SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition is a humorous and strategic turn-based dungeon crawling ASCII adventure. Drawing heavy inspiration from both Roguelikes and Japanese RPGs, the game offers a robust action-RPG inspired combat system.
User reviews:
Very Positive (22 reviews) - 81% of the 22 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (863 reviews) - 94% of the 863 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 13, 2015

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“Describing SanctuaryRPG as a huge, hilarious and most honorable devourer of free time would be an understatement.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“It’s got a very old-school vibe thanks to the ASCII graphics and UI, but the combat feels modern and intelligent.”

“Where Dwarf Fortress is impossibly huge, all-encompassing, and as approachable as a brick wall, SanctuaryRPG is accommodating, streamlined, funny, and engaging, even if you've never been able to stomach an ASCII game.”
PC Gamer Magazine

About This Game


As the world's first fully-ASCII game to grace the Steam platform, SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition is a humorous and strategic turn-based dungeon crawling adventure. Drawing heavy inspiration from both Roguelikes and Japanese RPGs, the game was meticulously designed to offer a truly compelling role-playing experience complete with a robust action-rpg inspired combat system.

Black Edition builds upon the classic SanctuaryRPG formula with all new procedurally generated artwork, as well as a plethora of areas to explore, races to experiment with, skills to master, and loot to collect. Whether you're a valiant hero or a dastardly villain, the fate of Sanctuary is in your hands.


  • Enjoy a blast from the past with retro ASCII graphics
  • Travel through vast dungeons with classic roguelike action
  • Experience hundreds of hours of immersive gameplay
  • Put your strategies to work with a sleek combat system
  • Over 160 class and race combinations to experiment with
  • Wreck your enemies with over 1400 weapons and armors
  • Rock out to an original 8-bit chiptune soundtrack

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Integrated Audio
    • Additional Notes: Toaster-Compatible! (But not really)
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (22 reviews)
Very Positive (863 reviews)
Recently Posted
engaged math smoke
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
An awesome experience!
-Good character building.
-Interesting world(s).
-Unique Combat.

None so far!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
This is a fun but unforgiving game. It's pretty easy to die--one accidental button press or miscalculation and you might find your character smeared across the floor by even the most common filler enemies, and seeing as death is final and takes you back to the very beginning, this can be frustrating. As long as you pay attention and don't take too many particularly dangerous risks, though, it's not too hard to advance. It's quirky, but thankfully not in a forced, "I'm trying to be quirky" way; it has a good sense of humor, and the music fits the retro feeling nicely without being annoying or repetetive. Really enjoyable overall!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Benito Mussolini
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
It may look boring, but the game is amazing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Nice game but when you gonna implement achievements?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 21.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Product received for free
Very demanding of your time, patience, and inner worrywart. Any simple mistake with laughably cost you. You can start out from whatever classes you want, and the game douses you in a list of perks to the point where you feel nearly invincible, not to mention the mouth-watering bonuses your weapons, armors, and miscs offer. At the same time, however, you ABSOLUTELY cannot overestimate yourself when you pick up this game, or it will cost you getting carried away. Even blindly grinding mid-level mobs can sometimes sucker punch you and knock you dead.

Every ounce of music in the game is enjoyable, from the basicness of the low-level skeleton fights to the errogenous coin ticks of the tavern. I'd buy a soundtrack if I could.

Though the graphics cleverly implicate many integers for use of shading and texture, it gets kind of hard to tell what things are until you take a second to look at them, so that gets kind of cumbersome.

It's also a very flexible game: you can either sit down, grab some chips and soda, and score through the game as far as you want, or play bit by bit every so often. As demanding as it is, you can choose your own pace and enjoy it however quickly you'd like.

No matter what class you have, it's important to spend some time learning every move you have in your arsenal (you have two sets of consecutive attacks that alternate for every finisher you do), which adds on to the whole patience business.

If you like being rewarded with secrets, then find another game. You more or less risk your booty when you find secrets in the overworld, which gets highly irritating, especially when you find yourself up against a high-level mob from one. However, some other times the game can offer some neat jazz like overpowered weaponry, though it's all in a coin flip in the end.

One of the larger bits of the game I don't like is the raunchy difficulty of the game. I actually could not stand to finish it even to date, simply because of how unrewarding and punishing the game feels. Though if you're the kind of sick twisted ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ who gets a kick out of that, then it's your grave you're digging.

Otherwise, it's a nice game if you're looking for pure-hearted challenge and shoving druid bear claws up skellys' arses. Just don't expect any justice in the rewards you get!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 12.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
A fun game with interesting artwork and game mechanics. The retro feel is very well executed, you can tell that there was a lot of effort put in. I still have yet to beat it, but I've gotten closer and closer with each attempt.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
A nice refresher. The graphics of this game, while simple, are in my opinion quite good, i mean they are just visually appealing and a fresh experience if you play games with 3d graphics and lots of colours. Worth buying? Definitely.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
danny's dad
( 13.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
>Make an archer
>Only level up damage
>One shot every enemy
>Dodge all of the bosses
>Misclick and get killed in one hit, losing all of your progress

10/10 would die again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
For an ASCII game, Sanctuary RPG is easy to understand, accommodating to any player base, very funny, with an engaging story. It is short, and lacks a bit of replayability, but overall definitely worth a try this Steam Sale season!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
Loving this game so much! Just goes to show you that you don't need fancy graphics to create compelling and varied game play. If you like RPGs, you need to check this out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
When I first played this game, I found it boring,. I thought people only liked it because it was a retro roguelike game, and it was overrated.

But I was wrong. I decided to play it again, and it surprised me.The story isn't amazing, but it's nice. And the game has a lot of features I didn't know! You can dig for treasures, own a tavern, craft armor and weapons, open portals with new dungeons and bosses, participate in the arena and win soul shards, choose your side between the brotherhood and resistance.. It gets repetitive after a while, but it's worth it.

A great game for people who really likes rpg and roguelikes.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
This game is fantastic! So many interesting mechanics for the combat and outside of that as well, this game has an amazing amount of depth! It's got an astonishing soundtrack that will have you head over heels wanting to buy it. The game is a breath of fresh air, a departure from more serious rouge types, with its great personality!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Thanks to this game, I have been able to kiss a wild lemon.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Nice game but when you gonna implement achievements?
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
232 of 273 people (85%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2015
I'm really torn on recommending or not recommending the game.

It is a great game that simply shouldn't be a rogue-like. Deep combat, huge amount of RPG goodness like classes, crafting, customization, skills, discovery, exploration, and a deep narrative. So much to do. So much love in this game and the DOS-like interface is hardly noticeable. The game is very, very immersive and you grow attached to you characters. The game is deceptiely deep.. literally not one dull moment.

There is a lot of content in the game. A full playthrough could easily go 10-15 hours.

Therein lies the crappy part - this game is a 1-death permadeath roguelike. Some enemies are very very strong and sort of "come out of nowhere" and two-shot you (often after a wave of trivial fights). Your characters die rather... unceremoniously... and you get nothing from their deaths. It's not like other roguelikes where the game is short enough to where it's alright, or you have sort of an "HQ" through which dying at least allowed some sort of gain... you start from square one.

There is a "softcore" mode... but each death in this mode reduces global item drop rates. That just isn't fun. So much of the game is collecting items and managing them... not an inspiring or fun way to play the game. I don't count that as a decent softcore mode - each time you die the game becomes less fun and more tedious.

EDIT: I WAS WRONG ABOUT SOFTCORE MODE! Each death DOES NOT drop global drop rates. Rather, global drop rates are dropped just once.. at the beginning of the game. Not as harsh. THAT SAID - the reduced item drop rate still is a "punishment" mechanic for choosing an easier difficulty. Further, softcore mode just feels... lame. You die and instantly come back and can enter that exact same fight with a single keypress. In other RPGs with a save system, you at least have to "go through the dungeon" or something similar. There are some stakes on the line for dying - you'll have to climb to the top of the mountain, or whatever. Softcore mode removes the stakes entirely. The game has two extremes - a completely inappropriate die-and-restart-the-entire-15-hour-game, or absolute-0-consequence-for-dying. Neither are compelling to me as a player. Game would be perfect with a Final Fantasy style in-between.

Also, I know people say "yeah, hard perma-death... that's the fun! that's the point". But I don't know. It doesn't feel right for this game. It's so deep... there is so much joy just from the RPG elements. The game replays every narrative scene on playthroughs.... you slowly unlock gameplay elements EACH playthrough... it's like the game wasn't MEANT to be a roguelike. You end up banging the spacebar through story sequences you've already seen. You end up saltily unlocking skills and gameplay elements that you already have intimate knowledge of ("You've unlocked crafting - here's hw you craft" after having been a craftmaster last playthrough). I feel like the developer jumped on the roguelike train on a game that didn't need to be a roguelike.

The result of the harsh roguelike set-up with a simply ANNOYING and UN-FUN result is that you grind grind grind to make sure you don't die to an encounter that catches you off-guard. You make your character OP. Still, you may die to a surprise insanely powerful enemy... but maybe not.

All this bad stuff said - the game is great fun. Well worth 5 dollars. ESPECIALLY if you like challenging rogue-likes and are slightly masochistic... GET THIS GAME. If you just want a great RPG... maybe look elsewhere. This game will frustrate you for being a great RPG that deletes your save when you die.

3/5 (5/5 if not a rogue-like)
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195 of 227 people (86%) found this review helpful
61 people found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 13, 2014
If you like exploration, witty dialogue, loot whoring and good music then you owe it to your self to try this game out. It has more depth than you might expect just by looking at it.

- Crafting system? Check
- Run a tavern? Check
- Eat hobos? Check
- Go mining? Check
- Wrestle dragons with your pants down? Check

Hate ASCII graphics? Well I hate you too, this game is easily the best $5 I've spent on a game this year.
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147 of 172 people (85%) found this review helpful
68 people found this review funny
5.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 14, 2014
Great writing, Excellent Gameplay and a Great developer with community involvement.

PLUS it's the perfect game to play while you make dinner for the kids (no joke, ive set up a PC on my kitchen bench just to slay leg's, robots and blobs between dicing vegies and straining pasta while my daughters scream "NERD" at me across the living room).

This may be the one ray of sunshine in my otherwise tired afternoons :)
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74 of 85 people (87%) found this review helpful
23 people found this review funny
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2015
- Very nice fighting system: you can't just spam your preferred skill until the enemy is dead, but you have to actively respond to his attacks and pay attention to his bonus stats.
- Has a lot of humour in it. (a lot of potatoes as well)
- The music really fits with the ASCII-images
- This game proves that flashy graphics are not needed for a good game.
- You're not just limited to fighting enemies, but you can also craft, run a tavern, dance naked and do unmentionable things to potatoes.
- Exploring all of your options is rewarded.

- The game can sometimes get grindy: all of a sudden you'll need X items to progress the main story.
- What I really miss in this game is some sort of backpack, no matter how limited. Most of the time it is pretty clear whether you should keep your current item or replace it by a new one, but in some cases (like with weapons that do extra damage at night) it really depends on the situation. A backpack would really be useful in such situations. (Note: there is a backpack in game, but it is only used for crafting mats and such, not for equpable items)

All in all, this game is really worth your time and money.

P.S.: I kissed a great potato.
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53 of 55 people (96%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
My biggest (smallest?) gaming discovery of 2015.

I'm too young (or better: not old enough) to have a first-hand experience with terminal-based cRPGs of their era.

So initially I was just curious. Then I became addicted. It's a wonderful sensation to feel your imagination start working again. It's also remarkable - but shouldn't be surprising, right? - that you can have the amount of mechanics comparable to, say, Witcher's, embedded within medium so tiny.

I only wish it was a little bit less cruel. But perhaps it's me who should be a little bit less soft :)
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