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:
Overall:
Mixed (226 reviews) - 57% of the 226 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 18, 2014

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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
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (226 reviews)
Recently Posted
Harmony Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wegadin
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: February 17
It is a fun sim game, and it is worth the $10. However, it suffers from serious balance issues. Once my mage got the "fireball" spell at lvl 10, I was easily able to solo monster camps. Four monsters spawn, and they all die from the fireball. This gives about half a level of exp, which rocketed me to lvl 40 very quickly. Monsters scale to your level and so does their loot. They were dropping copper gear (tier 2) at 10, but were quickly dropping the best gear in the game (tier 6, I believe) at 40. I didn't need to mine or grind or craft any more. There are 90 levels that you can dig down to, but I never needed to dig down more than 8.

TL;DR
It is a fun crafter/sim game, but the balance is severely broken. If you want to take your time with the game, then don't kill mobs outside. Kill the mobs underground because they scale to level depth and not your level, but everything up top scales to your level and is too easy to kill with magic, which powerlevels you way beyond what you should be.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Neofenris
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 6
Good so far, death is a real joke howerver, really need either way higher penalty/hardcore mod with permadeath.
Could use more informations like max level possible and possibility or not to reroll attributes/skills.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JokersWild
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: January 25
I have to say, the game is not that bad. It isn't super great, but all in all there are plenty worse that do well. It is a bit quirky, kind of expected more from a full release. Not sure if they are still doing any work on it, have not see anything pop up for updates. If no more updates or fixes come, then might want to wait for it to go on sale. If they fix the stupid little thigns and clean it up, I think it is well worth the price of a whooping $10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bread
( 33.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 18
Trash, trouble launching, constantly crashes, resolution and sound are unbareable
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cleroth
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: January 10
Terribly unstable (crashes + you can lose all of your progress with corrupt saves; dev's response to this is to ignore you and the bug, and work on new features instead). Really awkward controls (mostly due to being isometric; hard to click on things because of pixel-perfect collision on clicks). Nothing much fun to do in the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lying_Lynx
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 1
I r8 8/8 m8 it's gr8

The bugs are hardly even noticeable, One moment your world is there and the next it is completely missing.
Your player stats have a chance of randomly reseting which is just amazing if you want to restart(Almost no gamer would)
The best part about this game is the fact that it is barely ever updated so these amazing bugs will most likely stay forever.

I suggest you buy it if you like having no loaded world or game crashes every 30 minutes or so.

P.S. The game is actually fun if you try and ignore the bugs which is nearly impossible.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
white-empress-87
( 17.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 15, 2015
Hey all,
Lantern Forge is a pretty good game. Simple and neat. One of it's problems is trying to find base again after exploring, it tells you the coordinates, but it would be easier with a map with waypoints. Another problem is crops: it's sometimes hard to know when the plant is fully mature. Anyway, I rate it 8.5/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
45
( 171.0 hrs on record )
Posted: December 10, 2015
The game has a lot of bugs that still have not been fixed and I think the devs went awol on this game. I hate the fact that the tools, weapons and armor gets damaged. In guild wars 2 when your armor gets damaged you just pay to get it fixed, but in this game you have to find resources and just make a new one, that is annoying. Another game like terraria, the weapons, armor and tools never break down. I love that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PintoBean
( 47.0 hrs on record )
Posted: December 1, 2015
This IS a complete, finished game. It is enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it suffers from the idea of a "huge open world" which delivers as "find everything within a few screens and then just get the same stuff randomly after that." It needs more content.

I really wish the devs would regroup, take a hard look at certain systems and how they are being delivered, especially ones they are in love with, and rip some guts out & perform an operation to install fresh ideas with a solid direction for the game.

Did I get my money's worth for 47 hours? Yes. I would, however, recommend finding your enjoyment elsewhere.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shishia
( 27.1 hrs on record )
Posted: December 1, 2015
This game really needs WASD movement. Instead we are stuck with the W moving towards your cursor, making movement nothing but an irritating chore.

"Combat" is clunky and imprecise. Click on an enemy to attack it... except most times your character will just move forward because of the aforementioned movement controls.

I can't play this game for longer than 30 minutes without it crashing or glitching out. I've also had my save data corrupted once as well. All that work down the drain.

Near-constant runtime errors, glitches and bugs (sometimes my character's hair will disapper. Sometimes the animal sprites are replaced with large blinking white boxes. Other times my hair stays visible but my armor disappears. And further still, sometimes my character is just replaced with a big ol' white box.)

When questioned on the forums about this, we were given empty platitudes. How do I know? Because I reinstalled it and tried playing it again recently. Sure enough, the game crashed within 20 minutes but not before my character disappeared and walked around as a floating patch of hair. The animals were replaced with glitching white boxes again too, for good measure.

In short, this game is a broken glitchy mess and I can honestly say it was a complete waste of money.
Perhaps my game time would have been a bigger number by now if the game didn't crash as much as it had.

Avoid this game if you value your sanity.



Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tairizo
( 20.6 hrs on record )
Posted: November 15, 2015
Despite the "updates" nothing was done for this game. Had alot of potential.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
durgah
( 25.9 hrs on record )
Posted: November 4, 2015
For 10 dollars this game has been a lot of fun. I was looking for something to pass the time until 7DaystoDie updates to A13 and for Fallout 4 to release. Although the reviews are mixed I decided to try this game anyhow as it has all the elements I like in this genre. This is well worth the price point in my opinion.

I can understand some of the mixed review but from what I can tell in the forums the author is starting to put some time back into the game. What is in the game already is highly enjoyable.

The only cons I have is the lack of modding to expand on the game and the control scheme which takes some getting used to.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EMS
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Posted: November 1, 2015
All this game does is crash. I thought that at some point someone would have fixed this. BUrn it down and start over.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jolly
( 46.1 hrs on record )
Posted: October 9, 2015
To counter some of the, IMO, unfair negative reviews, I'll add my two cents.

This is a $10 game. Yes, the devs sort of left us hanging and it hurts since the game is very fun and has a lot of potential to be something more, but the game you do get is very enjoyable and has a lot to do for that $10, and has replay value.

The devs have also been poking around and patching a bit lately and have improved performance (one of my biggest negatives since changing z-levels was painfully long) and added some content.

The characters are fun to play and build, there's several tiers of crafting, lots of gathering and building to do, lots of exploring of procedurelly generated open world/underground to do, several different types of biomes both above and below ground with a nice variety of mobs and content to experience.

For the whopping $10 I think this game is definitely worth it - you can easily play enough hours - and have fun doing so - to make it (more than) worth the cost. I feel some of the negative reviews are way, way, too over the top in criticizing what is a decently feature and content filled game for a low price.

I could definitely come up with a list of other early access games or even released games that cost more money and/or were far more disappointing. Some people just have too much time on their hands to troll and be negative and/or have ridiculous expectations for very low cost indie games.

PS - I have over 46 hours played, mostly before recent patching. The top negative review is by someone with 6 hours played and IMO it's kind of silly for someone to be complaining about a game being incomplete when they haven't played enough to complete what IS there.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[SM] chemical
( 118.7 hrs on record )
Posted: October 5, 2015
Buyer beware.

I had a lot of hope for this game when it initially came out. The devs were nice and seemed to get patches done when we requested, however like most Early Access type games, they fall apart and the devs just drop off the face of the planet.

I really hope Valve does something about this. I feel that you should only have to pay maybe 2-3 dollars for Early Access games and when the game is complete and ready to move out of Early Access, you can pay the remainder of the cost. It's a complete scam to make people pay full price and never get a full game out of it.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Anfalas
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Posted: October 5, 2015
I bought this around August last year. It looked like such an amazing game. Crafting, village building and dungeon delving all in one! Who could refuse?
The game itself is enjoyable, as long as you take it at face value. Controls are clunky and oftentimes unresponsive, however, many features that are supposed to be in the game do not in fact work, combat appears to be highly unbalanced, making the game a walk in the park, amongst other issues. On top of these, you'll often find the game crashing after a massive memory leak that hasn't been fixed since release.

Keep these things in mind if you're looking to try the game out. For $10, it's not terrible - I got around 10 hours of enjoyment out of it, and I consider that acceptable.

The sad part came when the updates stopped. For a full year, we waited, uselessly. Disappointed.
I'm ecstatic that we do finally have an update (released September 6th this year), but devs? Don't leave it that long again. We all, with good reason, assumed you'd abandoned the game. Even if you can't release content, give us a short announcement to let us know you're still there, and haven't run off to Sweden to make a hefty deposit to a new bank account.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Seneschul
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: September 14, 2015
Engaging 2.5d Minecraft knockoff.

Not bad, and different enough with higher quality graphics to be decent and trying to make it's own niche.

Definitely a WIP.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pinky
( 75.3 hrs on record )
Posted: September 13, 2015
I started a mage character. Got to L47. Then the game crashed. I could not reload my save game after that.

I started an archer character. Got to L35. Then the game crashed. I could not reload my save game after that.

I am not starting another character. 35+ hours in the game and nothing to show for it.

But if this sounds like your kind of fun - hey - it's on sale.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
generalpoonslayer69
( 24.3 hrs on record )
Posted: September 13, 2015
/Provisional recommendation/
13/sept/2015
The game has been revived by the developers, let's hope it gets more updates now.

18 march 16
lol I'm so naive
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
27.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2015
This game really needs WASD movement. Instead we are stuck with the W moving towards your cursor, making movement nothing but an irritating chore.

"Combat" is clunky and imprecise. Click on an enemy to attack it... except most times your character will just move forward because of the aforementioned movement controls.

I can't play this game for longer than 30 minutes without it crashing or glitching out. I've also had my save data corrupted once as well. All that work down the drain.

Near-constant runtime errors, glitches and bugs (sometimes my character's hair will disapper. Sometimes the animal sprites are replaced with large blinking white boxes. Other times my hair stays visible but my armor disappears. And further still, sometimes my character is just replaced with a big ol' white box.)

When questioned on the forums about this, we were given empty platitudes. How do I know? Because I reinstalled it and tried playing it again recently. Sure enough, the game crashed within 20 minutes but not before my character disappeared and walked around as a floating patch of hair. The animals were replaced with glitching white boxes again too, for good measure.

In short, this game is a broken glitchy mess and I can honestly say it was a complete waste of money.
Perhaps my game time would have been a bigger number by now if the game didn't crash as much as it had.

Avoid this game if you value your sanity.



Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
47.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2015
This IS a complete, finished game. It is enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it suffers from the idea of a "huge open world" which delivers as "find everything within a few screens and then just get the same stuff randomly after that." It needs more content.

I really wish the devs would regroup, take a hard look at certain systems and how they are being delivered, especially ones they are in love with, and rip some guts out & perform an operation to install fresh ideas with a solid direction for the game.

Did I get my money's worth for 47 hours? Yes. I would, however, recommend finding your enjoyment elsewhere.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2015
Despite the "updates" nothing was done for this game. Had alot of potential.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Terribly unstable (crashes + you can lose all of your progress with corrupt saves; dev's response to this is to ignore you and the bug, and work on new features instead). Really awkward controls (mostly due to being isometric; hard to click on things because of pixel-perfect collision on clicks). Nothing much fun to do in the game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
131 of 157 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
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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63 of 75 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
***DEAD GAME - - DO NOT BUY!***

Another indie game with so much potential. Unfortunately they were unable to keep the project going between expenses and income, and the project remains indefinitely suspended.

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.

There's no point in buying since it will almost definitely never be completed. Although if it were to be continued/restarted, I would gladly change my review and continue to support the developers. In this case, we lost a great game and it's unfortunate that many terrible games on Steam continue to be sold while gems like this one can't stay afloat.
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68 of 83 people (82%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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86 of 113 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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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43 of 50 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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63 of 88 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 12, 2015
EDIT: GAME IS BEING WORKED ON AGAIN

Here's hoping they stick with it and turn it into something awesome. Game's got a lot of potential. But I'm kind of leery. After all, something similar happened with Towns, even down to the game is dead, game is back in dev. And we all know how that ended...(If you dont, you should before you even THINK of buying E. A.)

So for now, the old review stays, with the caveat that I'm reserving judgement. But I'm going to be watching it again, hoping that I can actually recommend it. I want to like Lantern Forge. I really do.

ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW

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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32 of 41 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 31, 2015
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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42 of 60 people (70%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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52 of 78 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
My first ( and probably last, for i hate this ♥♥♥♥) Steam review.
It simply deserved it.
I didn´t saw the game until today, played around with it since a few hours now and it is already my favorite one of its kind.

It got a few raw edges (little clunky pathfinding, for an example) but it also got a ton of depth (and i only scratched on the surface).
Even the graphics are alot better than they use to be in that kind of games.
I am old enough to remember the first days of computergaming, but still i appreciate that things are looking nice, and here they do. All the stuff got a bunch of details for such a limited graphicengine, i really like the artwork.

If you like this kind of games, or even if you used to, and feel fed up with them since a long time (like i did until this one), give it a try.
The pricing is VERY fair, especially when you have a look on what kind of cheap, unfinished trash get sold here for 20, 30, 40+ euro in the last years. Be it "early access", some poorly reworked 10 years old stuff or whatever they throw at us these days.
Usually you pay those 10 bucks to a big company for a pityful DLC that gives you half an hour of gameplay or a new outfit for your freaking pet.

I wish the devs all the best for this project, not many indie-companies here deserves a little bit success as much as they do.
(and ofc this wish is also selfinterest, for i would like to see how this game developes further)
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45 of 67 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
Absolutely addictive game. Highly recomend it if you like sandbox rpg type games. Has Minecraft/Terraria feel to it with a deeper rpg equipment system. Controls could use some tuning but with some getting use to they are fine.
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34 of 48 people (71%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
75.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2015
I started a mage character. Got to L47. Then the game crashed. I could not reload my save game after that.

I started an archer character. Got to L35. Then the game crashed. I could not reload my save game after that.

I am not starting another character. 35+ hours in the game and nothing to show for it.

But if this sounds like your kind of fun - hey - it's on sale.

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36 of 57 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
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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23 of 34 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
32.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 9, 2015
This game has enough fun for 30 hours at least. It's a pity the game did not sell very well and the devs need to go to find a full time job, after leaving the game in it's 1.0 version, released.

It's not an abandoned project, it's a game released. True, has a few (rare) bugs here and there, nothing gamebreaking.

Now, working in their free time after job, they just released a new update with optimization, some polish and a little more content. Great work and refreshing honesty.

Build your base, farm a lot of different vegetables and herbs, fight a good bunch of monsters, explore different biomes, go down level after level to find ore and loot dungeons, level your character, choose your path: warrior, ranger or wizard, craft your own weapons and armor and, most important, don't forget to eat and to rest!

A very beautiful survival game that is, in my opinion, a little gem and it gives more for less money. Totally recommended.
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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
This game feels unfinished. First the good: The combat is fun (although simple), and the RPG mechanics give it a little extra flavor that other similar games lack. Now, the bad.
- There is only one surface level, so you can't build 2-story houses.
- There's no reason to explore the surface. Anything you find there can be found underground. But the surface is featureless anyway. The only terrain feature is water, and it just acts like another tile type.
- Farming is fairly useless, because you will always have plenty of food from killing enemies.
- There may be 100 levels underground, but when they are all the same, what's the point? I've gotten down to about level 50, and haven't seen much different from the first 10 levels.
- Combat isn't balanced, Mages will kill you a lot quicker than you can close on them.
- Pathing is terrible. You character is constantly getting stuck on corners in the tunnels and on small trees on the surface.
- No WASD movement. (Seriously guys?)
- There's no reason to build a house. Monsters attack at night, but you can use a bed to instantly turn it to day time, so you never really have to face the night.

So, that's my opinion. I hope the game gets better, because it is kind of charming, but right now I simply can't recommend it. This game really should have been labelled as early access.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
UPDATE: Since development on this game is no longer taking place (read the forum post from the Dev), I no longer have a need or desire to update this initial review.

================================================

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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