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 (5,890 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 3, 2015

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Early Access Game

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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

"[EARLY ACCESS] Proof that Early Access games can be bloody awesome. A dark, moody, punishing RPG that'll leave you devastated. Love it!"
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Recent updates View all (33)

June 22

New PC and Mac Build #9172

  • Monster picking has been improved to work with larger monsters such as the cannon.
  • Fixed the preferred position and preferred targets not updating when cycling through heroes on the character display.
  • Fix to narration history in town saving.
  • Fix to stun related death crashes

20 comments Read more

June 17

New PC and Mac Build #9138

  • Fixed bug where users were experiencing random crashes caused by audio library updates. Temporarily reverted to an older audio library and older audio files. Some sounds may disappear as a result until we are able to track down the cause. Stability overall should be improved.
  • Fixed crash in the Stagecoach occuring after recruiting a hero and trying to bring up the character panel on the last hero.
  • Fixed bug with trying to use items in the loot window.

17 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
50 of 66 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Early Access Review
Crying simulator 2015
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Early Access Review
Early access? What early access? This game is amazing as it is... oh, man, I can't even begin to imagine what will it look like when finished!

I bought the game during the summer sale 2 days ago and I easily clocked in close to 17 hours already, and that is already telling, don't you think? But let's not get ahead of myself. As usual, I will take a look at the good and the bad. This review is as of build 9007, with the man at arms and the arbalest included, along with the new bosses.

The Good:

1. Ironman - this game is for true rogue-like genre fans, the ones that do not whine and complain in the face of adversity and overwhelming odds, but for ones who seek options and avenues of advancement to combat this adversity.
2. Rogue-like at its best - you never know what the game will offer you. You need to cope with the resources at your disposal. For example, you may be forced into weeks and weeks of hardships simply because the game won't pity you enough to give you another Vestal or Occultist character, but instead shower you with tanks and pitiful healers.
3. Procedurally generated dungeons - while you could try to assume and predict, based on the area you chose to explore, layouts they are still largely random, so you need to plan ahead big time. Fight or flee has never been a bigger wrench of a choice before.Or that What if... queston on the back of your mind...
4. Memorable stories - the game creates stories on its own, for example, how you got wiped twice, forced into meager runs but managed to get back on your feet and actually complete all the objectives, or, say, how you were forced into a 4 highwayman run cause you had nothing else to use, or, how your cleric went crazy and abusive and started britching(:P) about anything others do, which tunred into an avalanche of abusive stressed out individuals who care not about each other? Those things are in the game. This is one of the few games that makes you go to the forums or post a status about what happened just to vent off or share with your friends.
5. Various missions - every time you complete a mission you get a different set of consequential encounters for you to choose, all of them with various objectives and varying rewards.
6. Bosses - there are a number of bosses in the game, each one with different mechanics, meaning you need to bleed, boil and hurt till you learn what the boss does best and how to best combat him/her... it.
7. Your very own mini-village for you to develop as you see fit. Will you neglect armor and weapons for the sake of more skills and buffs during camping? Will you choose to be skilled and better equipped and protected, but suffer everything the RNGesus throws at you cause you didnt upgrade the amount of new heroes who want to join you and the means of reducing stress through the abbey or the tavern? All up to you, and my, it is a big deal to select a good path of advancement. This alone creates memorable stories to post and share.
8. Varying areas each with its own enemies, expectations, and bosses.
9. The Light system, which alone makes for very interesting gameplay. More stress, but more loot, a normal run, or a safer run with less loot but little stress and lots of happy characters? Up to you!
10. Wonderful level progression system with a set number of skills per character and quirks you gain for completing dungeons or various other conditions.
11. Being dark and moody, making you crigne when something happens - it only enhances the experience.
12. Value for the money - I like judging my game hours like 1 for 2, or 1 for 3 for bigger games. So, for every 1 euro I pay I expect 2 to 3 hours of gameplay. I can tell you, I could do 10 times the price I paid for this game.

The Bad:
1. Early access - yeah, many features are still missing, even if the game is great as it is.
2. Ironman - the game is extremely punishing, sometimes to the point of frustration. Some enemies can crit you out and kill a character while you're gaping at the screen with a "holy crap" ready to roll out of your mouth.
3. You get to work with what you're given - you may find yourself sorely lacking in resources, passable heroes, meager parties, and worse.
4. Cheesing out - the game can be cheesed out to make more money and save yourself from a dire situation, or to win a mission somehow.
5. Items cannot be sold at shops - I havent found a way to sell an item that I have no use of still. Might be me, though.
6. There is a stupid caretaker that may occupy the only freaking place where your most valuable character has to go to relieve stress.
7. Dungeon layouts may completely foil your plans.
8. Wipes and bad stuations - yeah, it can happen, especially while you still dont know what you're doing and what each thing does.
9. Character balance - characters are not perfectly balanced as of yet. Then again, this game being a rogue-like, dont mind having an underdog in my party just because I dont have anything else to use.

Conclusion:
BUY THIS GAME - simple as that. You will spend lots of gameplay hours on it in its early access - I would say 30+ to complete all the caretaker's goals, and lots more when the game gets fully released. That being said, while I am a tad generous with the play time for a single run, I have 2 separate play-throughs (as I wanted to see the game from 2 different standpoints) and I can easily say that those play-throughs are as different as the sun and the moon. This is downright amazing, and I sure as hell hope they will continue adding content this way. There are still 2 more areas to unlock in the future, and they are surely going to be amazing.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
102.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Early Access Review
This game is awesome..! Once you figure out some basic mechanics and which upgrades take priority, ( I almost restarted after a few unwise purchases), it becomes a lot easier and rather fun managing your party of merceneries.

Basic Tips.. Get your roster up rather quickly.. then develop a couple builds that work for you. While one team is being cured of stress or diseases, let the other one go in to battle. You will have people die. Take rookies and mix them with more experienced fighters so you dont get wiped out as bad. Experiment with your builds.. theres not too many bad characters they all can bring things to the table and some work better with other characters. My favorite build has to be two Hellions up front- two Vestals in back- or a Occultist and a Vestal in back. Out of my roster of 22, I have 8 or 9 Vestals ready to rock. When you upgrade your Vestal make sure she has the Judgment attack. It comes in handy when she is not healing your party. But dont worry about her mace bash. You dont want your Vestals up front and thats the only time she can use the Mace. Another interesting one is two highwaymen up front and letting them take turns with their point blank shot for serious damage. Also the grapeshot blast is a good one to have in their abilities especially early on. The Crusaders seem rare to find on the fresh meat wagon but they are also good to have. The Leper once powered up can replace a Crusader in my opinion. Just whatever works for you.

Advancing in game.. Try to get characters to level 3 and then leave them alone until you get enough of level 3s to take on the medium missions. Save level 3 bosses for level 4 fighters as they are still considered level 3 mission eligible. Makes a lot easier trust me.

I just think this is a wonderful and deep game that has tons of potential for future installments or DLC depending on how they want to advance this franchise. They could keep adding new areas and bosses, have daily missions, random loot placements to hunt for and all kinds of endless possibilities.. I am excited for the game but almost more excited for what it can be in the future.

Would "Give Them No Quarter!" again 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
74 of 131 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
Early Access Review
Love the art style, love the premise, love the ambiance the game creates. However...

Dungeon exploration is pretty much on rails. Enter room, fight monsters / find loot, go to next room. Repeat. There's really no meaningful exploration here, just random battles.

The combat system itself is solid, but success and / or failure relies far too much on the RNG, which is the sole place this game gets its difficulty from. One fight you can absolutely mop the floor with the monsters, yet the next fight with an identical group of creatures can result in a party wipe. It all boils down to chance, and I really don't like that. Even with a good strategy and balanced party, one of them can spontaneously develop an affliction during combat and screw over the entire group.

I do want to support these guys. They've got Lovecraftian horror down pat, and even their name is an homage to his work (The Horror at Red Hook). And in all honesty, the game is still enjoyable to an extent. But until they tighten up the RNG and make the game's difficulty less dependent on it, I can't recommend the game. I have not played for a while admittedly, and will be spending some time with it in the next day or two to see if anything has changed, and if so I'll update my review accordingly.
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22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Early Access Review
A very pretty game, however ultimately hostile towards fun.

I love the fact the developers wrote their own engine since most general ones (Unity, Unreal) are not so great for 2D-only games. The 2D animations, instant load times and nice UI effects make for a pretty sight.

However, as hard as I tried, I haven't really had any fun playing. The game is difficult, in a way where you don't really get to feel angry about your decisions and in the end learn from your mistakes. Rather, you end up feeling like you're constantly out of luck.

There are 2 phases in the game : exploring dungeons, and managing your party back in the town between adventures.

In the dungeon is where the luck element gets into play, and that could be fine. But unfortunately, the state of your party degrades exponentially rapidly. So you need to be in excellent shape for more than half of the dungeon in order to have a chance at finishing it. It rarely feels like you barely make it out alive; you either die far from the end, or you clearly had incredible luck / too powerful a party for that dungeon's level of difficuly.

Also, there are so many events and animations that I felt I was watching the game play against itself in fights. When it's finally your turn to do something, out of the 4 abilities each of your character has, there was rarely the feeling that some tactical thinking was in order. I would more or less select the offensive ones one by one, then hover above a monster to get an idea of the hit probability, then cross my fingers. There is not really any worthwile build-up of buffs, as they are not that good, and losing a turn buffing yourself is dangerous. Fights were not very exciting to me.

Finally, when your party is surprised by enemies, your order is basically shuffled, which means some characters won't be able to act at all. You then need to spend one or more turn rearranging your positions, which is madenning since you don't know in which order your characters will act, and since they cannot always move to any given position in one go. All the while getting attacked, and not retaliating. Not very fun all in all.

Meanwhile, in town, some design decisions made me wonder about the developer's intentions. For example, if you need to send a couple party member to the church or tavern for stress relief, you basically have to go in each building, figure out first which slots will be available to each character, which is not really fun. But then once you commit to a slot and pay, you won't get your money back if you need change your assignments. Since stress relief can easily cost more than 50% of your income, this is kinda frustrating. Please, just let me select heroes that I want to have a relaxing time, and show me options, instead of the manual, error prone and unfun assignment.

Also, when preparing to delve into a dungeon, you need to buy supplies, but anything you don't use is not refunded or kept for another go. I do not really see the point in this; there is enough reliance on the random number generator in this game without having us wild guessing how much money should be wasted on items. This just leads to grinding for more money.

Pros:
  • Great engine, great UI, pretty as hell
  • Great writing supported by even greater voice acting

Cons:
  • Difficulty stems from luck rather than tactics; I'm not sure I could get much better at the game
  • Frustrating design choices in the Town phase
  • Fun is not something I would describe this game as being. Not really frustrating either, just kinda boring :(
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