Lantern Forge is a sandbox survival game with building, crafting, and RPG elements. Mine and forage for resources to build a home, plant crops, and craft weapons and armor. Then venture out to explore the wilderness, find hidden dungeons and temples, fight unique monsters, and collect the treasures they guard.
User reviews: Mixed (180 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 18, 2014

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"A huge open world, sandbox, survival similar to Don't Starve, but with some RPG elements. Has a few rough edges, but can still suck you in."

About This Game

Lantern Forge is a sandbox survival game with building, crafting, and RPG elements.
It features an isometric view with hack 'n slash combat. Players will mine and forage for resources to build a home, plant crops, and craft weapons and armor. They can then venture out to explore the wilderness, find hidden dungeons and temples, fight unique monsters, and collect the treasures they guard.

Lantern Forge features:
  • A massive procedurally generated world, plant growth, and day/night cycles with dynamic lighting.
  • Choose from 4 skill trees to gain special combat and survival abilities.
  • Discover hundreds of resource types and recipes for weapons, armor, tools, food, and home furnishings.
  • Travel through 8 different biomes, each home to unique monsters and resources.
  • Enchant equipment and add powerful gems.
  • Build a town center to open up merchant stands for trade.
  • Dig down 90 levels underground in search of the rarest and most powerful materials!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Win7/ Win8
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 400 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
43 of 51 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
***DEAD GAME - - DO NOT BUY!***

Another indie game with so much potential that the developers just apparently grabbed the cash and ran.

No updates since August, at most you will get an hour or two of gameplay out of it, but it's obvious that the game isn't finished and there is very little content. A shame considering the game seems mostly complete in terms of overall design and such. Just needed a few more months of content addition and bug testing.

Don't waste your money.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
THIS GAME IS INCOMPLETE AND DEAD

TL:DR
Same old story: Game with a lot of potential gets abandoned because the devs lost interest or didnt make enough money or something, so they declared their unfinished buggy game "finished" and quit working on it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I bought this game last year. It showed a LOT of potential. It was fun for a bit too. Kind of like Dont Starve, but more RPGish. I dont remember if it was officially Early Access, but it should have been because it was in a "late beta" is playable but kind of bare bones and needs some bug stomping and balancing and the devs promised more content.

So I sat back and waited after playing for a bit and then getting frustrated and annoyed at the incompleteness. Seemed like it was worth waiting for.

Until the Devs declared they didnt get enough sales so the game would no longer be updated because they had to get jobs and couldnt work on it full time.

Then work on it part time? Nope. Its dead now.

They couldnt even be arsed to finish their game, when its mostly complete and just needs some polishing.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
As long as development continues and they fix the major complaints people have, this review would probably change. Those issues include the very obviously clunky movement scheme(s), the lack of real content beyond cosmetic crafted items, the almost missing survival aspect, and many others.

My biggest gripe is probably with the "Town Center" aspect - what is the purpose of having these vendors come and set up for only yourself. It is an obvious nod to Terreria, but with even more limitations. I would much prefer to have other NPCs as if I were actually creating a town - with houses, shops, people walking around, etc. I wish Terreria had this too...

The second major issue I have is that progression in this game just doesn't flow smoothly at all - too much work for too little payoff.

The game can be enjoyable, but after some serious playtime with it you will more than likely wonder why continue. Again, if they can fix or change these things, my review would also change.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
At this point in this games development, I would not recommend it.
While the gameplay is enjoyable, the player can honestly only get around 5-6 hours out of it before it becomes dull.
Another issue I have with Lantern Forge is that starting out can be a bit confusing (for me it was at least).
While I enjoyed what I have played so far, without any story/plot/some sort of engaging element, Lantern Forge tends to fall short.

Keep an eye out for this game, but I would not keep your hopes up.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Development has stopped - Been inactive for god knows how long now, was looking forward to seeing this game finished but unfortunately all I got from it was a lighter wallet and a lite RPG Hack N Slash.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
37.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
It's a Great time killing game but.....

After playing 28 hrs of the game I have pretty much gotten to the point where not sure if I can recommend this game anymore. It has graphics glitches. starting to feel to easy. Even On hard setting. I can kill things really really easy with melee. I collect coins like i've robbed a bank.

It's a fun time killer. Has alot of potential but as it stands. Not sure. There needs to be alot added. Like better currancy and vender's. Tiered tools. No matter what materal after a certain point they just seem to go the same speed but last longer, thats it. You would think higher materials would go thru things quicker. Nope not the case.

Devs haven't posted to the forum since last year. It's been 3 months. Getting the feeling they've abandoned it.

UPDATE: Game has been abandoned by the devs! their post here---> http://steamcommunity.com/app/314380/discussions/0/611704531883192114/
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
The game is abandoned by the devs that made it. I would not recommend buying. They also refuse to allow modders to continue the game. So, if you buy it ...you wasted your money. Another grab cash scheme in Early Access.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
This game will always serve as a reminder to never just "trust" that a developer will make a good game. I bought this(when it was $15) and I regret that I didn't spend that $15 on a couple cheapo bundle packs.

It was riddled with bugs and just an overall feeling of "unfinishedness".

Perusing the updates published since I had bought the game do nothing to make me thing they have any interest in "finishing" the game. I know it's technically "finished" but... It isn't.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
This is an underdeveloped game that has clearly stalled in its development. I would be very wary of spending my money here, with the hovering promise of a complete product very unlikely to ever be delivered upon.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
There's really not much to say at this point. Don't bother: wasted potential.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Dead game. Not sure if I bought as EA or full game, but it should have been considered late beta. Good bones, just needs a more content but is it gonna happen? Nope, Devs have taken their money and run. Shame considering the potential here but that's an old story at this point.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
This game is unfinished and pretty much abandoned so should NOT be bought.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
I enjoyed it starting out, but there was a lot wrong.
The over abundence of crafting mater was wrecked by everything having low durrability.
The fact that you basicaly had to carry your base with you to last any length of time, but had to go back just to drop the loot you don't need.
The fact that nothing you did felt like it mattered.
And let's not forget that they have a memory leak that only let you play for five to ten minets at a time.
Then I hear that the devs have abbandoned this promosing game. Leaving it to rot, incompleat!
Those out there thinking to buy this should go to something else, this isn't worth it, unfortionatly. This is the dark side of buying an early releace game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
Just thought I'd add my thoughts.

Bought this quite a while ago and had plenty of fun with 30Plus hrs I think.
I found it solid enough and only really started getting any problems when I had multiple teleports. The map often loaded poorly after that. I could find no real way around it.
Obviously sad the devs have pulled out , but imagine I paid something like £5 for this game so have easily had my moneys worth from it.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
Cons:
Like a single player Gnomoria, with less content. And looks and feels like a mobile port.

Pros:
Still had fun exploring and upgrading so far. Worth a few bucks to me.
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120 of 143 people (84%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
As someone obsessed with sandbox survival games, I really wanted to like this one. Unfortunately, broken gameplay, poor design decisions, and a buggy client make it really hard for me to recommend Lantern Forge in this stage of development. The game isn't marked as Early Access - it really should be, since very little about its gameplay or aesthetics feel polished enough to be a final released game.

Essentially: Lantern Forge's combat system is crippled by its own controls on top of balance issues, while its survival aspect lacks challenge. The game has limited content to explore, and story-wise, the game provides no plot, no choices, and no sense of urgency to motivate me to keep advancing.

Gameplay Problems:

Movement issues: Controlling your character is awkward at best in both movement schemes. Mouse-based movement, which was the only form of movement available when I first wrote this review, was completely broken due to bad click detection (leading the character to start mining if you clicked anywhere near a rock), bad collision detection (getting stuck on thin trees that the character didn't seem to be anywhere near) and a complete absence of pathfinding (walking into a wall when a door is less than a block away).

The devs later implemented a W-for-forward-movement-based-on-mouse-position movement scheme. Although it's *better*, it's only preferable in the same way that getting the flu is preferable to getting pneumonia, because in exchange for fixing the click detection and pathfinding issues, it hamstrings your ability to move effectively in combat. More on this in the next point.

Combat, Part 1: All combat is click-based. You have to hold down the cursor over an enemy to continue attacking, but due to the poor implementation of click detection, it's trial and error to figure out where you should be clicking to actually hit an enemy, and good luck if the enemy is moving. Now recall that all movement is *also* mouse-based. Because you have to click on the enemy to attack, there's no way to strafe around and get into a better position without interrupting your attack. Playing as an archer or mage? Tough. You're going to start running towards the enemy anyway if you misclick, might as well as put on heavy armor.

Combat, Part 2: Combat Mode and useless hotkeys make your combat skills painful to actually use. This game relies on the Diablo II control scheme, where left-click attacks and right-click uses a single registered skill; while you can register a skill to a hotkey, hitting that hotkey doesn't activate the skill - it just switches your right click. This was tolerable 10 years ago; it feels absurd today. Worse, you have to be in Combat Mode to even activate skills; if you're in Build Mode, which you will be for the majority of the game, right-click performs context-dependent actions on the surrounding landscape instead (building, farming, mining).

In effect, to even use your character's skills instead of bashing enemies, you have to 1. make sure you're wielding a weapon and not just swinging your currently equipped tool, 2. make sure you're in combat mode, and 3. make sure your current right-click skill is actually usable by your equipped weapon type (so no bows for sword skills). This needs to happen every time you run into an enemy.

Combat, Part 3: Enemies are both unbalanced and cheap. All melee enemies in the game rush you as soon as they enter the screen, as long as they have a path to you. The prevalence of mob spawners in this game means that's usually 3-4 enemies at once, and the problem with this is that at the same level as you, each enemy does about 5x the damage you do to it per hit, since all your weapons have absurdly low damage-per-hit (if high attack speed). Your character's regeneration rate is high, but not that high, and the lack of usable AoE skills in this game mean that while you bash ineffectually at one mob, three others are chewing on your face.

(Knights, the ostensible melee class, have only 1 AoE skill which costs 50% of starting mana if you don't have any mana-boosting items. It's also based on your weapon's damage-per-hit... you can see the problem with this.)

The end result of this is that when dungeon-delving, you'll usually be stuck grinding against enemies 5 levels below you because anything higher is too hard, and getting appropriately low-level equipment drops. This gets tedious rapidly, and the problem is this is the entirety of the game.

Design Problems:

1. All progression is grinding. Past the first two tiers of items (copper and iron), I realized there was absolutely nothing new that would be added by digging deeper and hunting for later tiers. No skills to unlock, no bosses, and no new mechanics, besides a numbers boost and even-more-absurdly-overpowered enemies. The game's complete lack of story or even a framing device just makes this worse, because while you *can* build your town and collect all the vendors, there's no reason to.

2. Survival is a cakewalk. Once you have even a small-sized farm set up, the survival aspect of the game becomes trivial, and you can probably feed yourself entirely off wild respawning apple trees. Furthermore, there's zero consequences for dying that I've noticed besides moving to your spawn point, not even an item drop.

Other Issues:

1. Aesthetics and UI are poorly implemented. There's no minimap, with only a (x, y, z) numbers-based position marker indicating where you are, so good luck finding your way back if you get lost deep underground (or you could just die and respawn, but how cheap is that). The crafting window is difficult to navigate for several reasons, and shortcuts for moving items are not indicated in any documentation. There's also no way to remap controls.

2. Bugs. I've crashed to desktop once, and noticed memory leaks in the form of slowdowns after a few hours. Background music seems to be buggy in that the daytime music starts playing at midnight instead of dawn, and every so often, a weapon you're trying to craft will spawn with 0 attack.

I've come back to Lantern Forge twice since I first started, and each time it's disappointed me greatly with how little it's improved on what I'd think are fundamental problems. Although I'd have sincerely enjoyed this game with some fixes, I can't recommend it to anyone at this point in time.
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85 of 105 people (81%) found this review helpful
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
Excellent crafter-oriented survival RPG. You start out alone and with nothing. You have to build tools from rocks and sticks, to quickly build a shelter before night falls. If you survive the night then it's off to gather raw materials, plant a garden, build work stations to craft clothes, weapons, armor, furnishings, ect. ect.

A wonderfully huge open world sandbox of survival and exploration, above and below ground. Start out with nothing and build the the world to your liking. Highly recommended for play at your own pace crafters and world builders.
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65 of 80 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
I hate to write a bad review on this because the devs have obviously poured their heart and soul into this game. But to be completely honest, it tries to emulate so many games that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Basically you start in the woods with nothing and have to survive, build things, and explore dungeons. Sounds good on paper, but all parts of it are bare-bones and nothing is really fleshed out.

It doesn't focus on the survival like Don't Starve
It doesn't focus on the sandbox stuff like Minecraft/Terraria
It doesn't focus on the dungeon-crawling like Torchlight/Diablo

It's got incomplete bits of all of those without specializing or expanding any of those and it ends up as kind of a bland, forgettable mess. It gives a bad impression right from the start with the controls. It has "W" moving you towards the cursor...but no full WASD controls, which it SORELY needs. Gathering resources has a pretty crazy range, so you'll find yourself chopping trees/grass/rocks from 10 feet away with the same bland animation, which makes it feel really bad as well.

The survival aspects aren't challenging at all. Night brings monsters, but you can easily craft a bed. Once it's crafted, you just need to right clock and bam...no more night. Food is insanely easy to craft as well. There might as well not even be Hunger and Fatigue meters because they're ridiculously easy to get filled and move on. There's no point in the sandbox stuff because there's no multiplayer and thus no one to ever really see or use what you've built.

And the dungeon crawler stuff is pretty limited to clunky-feeling combat in one of the 'big 3' paths of melee/ranged/magic, where splitting between them just hurts you in the long run.

So in the end, it's really repetitive/grindy and I'd say avoid it, unfortunately.
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40 of 46 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Same old story. Game had oodles of potential. Indie developer releases it way to early missing lots of features, and then abandones it when they realise they're not going to get rich off it. At least it didn't cost a lot, and it was fun for a few hours, but ultimate a sad sad let down.

I originally gave the game a positive review, but that was when we were promised the rest of the features. They probably could have retained community support by throwing out scraps like recolored new things to craft, or a few new monsters here and there. Instead it we got a "we are walking away from it" forum post by the Devs.
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42 of 55 people (76%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2014
*Warning, ONLY a first impression. I intend to update later after more game time and info*

While Lantern Forge could certainly benefit from some fine tuning, especially with the UI, there are no gaping flaws or immersion breaking moments in the game. This said it also lacks anything amazing enough to floor you.

The framework of the game is built upon traditional rpg tropes. You have familiar goblins and spider enemies who inhabit familiar procedural generated environments which you'll explore with one of three familiar hero archetypes that all work in a familiar fashion.

One of Lantern Forge's more innovative and stronger experiences comes from your town. The game itself puts you in the role of building it, or rather strongly suggests that you build one. It gives you a lot of room to be creative, allowing you to either making your town a work of art with individual shops, gardens and style or a small functional space to cram everything you need into. At the moment you don't need to worry about protecting your town, its simply there for you to gather and process loot. There are a number of elements that work together well here, from making simple shops, trading with your merchants, farming crops, crafting and just decoration. From your new town, the game allows you to decide if you want to gear up by hunting monsters and selling/buying loot from merchants or by gathering raw mats and crafting it yourself. Both crafting and fighting generate exp to level and improve your load out.

If you're not into it for the creativity or town building the game does offer traditional dungeon crawling. You begin by building stairs down which generates a whole new underground map each level you explore and there’s nothing apparent limiting how many levels down you want to go at any time up to the cap of 90. You do this again and again, every staircase down increases the difficulty and generating a whole new area with better loot and material. Though each level is different they aren't very unique, you'll quickly find that if you've seen one level you've seen them all and it slowly becomes frustrating as each staircase adds one more load screen. Although its a quick load, the number of staircases add up and it gets frustrating until you can get warp stones, after which it's not so bad. Once you get there, if there are any surprises, boss fights, secrete treasures or other gems I've not found or heard of them, its simply another layer and load screen. When you start to level up from the grind you'll have the option of the three traditional classes, melee guy, range guy, or magic guy with a sprinkling of an all encompassing utility option. At first glance it doesn't seem like you'll want to mix builds as each 'class' lines up with one stat and one ability tree making cross classing a likely waste of potential.

The interface is one of the weaker points. It will take time to learn as it's not immediately intuitive and can be frustrating as you adjust to a lack of WASD for movement and a combat/build mode toggle. The game relies strongly on the mouse for most things, the keyboard seeming to be more an after thought, the only keys used besides hotbar is shift which simply holds you in place for ranged attacks. You'll need to slowly figure out how to navigate around obstacle with the mouse as your character sometimes isn't sure if he's walking, using a workbench, or punching something. Once you figure out how to navigate around bushes and bodies it all starts to flow.

Overall I do recommend this game because you're getting a 10$ game, not a 2$ + 'IOU for 8$ worth of content to come' game. It's a collection of a lot of safe ideas mixed together rather well. A very appealing art style, functional mechanics, and 'passable' UI.

If I had any strong suggestions for the game it would be to dress up dungeon crawling a little. Limit my ability to easily move between Z levels, make it feel like an achievement to progress further down and not just another loading screen. Hide stuff in the dungeons, collectables, secrete rooms, rare monsters, most of all you can hide cool stuff I want to put in my town to show off. Make me wonder what's lurking in the darkness, remove my ability to see whats there with better fog of war. Currently its to easy to see dungeons or to see ores by scanning the darkness with my mouse, make it scary and not just risk management to explore.
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