Embark on an epic journey into "The Darkness Below", a homage to the golden era of 90's cRPGs, with grid-based movement, turn-based combat and 2.5D perspective. Wander a vast and colorful fantasy world filled with puzzles, exotic creatures, forgotten dungeons and ancient guardians.
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Release Date:
Mar 19, 2024

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Hi there!
My name is Savvas Eleftheriadis aka vlzvl, and I am solo developing this game for years now, which is the primary reason of setting this game into "early access".
The game is not yet fully complete content-wise, far from it actually, and a number of planned features are still missing. However, the game is fully playable at this point, with all major features implemented and packaged with a few hours of gameplay straight from the coming full release content.

I decided to set my game as "Early access" based on following reasons:

  • The game is fully playable at this point, with all major features implemented and packaged with a few hours of early gameplay
  • The game's final content will end up immense in size which alone requires months of focused work (ETA is set this year)
  • I am working solo so I need all the feedback from players, playing or playtesting the game through the subsequent game updates till the release
  • I would like to find / eliminate all bugs and work on all game's weak areas through cooperation with fan userbase before the final release
  • Exposing the game as is now for increased visibility and marketing to all the interested audience

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The game is mostly missing content and quantity / variety of implemented features. However, for that particular genre, that means a few months of focused, inspired work. The ETA is already set to Q3 2024, but it may slightly change / increase if things don't go as planned.”

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

“The main goal for the full release is to increase the final content size. The secondary goal is to increase the variety and quantity of the already implemented features to something that will resemble the following numbers:

  • 100+ maps to explore (with various tiers of difficulty / exterior and interior / multi-leveled / environmental specific / lore based)
  • 100+ quests (major and side quests)
  • 10+ races
  • 10+ professions
  • 50+ skills (a few will be determined on-demand, based on content / quests)
  • 50+ spells (balanced through magic schools / expertise)
  • 100+ monsters (from "Skeleton" and "Goblin" to menacing "Devils" and immortal archdevils, angels and deities)

At the moment, only the necessary features are provided to "early access" content.
Details about the currently implemented features and their quantity can be found on About this game section of the game.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The early access version is fully playable, with all basic functionality implemented and tested throughout some prior versions / demos and a recent playtesting by a group of testers. It lasts about ~3 hours, depending on how much content the player wants to cover and concludes gracefully. There is no functionality or bug that would prevent the player to reach the early access's ending. Game has no known bugs at the moment.

The game's currently implemented features are listed and covered in more detail on About this game section.”

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

“Yes, the game will be priced differently during and after early access, but not so much that would cause confusion. Customers should expect an increase around 50% of the early access price.”

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

Feedback from players was and will continue to be an integral and significant part of the game's development. I intend to keep my frequent communication with the players and discuss current and future features and issues, until the game's development is finished. In addition, I may release testing builds and share them with some of the players, as well as updates with new content to all buyers as the game develops for feedback. Some related links are listed below where I can be reached for feedback:

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About This Game


Embark on an epic journey into The Darkness Below, a cRPG that pays homage to the golden era of 90's cRPGs. With grid-based movement, turn-based combat, and 2.5D perspective, the game transports you to a vast and colorful fantasy world filled with puzzles, exotic creatures, forgotten dungeons and ancient guardians.

Drawing inspiration from Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore, and Might and Magic 3-5, this retro adventure seamlessly blends classic cRPG elements with D&D mechanics, where your choices truly shape your destiny. Dive into a rich and immersive world filled with monsters, npcs, skill trainers, intricate dialogues and meaningful interactions.

Uncover forgotten lore and solve challenging puzzles as you navigate through abandoned places and bustling towns. Engage in endless side quests, forging your path towards character advancement. With full character generation and quick party options, your adventure is as unique as the hero you become. Are you ready to explore a realm where every decision matters?

Set to be the largest single-player first person grid-based cRPG of all time, "The Darkness Below" promises a rich tapestry of lore, skill challenges, and grinding gameplay that will captivate fans of the genre. Are you ready to uncover all of its secrets?


  • Windows / Linux
  • First person grid-based dungeon crawling experience, as traditional as it gets
  • Pixelart aesthetic, event cutscenes and a colorfully vibrant world, straight from the 90' golden era
  • Grid-based animated movement, through mouse and keyboard (with custom key bindings)
  • Blazingly fast turn-based combat, much like M&M 3-5
  • Interactable items & objects (ground items, levers, doors, keylocks, text banners, traps etc.)
  • Various NPCs and voice-overs (greetings, death, refusals etc.)
  • Recruitable NPC companions (CPU based), each one with specific talents in combat (skill, weapons, spells, quest NPCs etc.)
  • Skills learning based on usage (skill XP increases by using), expertise level (initiate, adept, master etc.) and requirements (profession, ability scores etc.)
  • Skill advancing through multiple skill trainers on villages and towns, each one advancing characters to specific expertise (initiate, adept, master etc.)
  • Spell system based on slot allocation, very similar to D&D mechanics
  • Spells sorted into specific magic schools / elements ("Fire magic" etc.), sorted by expertise (initiate, adept, master etc.) and cast through staffs, holysymbols, scrolls and wands
  • Passive / active skill checks, similar to D&D challenge checks
  • Dynamic itemization, with about ~300 base items and on-demand creation of random items with various enchantments ("of Fire damage" etc.) or uniquely named ("Pyroblade" etc.)
  • Enchantments to further improve items like "of Fire damage" and "of Titan", allowing more strategic decisions on party equipment and leading to tens of thousand items
  • Shops dealing with various trades (weapons, magic, books, general store, stable etc.)
  • Create new characters or choose prebuilt ones, through a very fast and intuitive character generation system
  • Local / world / mini map, with local and world completion %
  • Unlimited saves with screenshot thumbnail, world completion % etc.

Early access content (the "Prelude")

  • Game's rulebook contains most of the following details
  • 7 maps (about ~3 hours gameplay, straight from full release content)
  • 6 quests (major and side quests)
  • 30 skills (from "Long blade" and "Fire magic" practitioners to D&D environmental like skills like "Fitness" and "Survival")
  • 20 spells (sorted into 5 levels of expertises like initiate, adept, master etc. and 7 elements like Fire, Air etc.)
  • 300 base items (from "Short sword" and "Long sword +1" to "Lightning Bow +2" and "Master Scroll of Firebolt")
  • 50 item enchantments (from "of Fire damage" and "of Cavalier" to uniquely named ones like "Pyroblade")
  • 15 monsters (from "Skeleton" and "Goblin" to menacing "Devil", each one with custom actions similar to D&D)
  • 8 conditions (from "Poisoned" to "Cursed" and "Maddened")


The following might give an idea about the scope and length of the game

AI Generated Content Disclosure

The developers describe how their game uses AI Generated Content like this:

Game is using AI generated pre-rendered imagery by Midjourney for title screen, intro and game cutscenes.

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS *: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, 11
    • Processor: Intel Celeron
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Desktop resolution 800x600 or higher. Graphic cards with OpenGL v2.0 (2004) or higher
    • Storage: 30 MB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS *: Windows 7, 8, 10, 11
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
* Starting January 1st, 2024, the Steam Client will only support Windows 10 and later versions.
    • OS: Ubuntu 16.04
    • Processor: Intel Celeron
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Desktop resolution 800x600 or higher. Graphic cards with OpenGL v2.0 (2004) or higher
    • Storage: 30 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 20.04
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM

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