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:
Overwhelmingly Positive (789 reviews) - 95% of the 789 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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Overwhelmingly Positive (789 reviews)
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677 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Wouldn't have thought I'd get into text based games, but here I am recommending one.

SanctuaryRPG is a fast paced rogue-like rpg, where you explore the world through various encounters, events and treasures. The mechanics are easy to get into after the initial reading, and the reactions can take minimal time, so the game could be progressed rather fast. Repeating previous zones doesn't feel like a grind but rather another step in the adventure as there are tons of hidden events to to find.

Besides the main progression you have your extra managing of various buildings where you can get quests, gear and mercenaries, as well as earn money and progress in the arena.

The music is really memorable and amazingly fitting.

I only regret the game not having gear storage, each new piece is either replacing your current one or salvaged for parts.

Overall, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
17.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
I got up to level 35, got killed in one hit, cried.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
258 of 301 people (86%) 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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199 of 231 people (86%) found this review helpful
65 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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149 of 175 people (85%) found this review helpful
70 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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79 of 90 people (88%) 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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56 of 58 people (97%) 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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160 of 220 people (73%) found this review helpful
150 people found this review funny
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2015
So I heard that you like loot and dungeon crawling. They've got loot and dungeon crawling.

I heard that you like turn-based combat. They've got turn-based combat.

I heard that you liked having the most intense story since every Final Fantasy game ever. They've got the most intense story since every Final fantasy game ever.

I heard you liked having amazing music while dungeon crawling and killing stuff. They have amazing music that plays while dungeon crawling and killing stuff.

I heard that you like graphics. They don't have those, get out now, ty.
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90 of 124 people (73%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 1, 2015
I just played the game for an hour, but I've already had more fun than playing some "next-gen" games lately. If you ever played an ASCII game before, I'm 100% sure that you're gonna love this. And if you don't have any clue, try it and see how a game made from the characters on your keyboard could have better atmosphere than an AAA game that requires 2 GB video RAM to play.

Kudos to the great developers by the way.
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63 of 81 people (78%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
17.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 2, 2015
Fantastic game! Solid proof of "Content before cosmetics!". If you promise to play, SanctuaryRPG promises to reward you. I found out personally how much the devs care about this game, and that is always a good sign. Anyway, for me, this game is the perfect digital buddy to smoke a colossal bowl (of cereal) with, jam out to the amazing soundtrack, bust heads and flip through random-gen loots, basically just get in touch with my inner child (since my childhood in the early 80's was in ascii-only).

Grab yourself some cereal and your favorite 2D glasses and enjoy SanctuaryRPG!
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Recently Posted
9.2 hrs
Posted: October 16
This game is really good.
Its different from your typical RPG, but the uniqueness of the game makes the game stand out. I wish it had some recognition.
10/10 for Soundtrack, gives you a nostalgic feel.

P.S: Game is ♥♥♥♥ing fustrating in classic mode (No respawns)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.0 hrs
Posted: October 9
Thanks to this game, I can finally appreciate my large potato. Do recommend, highly witty and well written.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.8 hrs
Posted: October 7
Game can be as deep the oceans talking about Gods and the theory of their existence and the meaning of life.

Or as shallow as a puddle on the side walk talking about bashing your face into people and watching jiggling boobs.

I go for the first but like in life I often settle for the latter.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: October 5
Been playing on OSX with a Wine Wrapper (thus the low amount of played time on my account), probably by far my favorite game of the year. Fantastic work guys !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
21.6 hrs
Posted: October 2
RPG grind central. Aesthetic may not be for everyone. OST has a few good tracks. Would have loved to see the "story" explored a bit more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Rusted Paladin
1.8 hrs
Posted: September 22
I don't understand why I love this game so much. I got purely because it looked interesting. But I didn't expect to find something with as interesting of a combat system as this. All in a text format.
It's hard for me to explain properly. Sorry. But I will say it plays far better then it seems it ever should.
The music is great as well.
There's plenty of silly tips and comments as well. But that I didn't really care for much.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.3 hrs
Posted: September 21
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.6 hrs
Posted: September 12
Product received for free
From what i have played so far witch is not a lot i like the game its fun to play only thing ui have to say negitive about it is my eyes start hurting after a while that might only be me but so far i enjoy it and i cant wait to play more
Helpful? Yes No Funny