Grab your weapon of choice, polish your Rogue senses, and get ready to be thrown into the dark and oppressing dungeons of Claustrophobia! Experience deep character development, fast-paced tactical combat, and mountains of epic loot. Here begins a roguelike quest for glory, slaughter, and anything shiny!
User reviews:
Mixed (136 reviews) - 61% of the 136 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 9, 2014

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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?

“From the very beginning, Claustrophobia has relied on the constant feedback of its community in order to shape the game. Now, with the release of the Redesigned build, I need player feedback more than ever before. Early Access is the best way to allow players to experience the game as it is built, while giving me the feedback I need to create the best possible experience. It's a win-win situation!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Currently, I do not have an exact time frame before I declare Claustrophobia complete. As it currently stands, Claustrophobia is very much an Alpha Product, and as such, I am still looking at a fairly lengthy development time. Please also bear in mind that I am a single Student developer studying at University, and sometimes coursework deadlines will have to be prioritised over updates. Claustrophobia will be complete once both the player-base and I are happy with the finished product!”

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

“A lot could potentially change between now and Release. A year ago, Claustrophobia looked extremely different to how it does now! Changes will be based both on my own decisions, and player feedback. Besides that, there's a great deal more planned! A detailed breakdown of what's to come can be found in the Features Coming Soon section.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“As I've said before, Claustrophobia is very much an early Alpha Product. It is still a long way off my vision of the complete game, and as such, has a number of missing features. The core game is in place, however, and there is plenty to kill, explore, and loot! Updates will be frequent, as will save-wipes. I suggest you look at the Current Features section, Announcements, and my Development Blog, before deciding whether or not to buy the game in the current state.”

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

“This will be based entirely on the amount of content that is added between now and Release. The overall price will not be lower than the current one, and is unlikely to change by much.”

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

“Claustrophobia has been through a number of iterations over the past couple of years, and all of them have been heavily shaped by the feedback of the small community that has grown around it. I run a bi-weekly Development Blog both on Steam and my own site, which keeps everyone up to date with the development process, and I will often also ask for feedback on potential additions & changes there. By including the community over here at Steam as well, I hope to engage with a wider range of people to shape the game further.”
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About This Game

Grab your weapon of choice, polish your Rogue senses, and get ready to be thrown into the dark and oppressing dungeons of Claustrophobia! Experience deep character development, fast-paced tactical combat, and mountains of epic loot. Here begins a roguelike quest for glory, slaughter, and anything shiny!

Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle is a Tactical RPG Roguelike, most heavily inspired by the combination of procedural gear and enemy generation found in games such as Diablo and Torchlight, with traditional Roguelike features found in games such as NetHack and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Gameplay revolves around a classless, stat and gear-based progression system, procedural dungeon exploration, and unforgiving tactical combat.

Current Features

  • Unending Procedurally Generated content: Procedurally generated gear, enemies, and terrain makes for infinite progression and adventure.
  • Classless Character Development: Build the character you wish to play, and develop them through in-depth stat and ability customization.
  • Tons of Loot: Collect vast amounts of weapons, armour, and active items, whose powerful abilities, stats, and passive bonuses enhance your gameplay.
  • Fast-paced, Tactical Turn-Based Combat: Use positioning, clever skill use, and observation to best your enemies.
  • Face Hoards of Challenging Enemies: From simple critters to deadly Elite Units, face off against a variety of monsters, each with their own set of abilities. Enemy Modifiers such as Teleportation, Invisibility, Lifesteal, and more, ensure that there’s always a new type of enemy to slaughter.
  • Traditional Roguelike Features: Permadeath, a little luck, and unforgiving gameplay means your hero’s life is firmly in your hands.
  • Scoring & Leaderboards: To remember all those poor souls who didn’t make it.
  • Simple, easy to use Interface: All the details and functionality you need, without the clutter.

Features Coming Soon

  • Multiple Dungeons: Featuring all new dungeon designs, enemies, rooms, loot, and more.
  • Story mode: Dungeons will chain together for longer, more varied gameplay, and progression towards a final, endgame goal.
  • More Character Development Options: More Class Roles, more Abilities, more talents.
  • Further Item & Enemy Development: A much greater range of Item Abilities and Enemy Modifiers.
  • Traps & Puzzles: More special room types will offer greater variation to exploration.
  • Bosses: Extremely powerful monsters who reside on the final floor of each dungeon, who must be defeated before you can progress.
  • Gear Crafting: Collect materials and salvage old gear to craft powerful new items.
  • Achievements & Unlockables: New content unlocked for courageous feats of strength!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics or equivalent, capable of Shader Model 2.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (136 reviews)
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87 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 31, 2015
At the time of this writing it's been nearly ten months since the developer updated this game. It looks to be abandoned at this point in time.

That said, I certainly don't think that this is a bad game. It is an uncomplete game, yes, but what's there is solid and fun to play. However, being solid and fun to play does not save this game. There is nowhere near enough content to the game to keep long-term interest from someone looking for a meaty rogue-like to whet their appetite.

Sadly, as mentioned previously, the developer seems to have lost his interest in updating the game in any way. That being the case, I cannot recommend purchasing this title even at the five dollar asking price.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
42.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 21, 2015
I'd like to start off by saying, even though I am giving this a negative review, it is known to the community that the Dev was the only person working on this aside from one other person who was added later. Also that the Dev was in College/University and this was a "Free-time" Project.

Now that I have that out of the way, I would love to sit here and tell you how great a game this is. really, I would.... But, Alas, I can not do that. Although I do think the overall game play is enjoyable, there is far too little content to leave one satisfied. The last time this game was updated was Early in 2015 just after the new year, Although it did provide a new level to the dungeon after the first Boss was defeated (Making for 2 Dungeons essentially), sprite upgrades and a few visual fixes, as well as an audio upgrade (Which had to be hot-fixed).

The communication attempts towards the Dev on Forums (Even his own website) go unchecked and unanswered. I honestly had a good feeling about this game as I LOVED Desktop Dungeons (Which plays very similar), but it DOES seem like the Dev has just dropped this game, as sad as it is for me to say it.

As far as purchasing this game goes, Part of me says buy it for the roughly $5 its at and try to have fun anyway (Like I now do), or play it safe and don't give a cent to a Dev that dropped a game like so many before him have.
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 16, 2015
I would recommend it, but it's early access and hasn't been updated for ages.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 7, 2015
I actually liked this game but can't recommend it because the developer has abandoned it. It will be stuck in early access forever now..
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
42.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 14, 2015
This rogue-like has/had a lot of potential to be decent, but the developer has clearly abandoned this game and there is little likelyhood of it ever being completed. Not only has it been months since the last update was released, the developer no longer checks in with the community and ignores forum posts declaring this game abandoned. As it stands now, there simply isn't enough content to ever rationalize purchasing for this game. Moreover, I would be hardpressed to justify putting money in the pocket of a developer who is still selling a game that he clearly has no intention of finishing.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 14, 2015
Had potential, but apparently has been abandoned.
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23 of 32 people (72%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 13, 2015
Roguelikes are characterized by a list of gameplay mechanics, such as procedural level generation, permadeath, turn-based gameplay, and randomized loot. The latter includes random stat generation for equipment and unidentified potions and scrolls. This game includes all of them, but unfortunately not much else. As it stands right now, the game is a barebones roguelike in terms of gameplay. Compared to its competition in terms of gameplay, the game is running far behind. If Claustrophobia wants to stand out - even while in early access - it should have gameplay elements unique to it. Be it a fusion of gameplay elements from different genres, or simply a new set of mechanics not seen before.

The gameplay is fairly simple. You start your character by picking a class, and (if desired) you can do some very minor modifications. You are subsequently dropped in a dungeon where you get to fight a very small variety of standard mobs. Think of the rats, zombies, skeletons, and spiders kind. Your character has a set of abilities that cost 'mana/stamina' to use, but at the very start you will not have access to many of them. You defeat the aforementioned enemies, pick up whatever gear you find and wear it if its an upgrade or sell it if it's a downgrade if you encounter a shop.

The game controls pretty well. The animations and UI are very indicative of the commands you give, and that's pretty much all that can be said about it. WIth turn-based gameplay in the standard roguelike fashion there is not much to controls. While the game has fairly little 'meat' to it as of yet, the controls are not convoluted. What I like is that you can bring out the map and click on locations to auto-walk there. Skill use and target selection is also very intuitive with a nice layout indicating range.

So far the difficulty of the game is lacking. While there are traps around, I have yet to step on one by accident. My juggernaut without any trapfinding skill is pretty much capable of seeing and disarming every trap so far encountered. While disarming a trap can still fail (and deal damage in the process), the game's health regeneration mechanics make this trivial.

Every turn you automatically recover health as long as you are not starving (in which case there is simply no health recovery). While enemies don't seem to roam through the dungeons (they stay nicely put in their enclosed rooms) waiting and healing is not dangerous at all. With the common availability of food, it is even possible to easily kill bosses simply by beelining to the entrance stairs and safely recovering your health on the previous dungeon floor, before you can resume killing the boss again.

As is common with roguelikes, positioning is key. You don't want enemies to surround you. Instead, enemies should be funneled through so only one enemy at a time can engage you. With the dungeon level design this is fairly easy to do. There is (so far, as I have discovered) only one enemy type with a ranged attack who can foul this tactic.

Gold seems to be too common in the game, especially since you can sell the gear you don't use. So far I have been able to purchase any gear I wanted from the shops, which means your character is more often than not well supplied with equipment of fairly high strength.

With the aforementioned ease of getting equipment, I often even forget to level because the 2 points I can add to my stats makes barely an impact based on the gear upgrades I'm getting. This makes the attribute system rather pointless. Even worse, item requirements are not tied to the base score of an attribute, but to the total score. Thus, you could wear +strength items to sufficiently increase you strength in order to wear the gear you want. This often makes me forget 2 attribute scores are given every time you level.

Every odd level you also get 2 further points to level in a skill tree and a specific ability. This system is really too convoluted. First you will need to find a skillbook of the ability you would like to use. Then you have to read it, but reading it requires a minimum amount of points in a certain skill (e.g., defense skill, or assassination skill). If you have enough points in that, you can read the book but haven't learned the skill yet. You then have to spent one point into the ability in order to learn and use it.

This system should be reworked, because it makes you require 3 things before you can use an ability, while abilities should be fairly important as they diversify combat.

Graphically, the game reminds me a lot of Pixel Dungeon (free mobile game for android devices), which actually does a much better job gameplay wise. It is nice that this game changes the looks of your character based on the gear being worn. The graphical style is good, and makes also for a clear UI. Unfortunately so far there is fairly little variation in the graphics, but this is not a point I will stress too much since it is still in early access, and graphics aren't the most important factor in roguelikes.

Final Judgement
The Good
  • Nice graphical style
  • Very clear UI

The Bad
  • Bland and lacking content - nothing this game has to offer is unique to this title as it carries to bare minimum of what would constitute a roguelike
  • It is far too easy based on its core mechanics (health recovery per turn, ease of getting gold, dungeon layouts making enemy-funneling easy)
  • The leveling system is not that great. Convolution in one part, and barely significant in the other.
  • No variety in gameplay. The skills are limited due to the leveling system, and the currently available skills don't seem to have that much of an impact. In games like Tales of Maj'Eyal skills are essential for survival - here they barely seem to make a dent.

The game does what all other roguelikes do, but nothing extra. It currently lacks a lot of content and doesn't stand out among its peers. This is basically the harshest criticism of the game there is, because making a roguelike (or roguelite) nowadays seems common practice among indie developers. For now it is "just another roguelike", and despite its early access status nothing has been added that hints at interesting new mechanics. Its lack of content furthermore makes it lack much replay value aside from trying out the different classes.

If you want to satisfy your hunger for rogue-likes, try out Pixel Dungeon (mobile game, great controls, good graphics, and currently better gameplay than this game while also being fairly bare-bones) or Tales of Maj'Eyal, which is a difficult and full-featured roguelike.
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20 of 32 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 9, 2014
My absolute favourite rogue-like game, spent loads of hours on it on Desura. With the steam release it got even better both visually and from a gameplay standpoint. More than worth your money. 10/10
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 29, 2015
There's potential there but it has quite obviously been abandoned. The last update was nearly a year ago and the developer has stopped all communication with its community too.

I have no idea what's going on but this game is no longer being actively worked on even though it's still in Early Access which would imply that it is. It's not.

So, i'd refrain from purchasing it for now.

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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 9
Abandoned. It might be good if it were ever completed.
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Recently Posted
_Uno #CompetitiveWaiting
4.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 13
Abandoned. Stay away.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 11
Abandoned. Hasn't been updated in over a year. Don't buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Master Tactician
2.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 18
its a good game but it constantly crashes which is a shame as I would like to invest hours but then get frustrated with the constant crashing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 8
Do not buy. The developer has abandoned the game, and it will never be finished.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: June 5
Not bad but lacks polish and something that would keep my playing. It is also far more mediocre compared to other similar pixel art games.

If steam had neutral option it would get neutral, but since steam does not have it I give negative.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Not Ridley
1.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: April 17
Game has been totally abandoned, don't even bother at this point. Shame too, it could have shaped up to being something great.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Weeb trash
0.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: April 2
I borught this game, what, a year ago? its utterly terrible if you buy this then you may be mentally disfunctional.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: March 8
it's great
Helpful? Yes No Funny