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 (7,293 reviews) - 87% of the 7,293 user reviews for this game are positive.
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 (47)

October 6

New PC and Mac Build #10950

More bug fixes related to THOSE FROM BELOW update that went out last week.

  • Fix to Stress damage calculation so stress resist is once again properly accounted for
  • Fix to summon target ranks and controlled hero move abilities.
  • Fish fish shaman heal AI so he (?it?) shouldn't heal non-wounded buddies
  • Fixed quest generation every time game is launched.
  • Fix to AI bug that came in with previous siren AI Fix.
  • Fixed siren AI bug.
  • Fixes situation where two heroes get overstressed, the first going virtuous reducing the second's stress and making him/her invincible to afflictions and heart attacks.

12 comments Read more

October 5

Those From Below Update - Build 10939

Hotfix - Build #10939

Continued fixes to last Tuesday's game update!
  • Fixed crashes in Hag and Drowned Crew boss fights.

4 comments Read more
See all discussions

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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!

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
91 of 119 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Early Access Review
Games like this are the reason why I really wish Steam's "do you recommend" question had more than just two options. Here's why: because I would very, very highly recommend this game... to a certain breed of gamer. Let me explain.

First, the good.

Darkest Dungeon is a masterfully crafted game. The artwork is beautifully grotesque and animation is smooth. The game is balanced fairly well, even if it is balanced towards the "hard" end of the spectrum. Even in early access there is nothing about this game that feels sloppy or poorly considered.

The stress mechanic, in which your characters accumulate stress which can affect them in various negative (and sometimes even positive) ways, is a really interesting idea and something that you don't really see a whole lot in video games. The only place I've seen anything like this before would be the Cthulhu games, and I honestly feel like it's handled a lot better here.

Oh, and the fact that it's constantly auto-saving, while intended to prevent save-scumming, also has the effect of allowing you to quit and pick back up whenever you want without losing progress, great for people who don't have a lot of time to sit down and play a game.

The game wasn't my cup of tea (I'll get to why in a minute) but I can't honestly call it bad just because of that. It's not bad. In fact...

KR Rating: [5] GREAT

But wait, don't stop reading yet, because now it's time for the bad. As I said before, Darkest Dungeon is a hard game.

Well, no, that's not really accurate. Etrian Odyssey is hard. That's why I like that series, and it's why I thought I would like this game too. Darkest Dungeon is not hard, it's unfair.

See, you can be riding high one minute, dominating every encounter and getting a ton of good items from the various chests and cupboards (called "curios" in the game) that litter the dungeons. Then you get into that one battle. You know the one I mean. It's the one that doesn't even seem like it should be all that hard. It's the same enemies you've been wasting with ease this whole time. Except this time you do nothing but miss your attacks over and over, while they stack critical hit upon critical hit. Before you can even click the "retreat" button half your force is at Death's Door... or through it. It's a little like Dark Souls in a way.

And the thing is, that's not an accident. I said this game was masterfully crafted and it honestly is. This isn't poor game balance, it's the entire point. It's the underlying design philosophy of the game.

The developers never intended this to be a game where you train up max level badasses and retake the estate. There are no badasses in the Darkest Dungeon. There are no heroes.

No, this is a game where you recruit expendable idiots by the wagon-load (literally) and send them to die for the greater good. (This is also why there are so few levels of upgrades for your characters: so that restarting when your top character dies is easier.)

That's why I say, I really wish that Steam allowed more options than just "recommend" or "not recommend." Because, on the one hand, the game is very well made. It has become exactly what I feel the developers wanted it to be. It is a GREAT GAME.

But "great" and "universally enjoyable" are not the same thing. A lot of people don't like hard games. I do like hard games and even I was turned off by the unfairness and the inability to properly take care of my people.

If I really had to choose (and for the purposes of the Steam version of this review I kind of do) I would say that I don't recommend the game, if only because I think the number of people who would enjoy it are in the minority.

That said, if you're the type who thinks you might enjoy that then by all means buy the game right now. It's only $19.99 USD on Steam right now, and for that you get one Hell of a solid classic-style RPG with an interesting twist.

If you're more like me and you get attached to your characters and don't want to see them die (or if you just don't like hard games) then skip this one.

(Read the review on Knight's Reviews by clicking here.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
75 of 98 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Early Access Review
Darkest Dungeon
Developer: Red Hook Sudios
Publisher: Red Hook Studios

Writing reviews on Steam is a tricky business. With only the "Positive" and "Negative" options to work with, it makes it really difficult to accurately rate games that fall inbetween the two. Darkest Dungeon, to me, is one of those games. Also the review character limit makes it difficult to cover all aspects of a game at times. If a "Neutral" option were available, I'd flag this game with it. Darkest Dungeon has a lot going for it, but it also had a lot of things that are holding it back.

Darkest Dungeon is essentially a sidescrolling, turn-based RPG that takes place on/underneath your ancestor's estate. The estate serves as the game's hub, where you can hire new party members, buy or upgrade gear, buy supplies, relieve stress, or even pay your respects to the fallen heroes by visiting the graveyard. You can only have up to 4 characters in your adventuring party at any one time, but you can have up to 20 characters on standby back at the estate. There are 13 different classes currently available, with 2 still waiting to be implemented. Each class has their own unique skills and abilities.

When in the dungeon you have to manage a few 'resources', the most important one is stress. This is by far one of the most aggravating mechanics when mixed with the game's other features. To reduce stress, you can either camp in the middle of a dungeon or leave your characters at the Tavern in the estate. Leaving them at the tavern costs a pretty penny, and makes your parties extremely unbalanced. Some skills can lower stress mid-battle, while some camping skills lowers stress as well. When stress gets too high, some characters may refuse to quest with you, and should you attain high stress mid-dungeon, that characters risks a Heart Attack...which can kill the character. When HP reaches zero, characters enter a state called "At Death's Door". When this is reached, they don't die yet, but any attack afterwards has a chance to kill them. Death is permanent, but you can replace dead characters with more new hires. This, however, means you'll spend some time getting the new characters back up to snuff, which means more time grinding and more gold spent. Speaking of gold, let's say you complete a quest and earn...4,500 gold. Ok, that's a respectable haul, but most of it will go towards stress relief, food, and supplies, leaving you with a trifling amount leftover. Almost all of your gold is spent maintaining your characters so that they do not die.

Another thing you need to manage, which isn't anywhere near as bad as stress, is light. Bringing torches will help keep light levels high, which offer bonuses to your party such as the aility to scout ahead and see what each corridor has in store for you. Low light levels mean stronger enemies, but greater rewards. Use your best judgment to determine if the risk is worth the rewards or not.

The large majority of the game will be spent in combat. Any skills you have unlocked will be useable here, with combat playing out in turns. As you take damage, your stress levels will go up. Instead of leveling up, your character's Resolve will increase. Battles and random events in the dungeons will test your Resolve frequently, earning you perks or afflictions. Perhaps the most annoying part of combat are corpses. When an enemy dies, they leave behind a corpse; these serve no purpose other than holding an enemy formation together. This can make targetting enemies in the rear difficult until you get rid of the corpses. This is completely unnecessary, and only make battles even more drawn out than they already are.

Alot of players complain about is how unfair the RNG seems to be. There will be battles where you will miss 4 turns of attacks, while your enemies will crit every turn. It seems like the game itself is against you, but I honestly think it's just RNG being RNG.

The dungeon crawling itself is quite bland. On the bottom right of your screen you will see the dungeon map. To travel to a room, click it and then hold the cursor and mouse button down ahead of your party in the direction you want them to go. You will find all manner of things as you explore, including enemies, traps, treasure chests, curios, relics, or any number of other random encounters. Sometimes you will find unused torches which can be picked up and added to your stock, other times you may find relics that can offers bonuses to your party once cleansed.

The game has an intense gothic, Lovecraftian look/feel to it, and is by far the best thing abotu Darkest Dungeon. Character designs are unqiue and thought out. Combat animations are simple, but effective. When actions are taken the affected characters are brought front and center on the screen, so you can focus on what's going on. Characters stand idle and have a small amount of animation to show then breathing while idle. This is a nice little touch that more games need to bring a sense of realism. As characters and enemies are damaged, small blood splatters are shown in corners of your screen.

Sound and Music
The music is another good thing. It's very dark and gothic; fitting for the setting of the game. The estate has a somber tune, and the dungeons have a dark, ambient tune that makes you feel like you are definitely deep inside a dark dungeon with little hope of escape. Battle music is fast and blood-pumping; coupled with the battle sound effects and stress mechanics, this can turn most battles into quite intense encounters. I also *really* liked the narrator in the dungeons.

The game runs beautifully with little to no issues whatsoever, at least for me it did.The one complaint I have is that sometimes loading a dungeon can take AGES. Sometimes it loads right away! Not sure what causes this, but it happened to me a couple of times.

Aside from that, it ran at a steady framerate and I didn't have any odd crashes or bugs. The game is played mostly with the mouse. I can't see how this game could be played comfortably with a controller, so I stuck with the mouse. It worked very well.

Final Thoughts
Despite the downsides, I found myself enjoying the game quite a bit, and that is why I gave it a thumbs up rating. It's a really engaging dungeon crawler, although it can sometimes be really unfair and requires quite a large amount of grinding to be able to afford the upgrades you need. Still, it's quite challenging and I can safely recommend this game to people who like grinding and have that feeling of fulfillment when they reach goals. If you can look past the flaws the game has, you will find a somewhat enjoyable game within the Darkest Dungeon, although with a little more work and a few updates, it could be a great game.

Gameplay Demo

Nerd House Verdict:
Somewhat Recommended

Note: A key for this game was provided by the developer for the purpose of writing an unbiased informative review. No other compensation was given.

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
33 of 43 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
Early Access Review
As a fan of H.P. Lovercraft, Roguelikes, and difficult RPGs, I might be just a little bit biased when it comes to this title, but if you are a fan of any of those, (Or maybe even if you aren't) Darkest Dungeon might be worth a look.

+Good sound/art design
+Difficult (With the option to toggle the more unforgiving features)
+Good balance between permadeath and progress; losing characters is extremely painful, but expected

-Extremely unforgiving (Options exist to toggle some of these. Looking at you, Heart Attacks)
-Gameplay is somewhat repetetive (But, that's a problem with the genre)
-Gameplay flow forces you to have multiple parties, can't focus on just your favorite

With the overview out of the way, let's a get more indepth.

Graphics/sound: 8/10
Surprisingly enough, this game's art style and sound direction does a lot for it. The sense of gloom as your torch fizzles, and finally snuffs out, with an accoimpanied change in music drives home the tension and risk. The periodical quips from the narrator give the game a feel akin to a novel or short story, further deepening the illusion of playing a Cosmic Horror Story. It all blends together for a unique experience, fully immersed in gothic, Lovecraftian anxiety and despair.

Gameplay: 6/10
If you're wondering why the gameplay is recieving a low score, it's not because it's not a fun game. On the contrary, battles are always tense, the difficulty is spot on, every run just beyond your characters level of ability, meaning greed or complacency can always cost you dearly. Battle system is smootyh and refined, and the mechanics reinforce the tension that is the core of the gameplay experience. My main complaint is the quirk/stress system. On one hand, it is a core mechanic that sets this game apart. After each dungeon run, your characters have a chance to develop a positive trait, negative trait, or disease, which alters their stats, resistances, or what facilities they can use in town to lower their stress.
On the other hand, characters must sit out a battle to have their stress lowered, remove a quirk, or cure a disease, (There are a few exc eptions, but this is the genberal rule) resulting in a gameplay cycle of train team A, lower team A's stress, cure team A's diseases, train team A again. It makes sense mechanically, given the constant, expected flow of new members in your roster, but results in it taking 3 times as long to ready a tream for a boss fight. (And you had best be ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ready because you WILL wipe if you aren't extremely well prepared.)

Tone/playability/immersion: 10/10
All things considered, the game has a lot going for it. It's difficult, but fair, it controls well, it has a strong tone and theme throughout, with the gameplay and mechanics reinforcing said themes. It's not just an RPG where you explore a mansion that is the sight of an Eldritch portal, it has the exact same feel as reading, say, The Dunwhich Horror. And wether you're looking for a game that will draw you in like many games can't, or simply a game that will test your tactical mettle against ever-increasingly difficult foes, Darkest Dungeon hits all the right notes, offering something truly interesting and memorable amidst a growing pool of games that draw on Lovecraft lore but miss the "feel" of his works entirely.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
38 of 57 people (67%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
41.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
Early Access Review
"Man, this adventure is going pretty good, finished the main objective, but there's only one room left, I guess Ill check it out"
*Walks down hallway*
"Hmm, whats this? Looks like I can use a torch with this alter"
*Uses torch, boss is summoned and 1 hit kills my entire legend ranked party*

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 26 people (69%) found this review helpful
52.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Early Access Review
Best narrator ever.

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