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 (13,637 reviews) - 86% of the 13,637 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 19, 2016

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Recent updates View all (83)

April 26

Darkest Dungeon Builds #14065 [PC/MAC/LINUX]

This build is the same as the previous build exempt now all three platforms are in parity.

15 comments Read more

April 26

Linux Release, Town Events Update, PlayStation, and More!

We are happy to announce that Linux is officially out as a supported platform! Earlier this month we put out a beta version of the Linux build and with the help of our community members we’ve addressed all the major issues and feel confident in the current stability of the build to give it a wide release.

We want to thank Aaron Melcher of Knockout Games for his hard work in doing the port! Many Linux players will probably recognize his name as he has done many Linux ports for various popular games, and he has done a great job on Darkest Dungeon. We also want to thank our community members who jumped in early to help track down bugs and report them to Aaron as he worked on getting the build ready for release.

While we have your attention it is also a great opportunity to give everyone an update on what’s going on with the Town Events and PS4/VITA.

Although the game is already available for OSX via other storefronts, we are excited to be bringing it to the Mac App Store this later this week! Some people prefer to buy their games via that storefront, and we’re happy to oblige as well as to start strengthening our relationship with Apple! Stay tuned for imminent updates.

Let’s talk Town Events. We have now been full steam on Town Events for the past few weeks, and we’re excited about the new features! With the added time we have been able to digest our own internal feedback to the system, as well as the feedback we’ve received from our community.

Last time we talked about Town Events we wanted to put a clear definition out there as to what we want to accomplish with the added system. To reiterate:
  • ‘Town Events’ are designed to add variety to the Hamlet over the course of a campaign. Upon returning from an expedition, there is a chance for a thematic event to trigger in town – this functions akin to a deck of event cards.
Town Events add variety to the overall campaign and also provide additional personality to the Hamlet itself! In some cases, the events are related to quests. For example, the ALL SAINTS DAY event has a high chance to proc after successfully completing the Ruins Gather Holy Relics Quest. ALL SAINTS DAY sends the Abbey into a zealous celebration, and makes all treatments there free for that week!. We like this example as it helps answer a common community concern on the value of the various gather/destroy quests that we’ve had in the game for a long time, and have been criticized for their loss in value due to inventory restrictions.

Town Events are currently planned to deploy in mid to late May. We will also be circulating the patch on the “Coming in Hot” beta branch before wide release, so stay tuned for details if you wish to be one of the first to try out the update!

We have previously announced Late Spring/Early Summer as a target for PS4 and Vita release. With the adjustment of schedules and matching up with potential future events we are now targeting late July or August. We want to make sure that all of the Town Event contents we are working on now are solid for inclusion into the console release, as well as making sure it runs like butter and plays well with a controller. Adjusting controls, in particular, is not a quick process. We have a level of quality that we want to ensure in all of our releases and we would rather take some extra time to make it right, rather than rush it out the door. The awesome and talented Sickhead Games has been helping us with the porting.

We remain incredibly excited to bring the game to PS4 and Vita, and we have seen such enthusiasm from the community, as well. Sony has been a fantastic partner to work with, and we can’t wait to make a big Summer splash with the game!

Although we don’t have anything concrete here just yet, we wanted to also remind everyone that we are committed to improving the mod-ability of the game and officially supporting it via better tools, docs, and Steam Workshop integration! We have been amazed at the creations we’ve seen already. With everything already mentioned in this update, we’ve just been busy with other things we promised sooner! This remains incredibly important to us and we believe will really strengthen the long-term community of the game. We’ll update you as we break ground!

Those of you already engaging in modding, please feel free to post requests and ideas for tools/docs/etc in the Steam forums.

Last but definitely not least, we are starting to ramp up the machinery in preparation for producing the remaining Kickstarter rewards: prints, art books, diorama, drawn faces, etc. We have definitely not forgotten these! Finishing up Town Events will check off our last *feature* stretch goals, as well.

More updates coming on all these goodies!

BOOM, that’s it for now! We hope you are excited for all the things 2016 has in store for Darkest Dungeon. As always, we are listening to your comments and feedback at all the places listed below!

--Red Hook Studios
Tech Support: visit Steam Forums or email support@redhookgames.com
Backer Support: backersupport@redhookgames.com
General feedback: visit the forums, or email feedback@redhookgames.com

32 comments Read more


“Darkest Dungeon is an incredible take on the classic dungeon crawl.”
9.25 – Game Informer

“I can't say enough nice things about Darkest Dungeon.”
90 – US Gamer

“Darkest Dungeon is an awesome game of tactics, management, and pushing your luck”
91 – IGN

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
  • Narration system to celebrate your successes...and failures
  • 14 (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!

Awards and Honors

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    • OS: OSX 10.9+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.9+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1080p, 16:9 recommended
Helpful customer reviews
1,245 of 1,379 people (90%) found this review helpful
41 people found this review funny
257.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
To anyone reading these reviews who is confused by the massive swings between positive and negative, you need to know one thing: Darkest Dungeon is an emotional game. To people just starting out, it can seem baffling, unfair, and deliberately obscure. To people who have been playing since Early Access, and who have seen favourite party compositions and strategies rendered obsolete, the Steam reviews page is more of an extension of Reddit than anything else - a place to air grievances (legitimate or otherwise) over a game that they have dedicated a lot of time to.

What a lot of these reviews miss out is... y'know... the actual review part. On that front, I would say the following: the core gameplay is rock solid. At its heart, Darkest Dungeon has taken a minimalist, turn-based, four-man combat system and imbued it with massive potential for tactical thought and personal flair. Figuring out the best role for each of your heroes (chosen from a fairly generous pool of classes) and suddenly realising a unique way of getting them to synergise is immensely gratifying. Unlike a lot of games, it doesn't feel like there is a a ring-fenced area of "correct", vanilla play that only the very high-level players can get past; instead, you are encouraged and rewarded for coming up with your own strategies from the get go. The central combat system is smart, it pushes you to experiment, and there is a lot of room to come up with a playstyle that feels like your own, unique creation.

HOWEVER! If that's all Darkest Dungeon was, it would be a neat tablet-based distraction, but ultimately sterile. It is the stuff that comes layered on top of it that is the source of its intrigue - and also the source of a lot of the frustration you'll see directed at it. As a typical RPG player, you naturally do everything you can to guarantee the safety and efficacy of your character(s), and it feels inherently uncomfortable to work in a game environment that leaves you perpetually on your toes and at risk of failure. DD refuses to let you settle into a comfortable routine, and a massive enemy critical attack, an ambush in pitch-dark while camping, or a series of misses on your part can topple you from a seemingly-unassailable position to a very desperate one. The potential for a fail-cascade is what turns off many new players, and even drives experienced ones to the occasional rage-review, but it is also vital to the fundamental risk-reward balance of the game, which is designed to punish complacency and encourage the utmost thought on your part.

As you progress through a dungeon, you constantly need to balance a dwindling supply of light, food, sanity and health (although they can be restored in some ways), while also trying to complete objectives and collect much-needed loot with limited backpack space. Usually, this is the sort of gameplay I dislike; feeling that there is a time-limit, that I can't plough through something at my own speed in relative safety, is an uncomfortable experience after most games. However, the actual result is some very effective tension. In a normal RPG (say... Diablo), the steady drip of ever-increasing numbers is satisfying in a functional sort of way, but in DD the stakes are so high that getting a critical hit or dodging a huge attack always feels like a moment rather than just a nice bonus.

It can initially feel punishing and unfair, since most gamers are hard-wired to see a hero death (which is permanent), a catastrophic turn-around, or a "tactical retreat" as a failure. Likewise, the element of randomness can make it feel like your hard work and smart play has not been rewarded, like you're just a random collection of atoms buzzing around in a meaningless void where there is no God or higher authority to dispense justice or distinguish right or wrong.... It takes time to realise that you were never meant to have it easy, that it's always been a gamble, and you can't expect a perfect S ranking - all you can do is make the best play you can with the information you have. It takes time to realise that the game is pushing you to accept loss and difficulty as part of the game, rather than a failure.

Even I rage quit every now and then - but I always come back, because, as I said, Darkest Dungeon is an emotional game. You invest (real) time and (fake) money in your group of heroes, the odds are massively stacked in the House's favour, none of your guys is going to come out unscarred, you are going to face some serious setbacks, but you return because actually making it, actually landing that last hit at the last possible moment, realising you've scraped through again, is always a surprise, and an amazing one at that.
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992 of 1,189 people (83%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
318.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
I feel like I have to post a new review because all of the reviews that are pre-December, site problems that have been addressed. Red Hook released a huge bug fix and ease of use patch that was specifically designed so that players who dislike certain mechanics (like the stress for "delaying" a fight) can just turn them off. Red Hook is a company that does pay attention to the player base, the problem is that the player base is greatly divided. There is also an extremely vocal minority running a massive smear campaign on the internet, going so far as creating new steam accounts for the sole purpose of going through every positive comment and marking them unhelpful. While I don't want to get into that, if you want, you can absolutely find information about it.

Now that the game is released, you may have seen a certain top review, I urge you to look at his time played in the last two weeks (which includes the time since the game was actually released), and notice that he has not played the game since the release, which means he cannot say whether or not the content has improved. He has been attacking the game for months, and was (as far as I can tell) initially enraged by the fact that the devs were not interested in incorporating his opinion into their artistic vision, please keep this in mind when considering your purchase.

This game is amazing, and I've been playing since early summer. It has come incredibly far, and anyone who says otherwise is making snap judgements, or flat out lying. Darkest Dungeon has XCOM levels of difficulty. It has XCOM level "WTF" moments. Occasionally you will miss 99% chance to hit attacks, and occasionally enemies will get nigh impossible critical strings. But just like XCOM, through base building and experience, you can minimize risk and become a force to be reckoned with.

This game is challenging, but not nearly as hard as most negative reviews would lead you to believe. Most of them say things like "The devs have been trying to remove every winning strategy" or "the game is anti-fun now", but in reality, I haven't met any players new to the game that have problems with it. This leads me to believe that throughout the development of the game, players found certain strategies that were drastically over-powered (which is why in the discussion boards, there are players that rant about the game being too easy), and the devs introduced changes which reduced the efficacy of these imbalanced strategies (which in any other game would be considered a "balance patch", but apparently in this game, people think it is intended to be "fun-killing"). One of these strategies (early on) was to get 4 of the same class, and use the exact same attack every turn until you won everything. This is no longer possible. This seems like a reasonable balance patch to me.

I'm really disappointed that I have to write this review in this fashion. There is no reason I should be justifying the game against the recent torrent of bad reviews. This is an amazing game for anyone who likes strategy and/or Lovecraft. I have 300+ hours for a reason, you might not get that much time out of it, but for context, out of the current 3 difficulty tiers of dungeons, I didnt hit level 2 until 80ish hours. I really hope you give this game a chance.

Edit: Due to some feedback, I would like to make something clear, this game is not XCOM. It does not have XCOM's production value or quality, and it is not worth 60 dollars. It is certainly worth it's current price tag, and buying it on sale is a no brainer.

Release Edit: Now that the game is out, I can say that the devs really came through, they added a huge number of improvements and content with the final release. I recommend this game 100%, and it will only get better from here, as there are free content updates scheduled for the next few months.
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1,302 of 1,669 people (78%) found this review helpful
211 people found this review funny
84.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
TL;DR: Community Outrage Simulator masquerading as brutal dungeon crawl.

10/10, would read a thousand angry, formerly-positive reviews about corrupt devs instead of playing a great game again.

I picked up DD over the summer, drawn in by a sociological interest in certain members of the "community's" outrageously toxic backlash to the implementation of corpses and some other changes. Obviously, I was familiar with and intruiged by DD for its excellent art style already, but generally I am the type to wait for something to be complete before I give it a shot. However the sea change from unabashed praise to seemingly universal criticism was so comically severe you'd have thought the game had actually reached out and harmed them.

So thank you, dear, angry, entitled, (imo) wrong-headed (but certainly allowed to have and express your opinion, which you most certainly do, oh yes, you do...) players, for without your concentrated, delerious ire I may not have discovered one of my favorite games of last (and now this) year! For me, everything about this game is a win. The art, animation, music, sound design, narration, and general presentation are all top-notch. The prose itself is a particular highlight, as is the tongue-in-cheek brutality and general tone. To me, they really nail it.

It's hard for me to address the criticisms leveled at the gameplay itself, because it seems to me the game is pretty straight forward about what it intends to be. DD is a procedurally-generated, turn-based dungeon crawler with an emphasis on difficulty (with reference to Dark Souls) and light RPG elements and squad-management (with reference to modern X-Com).

I concede that this can be considered grindy. Dungeon crawlers are generally grindy, even great ones like Dungeon of the Endless or Legend of Grimrock. The distillation of the various aspects of the form, the massive selection of character classes, buffs, debuffs, monsters, the writing, the aesthetic, these come together to give it something more than the sum of its parts. However if you don't enjoy that core to some degree or other, I don't know why you'd be considering this anyway.

Personally, I never had a problem with corpses, because I never played the game without them. Over 50+ hours, I managed to beat a number of the bosses, level characters up to the top tiers, etc, ect, and only stopped because I felt like I had gotten far enough where I was ready to play the game in a finished state, and didn't want to master too much. I also died a lot. Then I died some more. And it was fun the whole time!

As the year went on and waves of negative Steam comments continued to roll in, I felt like I was inhabiting a completely different universe from those players. As they railed against it getting harder and harder, for example, I found myself reflecting that the game seemed to be being tweaked to make it easier. I certainly wasn't dying as much. Maybe I was just somehow very good at it? I don't know. I still die all the time in X-Com. I don't think of myself as a master gamer or tactician.

The other critique I saw a lot, which is one that really prompted me to put my words out there in defense of this thing and those involved in crafting it, is that the devs somehow didn't care about the criticisms, that they don't listen, or that they were corrupt, or that they had abandoned the project like does actually occur in the Early Access community, that this game was somehow some kind of scam. That's just ridiculous. There were three major updates from the time of my purchace to the end of the year, which added all kinds of content in various ways. They were constantly tweaking the game to find the balance that worked. They were communicative, and they were clearly listening and being involved (and also making the game, for goodness sake, cmon).

Getting back briefly to the Great Corpse Outrage 2k15, for example, corpses were made a voluntary opt-out in the options menu pretty much from Backlash Ground Zero. Not that a developer has any reason to do something like that, but to then deny that it happened, or to say that they don't listen, that they're somehow scamming you, that the game is ruined forever is just a hysterical, petulent, garbage argument. I can't understand what this aspect of the community actually wants, for the life of me. If the game isn't for you, you certainly don't have to play it. But a certain amount of the negativity (which borders on outright hostility) strikes me as being like that guy who orders and eats the burger and then complains to management it wasn't cooked to his liking. Still, you have to admire (if not boggle at) their conviction, and their sheer verbosity of it all.

For me, this game actually sold me on the idea that Early Access could be an enjoyable, worthwile process of participating in the honing of a project that you enjoy and want to support and I couldn't be happier with my decision to do so, and I look forward to playing it for another 50 hours or longer. Hopefully this small review will serve as some kind of counterpoint and let those bored few who got this far know that there's a worthy, enjoyable, wonderfully-crafted experience at the center of everyone's opining.
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472 of 604 people (78%) found this review helpful
501 people found this review funny
86.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
Not enough stress at home or work? Play this game and you'll never be happy again!
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404 of 524 people (77%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
62.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
With all the negative reviews lamenting the changes made since the game was originally put on Early Access, I feel like I need to throw some positivity into the mix, because this game is amazing.

I've been playing on and off since it was first put on Steam, and am aware of the various changes which have been made throught each iteration of the game. To summarize, Darkest Dungeon used to be significantly easier. Before the devs bumped up the difficulty I only had a handful of characters die, and I knew people who managed to get characters up to their highest rank without ever suffering a death.

The changes the devs made are not unfair. New mechanics were added to prevent players exploiting situations to fully heal every battle, and existing mechanics were changed to better fit the original vision—your characters are not heroes. No matter how powerful they become, being hurt is always something you want to avoid, overwhelming stress is not something you can ever just ignore, and manipulating the formation of both your party and the enemy party is crucial to winning each battle.

Back before the changes, dungeon runs required significantly less forethought, and most runs could be completed relatively painlessly. Combat took only slightly more strategy than the typical random encounter in a Final Fantasy. Now each fight is a struggle for your life, and while this certainly makes the game more challenging, that kind of challenge is what was intended from the beginning. No doubt I'll get a half dozen angry messages berating me about something or other, but oh well.

TL;DR: The game used to be much easier and full of ways to manipulate the system to breeze through even the hardest dungeons. Now people are upset that it was changed to punish people for trying to use cheap exploits. It's a very challenging game, and RNG can kick your butt, but you can ALWAYS avoid permanent death by cutting your losses and abandoning a mission. You are in control. Greed and overconfidence will be your downfall.

As for an actual review, I'll be brief: the overall aesthetic is wonderfully dark, and the whole game reflects the same sinister feeling of vain hope, of struggling towards an impossible goal and clawing your way forward. Success is short-lived and defeat is painful, but the journey is fantastic. Classes are all well balanced and monsters are varied and unique. Bosses will push you to your limits. There is some aspect of grind, and leveling up a large roster of characters can be time consuming, but I enjoyed myself the whole time.

If you're on the fence with the one, the best thing you can do is stop reading reviews and watch some live streams to see if it looks like something you would enjoy. It's not for everyone, and there are a lot of different things to manage which can get tedious if you're not into that sort of thing. Still, I recommend this game to everyone I know, and it gets a big thumbs up here.
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