Darkest Dungeon has taught me to be a terrible person. I bet you thought that Party Hard had already done that, huh?
Nope! Darkest Dungeon’s hardcore dungeon-crawling has quickly trained me to treat my loyal soldiers like disposable, mentally-breakable fodder for its permadeath meat grinder. And I absolutely love it. This hardcore dungeon-crawling RPG doesn’t hold your hand, but it gives you plenty of room to pave your own path, if you’re willing to find it.
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How It Works
- You are heading up an expedition into a doomed Victorian-style estate and the Lovecraftian horrors that lie inside of its depths.
- You recruit adventurers and lead them through side-scrolling dungeons via exploration and turn-based combat.
- You wipe a tear from your eye as they transact diseases, incur mental disorders, and are just generally destroyed by the horrible things you’ve thrown them into.
- You use currency and items earned from these dungeon runs to heal, upgrade, and equip your adventurers. But first, you upgrade your camp, which is persistent between dungeon runs and opens up a lot of tools for improving your troops and keeping things running.
- Over time, you tackle new dungeons and new questions inside of those dungeons as you get progressively more powerful dudes and tools.
- At some point, you realize the most efficient way to grind up the infrastructure in your base is to churn and burn through eager recruits that show up on your doorstep like they’re nothing more than disposable loot backpacks. You use them, you break them, and throw them away. Then you realize that the darkest dungeon is actually YOUR HEART.
Why You Should Play It
- Darkest Dungeon is not an easy game. Most things are never explained to you directly, and must be learned through trial and error. But there is a lot to master, a lot of strategies to discover, to try, and then refine. As you do those things, it becomes incredibly rewarding.
- Upgrading your camp is a wonderfully addictive grind, with many many options for you to choose from and decide what the “best” upgrade path is.
- Permadeath keeps dungeon runs interesting and tense, without putting too much stress on you. Just make sure to upgrade the Stagecoach first in your camp and you’ll have a nice bunch of fresh recruits every day to keep you from accidentally breaking your ability to progress.
- There are many classes in the game, each with a surprisingly interesting identity, revealed only through abilities and occasional commentary. Each feels unique and brings interesting strategy to combat.
- The turn-based combat is fun and opens up plenty of room for clever tactics. Do you want to push for AoE damage or a stun+heal group comp? Or maybe expertly tune your groups to each be optimal in one of the four wings of dungeons.
- The emotional disorders system is brilliant. As your characters do things, they can develop emotional traits like “Nocturnal” (-2 Speed when light is above 75) or “Nymphomania” (+20% stress relief in the brothel). And if things get really rough during a dungeon run, they will have a crisis, and either overcome it and become super powerful for the rest of the run, or develop a serious disorder like paranoia or abusive, which will often cause them to treat their teammates poorly and sometimes even disobey your orders.
- Oh that reminds me! The light level in the dungeon is a super clever difficulty lever for you to control. Lighter means easier combat, but less rewards. Darker means harder combat, and more rewards. You can use torches and abilities to manipulate the light level, and it’s its own minigame.
- There is so many great things about this game. Seriously, just play it. I’ve already put in 32 hours and I don’t expect to stop anytime soon.
Get It Now!
- Win a copy of the game by answering the trivia question on the show! Email me your answer to enter!
- Costs $25
- Official Site