Darkest Dungeon

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Released 19 January, 2016
Website View site
Publisher Red Hook Studios
Version 1.0

About Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon - Dungeon Diving Done Darkly

Dive Deeper Into the Horror of Roguelikes



Deep Beneath the Earth

Games that fall under the roguelike genre are very adaptive. At this point, roguelike fans have many options, so a game needs a unique hook to stand out. Darkest Dungeon, which adds a component of psychological horror to the genre, is one of the better examples of how one can shake up this type of game.


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios


The Madness of Repetition 

The entire genre of roguelikes revolves around making incremental progress as you explore, die, and come back for more. Darkest Dungeon takes this simple concept and forces players to contend with something closer to the reality of what it would be like to delve into the dark and eerie unknown. Rather than forcing the player to grapple with monsters, the player is responsible for sending others to their potential doom.

Darkest Dungeon shines a light on the dark repetition of roguelikes and brings a unique spin to the genre.

Players must send adventurers to investigate the ruins beneath a manner - and when they return, players have to rehabilitate them after the horrors they've seen, which is an incredibly unique spin on the roguelike concept and adds more weight to the usual gameplay loops.

Concept Rating: 4/5


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios


Looming Despair 

Saying that Darkest Dungeon is a pretty game wouldn't be exactly right. It's a game with a unique 2D art style that fits the story, but it's not exactly going to wow you with the visuals. Instead, they serve the purpose of enforcing the creeping sense of dread that comes from delving too greedily and too deeply into a dungeon that's just not meant for mortal minds.

A fair bit of praise needs to go to the soundscape of this game. Not only does it manage to be eerie, but it helps players empathize with the poor, traumatized adventurers. Everything in this game is a little unsettling, creating an ideal atmosphere for psychological terror.

Graphics & Audio Rating: 3/5


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios


Insanity is Doing the Same Thing

Gameplay loops are vital in the world of roguelikes. Even Darkest Dungeon's high-concept take on the genre would fail without a good gameplay loop. Fortunately, the game shines here.

There are two separate loops for the game. The first is the more traditional roguelike loop - you'll build a party of adventurers and send them into the dungeon. Doing so involves a turn-based concept in which positioning is all-important, but it also includes a stress meter that rapidly depletes as your party encounters unknown terrors. Keeping your party functional is as important as keeping them healthy.

The other half of the loop is settlement management. Up in the world above, you must create facilities that allow you to recruit new adventurers, outfit those you have already hired, and nurse the ones who have gone back to health. While the meat of the game is in the first loop, you can't progress without sinking some time into the second.

Gameplay Rating: 4/5


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios


Darkest Dungeon Purchase Guide & DLCs

Developed by Red Hook Studios, Darkest Dungeon was released on January 19, 2016, and is available for the Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems via Steam, Humble Bundle, Epic Games Store, and GOG, as well as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch consoles. Plus, a mobile version is available on iOS devices for $4.99. For players looking for even more downloadable content to expand the original game, including an epic, original soundtrack ($9.99) and the following DLCs:


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios


There and Back Again

Darkest Dungeon doesn't feel like a game you win. Instead, it's a game that you work towards mastering over time. Players are hit with setbacks and make mistakes, but that's part of what keeps fans coming back for more. While it can be challenging and punishing, Darkest Dungeon is a great new take on an older genre. Plus, with the variety of downloadable content and even a sequel on the way, you'll never get bored playing this gothic-themed roguelike RPG.

On another note, if you turn into a Darkest Dungeon fan or enjoy playing roguelikes, Curse of the Dead Gods is worth checking out -- it's the spawn of Hades and Darkest Dungeon!

Replay Value Rating: 4/5


Darkest Dungeon Screenshot | Developer: Red Hook Studios



Darkest Dungeon is a unique, gothic-themed roguelike RPG that focuses on psychological terror.

Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike RPG filled with psychological terror and turn-based combat. Recruit the finest team of rugged and ruthless heroes to survive the perils of the darkness.
Developer Red Hook Studios
Price Free
App Store
Released 19 January, 2016
Website View site
Publisher Red Hook Studios
Version 1.0
Author Cait
Cait (she/her) is a passionate writer, aspiring developer, and lover of all things gaming.

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