully we can change the things they don't.
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51 of 75 people (68%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
Early Access Review
This game is so much like life in Kazakstan:
You go into cellar to get some meat from pig, fight through bad bandits (uzbek neighbours are real plague, like undead in game) and end up with a syphilis.
But then you have big party in tavern or brothel.

11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
50.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Early Access Review
One of the most addicting single player games i've played in years.

I've already played this more than most AAA games I purchased in the last 5 years.

You might be asking -- How the hell do you get that much enjoyment out of another early acess game?

1. It doesnt even feel like an early acess game.

2. I've lost my favorite character 2 or 3 times now and I feel legitamatley crushed everytime. << How many games have you played in the last 5 years that actually made you care that much?

3. The narrator is ♥♥♥♥ing fantastic..I Listen to the damn intro trailer instead of skipping it just to keep hearing his voice.

4. The brutality and fight for survival moments keep me on the edge of my seat,

5. The victory screen makes me feel I made it through hell.

Some cons

1. The RNG can literally destroy your whole team.

2. Needs more bosses before endgame and expanded story *its early acess so plenty of time for both*


Verdict - Everyone should buy and try this game. These guys really gave it their all on this game.
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87 of 150 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Early Access Review
Darkest Dungeon is a beautiful mess.

Outwardly, it has all the makings of a successful title: gorgeous artistic direction, an engaging score, a delightfully Lovecraftian atmosphere. All of this contributes to a promise of something deep, dark, and deliciously engrossing.

The savvy player will go in expecting a challenge. After all, the game stands at a crossroads of several historically demanding genres: RPG, survival, roguelike. These genres are loved for many reasons, but paramount in my book is that they offer a deep, precisely crafted challenge. This is where Darkest Dungeon fails, utterly.

The game offers nothing more than an illusion of depth. Class variety, skill selection, inventory management, character-building, team-building... I could go on. DD has it all. But never before has such a plethora of choices been so meaningless.

Sink as many hours as you like. There are no real lessons to be learned, no real experience to gain. You will enter the dungeon as a trembling, stupid peon, and come away very much the same. Ultimately, there is only one way to play this game: grind, and grind some more.

Sadly, one of the major selling points of DD, its character "stress" system, is the very centerpiece of this problem. Stress is unavoidable and inherently boring. Curing it is slow, expensive, and braindead: roll new characters and slog through low-level dungeons to earn money. Rinse, repeat.

This pattern replays itself through just about every facet of DD. There are no revelations or breakthroughs; just slow, monotonic progress and the looming shadow of boredom. Increasingly, the game's once-charming aesthetic becomes a reminder of what awaits: joylessness.

DD's early access status provides a glimmer of hope. There is still time for the developers to overhaul the game's mechanics and rescue an otherwise promising title. Give us something more to look forward to than a chronic nosedive.
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19 of 28 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
30.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
Early Access Review
Art and Atmophere

Atmosphere of the game is amazing, and the art is very well done. I absolutely adore the camping mechanic in this game. It just oozes personality. Easily my favourite part of the game. In fact, there is a huge amount of tension in trying to keep your party members alive and sane. The stress mechanic is brilliant and adds a lot to the feeling of the game.

The Strategic Gameplay

The problems with darkest dungeon isn't that its a roguelike with crushing RNG; its the same with the other games of the same genre. The problem is that its is a very grindable rougelike.

To make sure your heros have the best equipment and ability available, you will have to upgrade your town with heirlooms. To upgrade your town, you have to find heirlooms in dungeons. To get heirlooms without jeopordizing your best characters, you'll run low level dungeons, repeatedly.

There is no check to this. In fact the game encourages you to do this with the tiered dungeon system. Your hero too high level? Well then it can't participate in lower level dungeons, you get this new harder dungeon! Don't have other heroes of the same level, well then you are either going to go into that dungeon disadvantaged (and lose hours of work when they die) or going to have to grind other heroes up before you can use the high level one.

Because of this, the tension of the early game completely evaporates when you get to middle and late game. There is absolutely no incentive to push for higher level dungeons until you are completely geared due to perma death and the amount of time needed to reach that point. There is no timed mechanic like in XCOM or FTL that causes you to continue pushing forward.

The Tactical Gameplay

A huge part of the tactical gameplay depends on party composition. Everyone fights in a line and your available attacks depends on where you are at in the line. I find myself thinking about optimal party lineups well until the end of the game, so well done there.

Dungeon Crawling

Very uninspired. You move around in rooms and encounter monsters. You can find curios around which spices things up at the begining until you figure how they work. Traps basically just does damage to you.

Recommendation

Only get if you want to support to support the developers in making this game. I see a lot of potential for this game, but at the moment, the game is just not all there.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
40.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
Early Access Review
I'm not normally into turn-based strategy games, but I can't get enough Darkest Dungeon. The artwork is pretty damn sweet, the narrator has the coolest voice, and the combat is so intense and grueling.

In the beginning, you are basically at the mercy of RNG, and people will die. But the higher level you get and the better trinkets you earn, you will learn what combinations work well together and you will turn the RNG in your favor.

For only $20 at the time of this review, I would definitely say it is worth every cent. The game is Early Access at this point, but it is already developed enough to provide hours and hours of entertainment.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
73.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
Early Access Review
I name all the heros after ex girlfriends so when they die, I dont feel as bad...
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28 of 46 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
Early Access Review
I dupe this game "Dark Souls Tycoon".

I read, prior to purchase, that some people gave this game a negative review because of the use of RNG. Please tell me what crack they are smoking so I can sell that to them to give these devs more money.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
Early Access Review
This game is just amazing overall, for I love everything going for it. Atmosphere, characters, enemy designs, voice acting, dialogue ... like, combat system and everything that follows is top notch. Especially due to the fact this is an Indie Game, it's got potential to be a huge hit. So why the thumbs down then exactly? Well.... there's four kinds of difficulty in gaming:

- Challenging, but possible to beat.
- Difficult, but remains fair.
- Hard, but takes time to master.
- Unfair

Guess which one applies to Darkest Dungeon? Unfair.. flat out unfair. The game runs on a pure luck randomizer, meaning nothing will go the same as before. No amount of planning, strategizing, caution will save you from bad luck. There will be times you'll run into enemies and easily ace them without much as a scratch, or at times a single spider will land 20 critical damage ... TWICE in a row on the same person. It's honestly a huge deal breaker for me, because at least in games like Dark Souls .. it was tough but with practice and observation can be dealt with. In other games, it can be harsh but fair. This game doesn't like being fair in the slightest and will go out of it's way in ruining your day.

But please know it's an awesome game otherwise. Narration is probably the best if not most chilling performance i've heard in my gaming history. You get to name the heroes you assign onto your team, as well as hear their thoughts. Each hero, despite looking like some of their fellow counterparts- will have distinct personality traits that are either good or bad. Game's combat system is well established, and I love the camping moments when you have to settle down and pick what each hero does for that given night in either comforting their friends or helping themselves. Plus the upgrade system and mostly everything (including music + sounds) are fantastic. I also admire the fear factor, where stress can cause anyone to either go insane or become heroic in battle. It's a very interesting concept entirely.

Just ... that pure luck system is really unbalanced. In most cases, you will venture into a dungeon with little problem but all of a sudden, your selected champions will miss 4x in a row, and out of the blue your hero dies due to a critical or enemies got lucky. To much luck falls on the system, and it drains of what motivation I have to continue knowing full well anything goes regardless of caution, preparing, or mastery. Still love the game, but it can't get a thumbs up on my part until they fix this. A major deal breaker, and has screwed my 6 runs every time on a random mission in which I tried my best clearing.

TL;DR - Great game with so much going for it, but the pure luck mechanic ruins it. Way to based on dice rolls, can possibly get you killed in one battle or unable to continue the quest. Nothing you do can prevent the bad luck in any battle or situation... random factor is to high.
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
34.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Early Access Review
This game gave me PTSD.

10/10 Would become a brain dead tumblrite again.
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16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
Early Access Review
Too much stress? Syphilis.
Touched a bookshelf. Syphilis.
Leveled up. Syphilis.
Hag cooked my whole party like a ♥♥♥♥ing savage. Syphilis.

Syphilis/10. Would play again.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
Early Access Review
One of the most polished Early Access games I have ever played, Darkest Dungeon is a gem that deserves your time. A wonderful mish-mash of genres with the addition of the excellent Stress mechanics make this one of the most brutal RPG/Strategy/Rouge-Lite games in recent memory as well.

The art style is beautiful as well, conveying the gothic atmosphere well. In fact, I can't find to much bad to say about this game. If you are interested in a challenging game that is only going to get better as it gets closer to its projected summer release day. The addicting gameplay will bring you back for more, More of your adventurers suffering brutal deaths and mind-crushing insanities. Managing the stress that leads to insanity is one of the more gripping and complex of the mechanics in the game. In my opinion, it is one of the defining traits of this game.

Even if these types of games don't exactly appeal to you, I still recommend it. The addicting gameplay will bring you in and the amount of polish will impress. Go buy this game, it will besome of the best 20 bucks you spent on video games.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Early Access Review
Aaaah... the feeling of going into a dungeon, having a good time and actually get a nice bit of loot.
The thought of finishing this quest so nicely makes you smile...

Then suddenly your luck seems to run out, Your heroes stress goes through the roof,
ignoring your commands as they drop like flies...

At the end of it, you have a severely damaged survivor with just a bit of dungeon left to finish the quest...
Do you press on?
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Early Access Review
Very addicting game. Frustrating and difficult at times but still fun to play. Quite good for an early access game
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