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 (7,021 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 (13 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 launched Early Access in February 2015 and our intent is to release the full version of the game sometime before the end of 2015. During Early Access we have already added more heroes, more monsters, items, new game mechanics, and more. We plan to release a 4th dungeon ("The Cove") in September, and pave the way to the Darkest Dungeon itself.”

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), 13 character classes, 10 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 completed game has not been determined, but is expected to be between $19.99 and $24.99 USD.”

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

"This game is currently Early Access, but its already more complete than many games upon release. Stress system is uinque, fun, and worth exploring."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (43)

August 21

New PC and Mac Build #10266

  • Fixed stage coach clearing starting skills bug
  • Fixed crash when hero was saved with no skills selected
  • Removed cost display on blocked town activities
  • Removed cost display if caretaker in town activity

24 comments Read more

August 20

New PC and Mac Build #10221

Build #10221 (PC and Mac)

10217->10221 was an Options menu bug fix.

  • Corpses and Heart Attacks can be disabled via the Options menu (Accessible only once you've started a campaign, and these settings are campaign-specific)
  • Cost preview in Activity display for Tavern and Abbey
  • Fix to bug where crits could cause lower proc on effect rolls instead of higher proc which was intended

Please see our discussion of this issue here:

65 comments Read more
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Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

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!

Awards and Honors

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • 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
    • 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
    • OS: OSX 10.9+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Open GL 3.2+ Compliant
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • 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
386 of 479 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
120.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Early Access Review
I have to say probably the best purchase I have ever made , and yes I still say it post Corpse and Hound. I picked this game up right after its release and unlike most people I like it now more than I did before, allow me to explain why this game is easily worth the $20.

First of all you won't like this game if you fit into the following two categories:
  1. If you don't like turn based games or RPGs this game isn't for you, pretty strait forward.
  2. If you don' like a challenge, and I mean a real challenge, if you put most of your games you play on easy and then prance through them congratulating yourself on a stellar job this game will bury your pride along with your party of heroes pretty fast. Its hard.

Why do I like this game (the pros):
  1. The narrator is great. fits the mood so well and makes everything come to life with the expansive vocabulary and deep timbre.
  2. The artwork. Its superb, every review out there whether positive or negative will say it. It has the best art of any game I have seen a long time and like the narrator it helps the world come to life. The animation, though minimalist, is beautiful and powerful and really helps you feel the game. The sound is also great and helps build mood as it changes depending on how dark it is in the dungeon. At pitch blackness you hear the squeals, groans, shouts, or other sounds of the dungeon enemies off in the distance and during battle the music is louder and more ecstatic, making everything so much more tense. The aesthetics of this game alone make it work and suck you in, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
  3. The gameplay (I said it, and I'll talk about why other people be hating later). I have always loved tactical turn based and this game is the cream of the crop. There are so many options when it comes to how to defeat your opponents. The enemy monsters are varied and that determines the tactical choices you make. It is brutally unforgiving and thus it takes actual planning to get a good hero lineup and execute with top efficiency; however no hero, ability, trinket or consumable is overpowered (some people say monsters are overpowered... but I'll get to that later). and there are so many ways and lineups to be used to clear dungeons. The tactical battles and overall strategy (the economy, stress heal, and leveling up) go hand in hand.

    So why are other people not suggesting the game?

    You can scroll through all the negative reviews but you only really need to read one to read all it basically: "the patch ruined everything." But yet I don't buy into that train of thought and I will explain why:
    Pre-corpse and hound patch the game way simply too easy, it was all over the forums too. "This game is too easy its boring" or "after early game its a walk in the park" were the complaints. Unlike currently there was an "overpowered" strat where they would take a crit loaded team with two powerful front line hitters and two back line supports into a dungeon, snuff the torch, and then go ham destroying the front line enemies thus exposing the back line enemies while the supports buffed them up to hit even harder. Battles could be over in two turns. Heroes that didn't work into that formula were never used, like the grave robber, plauge doctor, crusader and bounty hunter. Yes every hero was viable but nothing could clear dungeons like a crit loaded dark run (they also gave you the most gold because as the dungeons get darker the more gold you can find).

    The Corpse and the hound added two unique mechanics that threw off the crit loaded dark runs. The first was corpses. Now when you kill and enemy his corpse remains, meaning that the weaker back line enemies can stay safely in the back line and keep throwing their stuff at you. This screwed over the crit-dark runs because now you had to hack through an enemy and then hack through his corpse to clear a path the back lines, making the battle go longer and thus their crit-dealing heroes took more damage.

    The second mechanic added was PROT or protection to enemies, heroes had always been able to get PROT by the means of a trinket but it was never that big a deal (why would you get a PROT trinket when you could just get a trinket that would boost your crit chance for your crit-dark runs?) PROT basically mitigates damage taken, and now that enemies had it (some had very high amounts) it took the crit-dark run damage dealers a few turn to hack through what used to be an instant kill. Both these additions made battles last longer but also opened the space for new mechanics and strategies. now dark runs were much more risky because of the amount of damage you could rack up (in the dark monsters hit harder and more accurately). But an added mechanic was the DoTs (damage over time affects) like poison and bleed completely ignored PROT and if you killed an enemy with DoTs it didn't drop a corpse. The heroes that had DoT's were the heroes that were considered useless before the patch, they didn't become super overpowered they simply became an actual option that could work.

    Basically "the patch" made the game harder and that cause a lot of long time players that had forgotten difficulty and were (to use game analogy) "fattened by decadence and luxury" to rage because they were unable to adapt. People say things like "This game used to be a gem and now I would recommend it to ANYONE!" the unfortunate thing is that if the game had had these mechanics since the beginning everyone would have loved it due to the difficulty. And even if you are scared by all the "the patch ruined everything" reviews, know that the developers knew this would happen. In the corpse and hound patch notes they said at the end that "we will be tweaking these mechanics because we won't know the exact results until after implementation" and they have as of 8/18 nerfed enemy protection and made corpses weaker.

    Final thoughts

    I love this game, and the devs, Its only gotten better for me. I encourage anyone looking for a challenging game that will pull them into the lore and world to look past the negative reviews that all say the same thing. I wrote this review because I feel obligated to let everyone know why some people are mad. At the end of the day, despite the "patch" or PROT I thoroughly enjoy this game and recommend it to anyone remotely interested.

    10/10 would go stalwart again.
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80 of 111 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Early Access Review
Of my initial four there was Reginauld, a pious man of much armor and much viciousness, Dismas the shady pistoleer – a highwayman, Reginauld insisted on calling him, Malveisin the 'doctor,' clad in a hideous beaked garment, and the pious Aubert, who saw to all their wounds.

Reginauld and Dismas held their own – Dismas seemed a troubled man well before I had gotten to him, and Reginauld had the scriptures to keep his heart steady and his mind clear. It was Malveisin that was a little too eager to get into things, mostly the wounds of others, and Aubert spoke a little too loudly in her recitations as they made their first pass in the ruins.

They descended into a pit of walking corpses and cultists clad in twisted vestments. Malveisin took the brunt of the punishment, in spite of Reginauld's efforts, and Aubert found herself driven beyond the brink in her frantic efforts to heal her allies. They fought valiantly, but in the end the two began to argue – Malveisin swore that she would strike off Aubert's head if she attempted to heal another wound, and Aubert wept in the midst of her incantations. Through it all, Dismas was silent. Reginauld cried in defiance to the wickedness as he struck it, but each shout of valor seemed hollower than the last.

They emerged different men and women. Dismas and Reginauld were shaken, but it was our two robed women that concerned me. I gave them both the week off and sought replacements for the expedition; Malveisin went gambling, of all things, and Aubert would not leave the penance chambers.

Another Vestal joined us on our next expedition: Dreux, a far more adept and versatile healer than Aubert had been. With her came the houndmaster Merteberge. Both were excellent replacements, but they walked in the presence of two harried men who were beginning to crack just as their fellows had.

I do not know exactly what occurred in the second pass of that lightless pit. Only Merteberge emerged alive, and he did not seem very eager to talk. As I understand, Dismas and Reginauld turned on one another. They began accusing one another of the foulest things, and both seemed to die of their own consuming madness. Dreux was lost to the darkness as they trekked back to the entrance of the ruin, steeled to abandon their quest. I wish that I could bring myself blame them, but I cannot. I sent letters out for their replacements; Aubert and Malveisin would be back by the time the newcomers arrived.

I seem to lose hirelings as quickly as I gain them. I don't pay salaries to corpses, however. That much is a mercy.
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41 of 52 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
Early Access Review
Darkest Dungeon is the strategy game Lovecraft nerds have been waiting their whole lives for. Your idiot ancestor, in fine Dunwich Horror tradition, opens a portal to unspeakable things in the caves beneath your family estate. This triggers a sort of eldrich Chernobyl, which you seek to battle back with the help of some incredibly suspect mercenaries. You send expeditions down into the corrupted places to battle monsters and secure treasures, at the cost of your team's health and sanity. Back at your hamlet, you manage your people, training them, outfitting them, and treating the different neuroses they pick up from their journeys. This is the heart of the game, the struggle between pushing back the darkness and keeping your troops from succumbing to it. Stress mounts over time if not managed, and adventurers pick up more and more quirks as they gain experience. Some of these are helpful, like familiarity with certain dungeons or stronger wills to resist stress. Most of them are not, and can range from claustrophobia to full-blown insanity.

The management half of the game is very much an XCOM affair, training and outfitting your mercs as you upgrade your hamlet. Aside from skill training and forging new gear, there are structures like a bar, a church, and an asylum for helping your team deal with the stresses suffered and treating the different psychoses and maladies they pick up. Successful dungeon crawls will earn you enough money to improve the lives of your crew and still have leftovers for further upgrades. Bad runs can cost you dearly, though there never seems to be a point where the situation is unrecoverable. There are always more hapless souls to send into low-level dungeons, after all. Upgrades to the hamlet reduce costs, improve effectiveness, and open up new options in terms of gearing and skill builds.

Once you're ready to venture forth, you pick a mission from one of five dungeons (only three are available now, hence Early Access) and form a party of four. Missions can focus on completing battles, finding artifacts, or scouting rooms, but they all really come down to exploring as much of the dungeon as you can. You spend gold on provisions like food and torches and shovels, and then you're off. I'm glossing over a lot here, because party formation and provisioning is super important for ensuring you don't have to bail on a dungeon. Dungeons themselves are randomized networks of rooms and hallways. Rooms have the major treasures and battles, while hallways can have ambushes, traps, and smaller rewards to find. Once you complete the mission objective you can leave at any time, so if your party isn't coming apart at the seams yet you can keep trawling for loot. In fact, you can retreat at any time, but your adventurers will suffer stress penalties for failing in their duty. Longer dungeons even have a camping mechanic where your party members can tend to each others' needs. Crawls tend to be tense and measured, trying to keep your torchlight up and your progress matching your provisions.

Combat is where the game really shines. It's a simple turn-based system; all your people and their people get one action per turn, the order determined by their speed stat. Both parties are in lines of 4, and the skills available to use are dependent largely on position. Melee attacks might only be used from the front two positions and target the front two enemies, or a ranged attack might only be used from the back row and target all enemies except the one in the front. Each class has 8 skills, 4 of which you can have equipped in a dungeon. Skills always have a ton of features, like status effects or interactions with other systems like your torchlight, meaning there's really no basic "hit with sword" attack. There's a ton of strategy to using skills in concert, and the interface helps with this, giving you very complete tooltips on the odds and results of one specific attack on one specific enemy before you use it. It's very much the RPG equivalent of XCOM combat, with you forming strategies to minimize risk and overcoming unforeseen consequences. The RNG is out in force in this title, with massive crits and misses swinging battles back and forth wildly. This is mitigated in part by the Death's Door system: If your HP hits 0, you don't die, but any additional damage has a chance to kill. And when that character dies, they're dead for good, so dancing around Death's Door is a pretty thrilling part of any difficult dungeon crawl.

HP is healed when you finish a mission, but stress sticks with your characters. Everything from suffering crits to just being in the dungeon for too long stresses your characters, and when that stress reaches the breaking point, things go to hell. Your mercs can get special sanity effects like Paranoia and Masochism. These can lead them to stop listening to your orders, going their own crazy ways, and stressing out your other party members. Back in town you can treat them with sundry activities like drinking, whoring, and self-flagellation, but even these have their drawbacks. My Occultist suffered a paranoid breakdown, and after being assigned to flagellate his fears away, decided to go on a journey of self-discovery and vanished from the roster. Honestly, that was less of an inconvenience than the Plague Doctor who "achieved a state of profound emptiness" while meditating and refuses to stop, or my Crusader who suffers religious delusions in battle and won't do anything except pray. We'll see what they have to say when they make it out of the asylum, though.

I probably don't need to mention this by now, but the presentation is incredible. The art is a beautifully-animated pastiche of thick lines and limited colors, looking very much like a love-letter to the works of Mike Mignola. The music is bold and oppressive, and the sound effects are rich and impactful. And I can't pass up the chance to talk about the narrator, because he's one of the best this side of Bastion and The Stanley Parable. Every word out of his mouth is the most overwrought, overdramatic thing you could imagine, bordering on parody but working so, so well with the pitch-black airs of the game. I mean, when you light a new torch he says "THE MATCH IS STRUCK; A BLAZING STAR IS BORN" for God's sake. Watch the intro if you don't believe me, or just do it anyway because it is brilliant. Aesthetically the game is absolutely dripping in polish, in stark contrast to its Early Access status.

If you want to send hapless adventurers into nightmarish hellholes to bring you back ancient treasures at the cost of their sanity, this is the title for you. As far as Early Access goes, there's no real reason to wait on this one. The game is missing two dungeons, one of which is supposed to go in this fall, and is still being balanced but right now plays just fine. In terms of pricing I expect this to be a Kerbal sort of situation, with no greater discounts until the full release (early?) next year. If you get it now you can ruin a whole bunch of peoples' lives for a few dozen hours, forget about it until release, and come back to an even better game.
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45 of 61 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
46.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Early Access Review
Darkest Dungeon is a great game and I can't wait to see the full game release.

After the hotfix to the Corpse and Hound update, I recommend this game again.

They reduced the PROT from many enemies and removed it from others where it made no sense.
They fixed the biggest issues I had with the corpse system, and tweaked CRITS a bit.
Houndmaster got a needed buff. He was too weak before.

I'm also glad to know that trinkets are getting a needed balancing. At the moment Sun trinkets are almost the only ones worth using...

I think the game is back in the right direction, but if you haven't bought it yet, I would wait for the full release.

Around the time of summer sale I did a presentation video for this game here:

And later I also started a series focused on boss battles here:
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497 of 848 people (59%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
46.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
Early Access Review
Great game, till they decided we had too much fun. Now u can almost only get negative stats on your heroes. Was fun before, cant recommend it any longer, havent played it after the Devs ruined the game.


First it was a real fun game, where you had to grind your way through with stressed out, ill and kleptomanic heroes. Even the the items you got always had a negative impact as well. So it really took time to somehow protect your most beloved hereos through the dungeons and get family heirlooms now and then to finally upgrade your buildings.

Slowly but steadily you would get one or two heroes to the next level without them having 10 different negative effects at once, making them unplayable. Then you finally upgraded the armory and you would spend hours to get enough money to get your top group of heroes new weapons.

Combine this with completely different hero classes that all have their unique purposes and u had a hell of a fun game. At least for me as a RPG fan by heart.

Now, what changed: First, they limited the positive quirks each and every hero can have to 5, which means, that from my best heroes 70% of their positive stats just vanished. It really takes time to build a strong hero in the game and the quirks are the only way to improve them once they got a top weapon and armor. So now it just doesn't make fun anymore playing your best heroes, because you will hit the top ceiling and that's it.

Moreover they didn't limit the negative quirks. While u can't make your heroes better, they will become worse and worse if you don't pay hefty gold for it.

And finally they installed a corpse system which makes absolutely zero sense at all. A 8 HP monster leaves a 15hp corpse behind (WTF?!) which just blocks your way from attacking the other monsters (which still can attack you) and just prolongs fights for no reason.

Given the fact that you can't boost your hereos anymore and regarding the dragging fights with the corpses I can't recommend the game anymore.
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