Darkest Dungeon

Punishing and beautifully crafted, Darkest Dungeon is cruelty at its classiest.

Key events

Brutal Lovecraft-inspired RPG Darkest Dungeon is getting a sequel

Brutal Lovecraft-inspired RPG Darkest Dungeon is getting a sequel

Will have "its own creative and thematic identity".

Developer Red Hook Studios has announced that it's working on a sequel to its brilliant but brutal Lovecraft-inspired RPG, Darkest Dungeon.

The original game released in 2016, and tasked players with exploring numerous trap-infested environs, seeking out riches, and battling - in time-honoured turn-based fashion - a relentless procession of cosmic horrors. Each encounter with the unknown would send adventurers in a party to the brink of madness, eventually lumbering them with (usually) negative quirks and making future excursions that much harder.

As a result, downtime in between missions became a game of party management, hiring fresh faces or making use of local amenities - be they the brothel or local chapel - to hopefully mitigate the adverse effects suffered by more experienced, and thus more powerful, adventurers. The balancing act between deeper exploration and hero preservation was never less than stressful.

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Heroes aren't born, forged, plucked from obscure, charming villages or raised from centuries of slumber in Darkest Dungeon - they are broken in. Or at least, broken. Out on Switch today, Red Hook's festering roguelike sees you battling to reclaim a cliffside manor from the cosmic terrors unleashed by your dead, yet mysteriously talkative Ancestor, sending quartets of procedurally generated adventurers into the estate to slay eldritch creatures and gather the resources and experience you need for an assault on the mansion itself. Besides the usual stats, unlockable abilities and gear slots, each adventurer has a stress bar, which fills up as they weather punishments both tangible and intangible. The mouldering hush of a crypt might fill it up a little. A clash with a screaming pigman the size of a house will probably fill it up a lot.

Darkest Dungeon's next DLC expansion is the farm-themed The Color of Madness

Developer Red Hook has announced The Color of Madness, the latest paid DLC expansion for its superb Lovecraftian stress box, Darkest Dungeon.

The Color of Madness will be the third paid expansion for Red Hook's visually striking, relentlessly punishing turn-based RPG, following on from The Crimson Court and the more recent, smaller-scale Shieldbreaker DLC.

"Some hateful shard of alien origin has streaked through the night sky, crashing into the old Miller's farm on the outskirts of the Hamlet!", says Red Hook, "Those unfortunate enough to witness the Comet's arrival have been blinded by what they can only describe as a shifting, ephemeral hue of damnably abrasive intensity. There has been no word from the farm in a fortnight, save for the unearthly groaning that echoes from the ruin of the mill..."

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Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court DLC announced

Indie roguelike Darkest Dungeon will be expanded with its first slice of DLC early next year.

The Crimson Court will launch for PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in "early 2017", developer Red Hook Studios announced last night.

Details are scarce, but there is just one - incredibly tall - slice of artwork:

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Darkest Dungeon review

RecommendedDarkest Dungeon review

Eat, Pray, Lovecraft.

I was feeling pretty good during my first few hours of Darkest Dungeon - until I met The Collector, anyway. Not good good, of course. More specifically, you could say I was feeling terrible. But if you're only feeling terrible in Darkest Dungeon, you're actually feeling pretty good: one guy in my adventuring party had rabies, another had become paranoid, a third was edging towards something that would turn out to be masochism of some stripe. Still, we'd been at it for four or five rooms, so what do you expect? Only rabies? Only a little masochism? What's the problem?

I didn't expect The Collector: a tall fellow in a trenchcoat, with some kind of cage around his head. The head, by the way, was a flaking skull, and under the trenchcoat? More skulls. Still, this was okay, until I saw his HP: 70/70. Even that was still pretty okay, until he started summoning floating spine-type things, with heads that matched the heads of my own team. Oh: The Collector. Got it. Also: got killed. All of us. A mega-wipe.

And here's the thing: The Collector is not a boss. There's a decent list of bosses in Darkest Dungeon, and The Collector is not on it. This is presumably because The Collector does not have what it takes to be a boss. He doesn't make the cut. The Collector, with his head that is a skull, with his body that is also skulls, is just too reasonable.

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2016 IGF Award finalists revealed

Grand prize nominees include Her Story, Undertale, Darkest Dungeon and more.

The 2016 Independent Games Festival has revealed the finalists for its upcoming awards ceremony to take place at this year's Game Developer's Conference.

Roaring fires, clanging jugs of beer, blustery walks in starkly lit woods, oh all the pleasures to warm a winter heart. Darkest Dungeon won't do that. In Darkest Dungeon your heroes die of heart attacks from too much stress; not even an anti-SAD light can penetrate its black heart.

The marvellously malicious Darkest Dungeon gets a release date

The marvellously malicious Darkest Dungeon gets a release date

A lovely little game of stress and disease and death.

What do Tapeworm, Dacnomania and The Red Plague all have in common? That's right: Darkest Dungeon! The illustrated, side-on, turn-based role-playing game that's steeped in filth, disease, death and all things grim and grimy. It's wonderful. And it now has a full, out-of-Early-Access release date: 19th January 2016.

That release date is a little later than initially intended - October to coincide neatly with Halloween - but a personal tragedy struck a member of the small Red Hook team and development had to slow down. Sorry to hear it, Red Hook - sending best wishes to all affected.

Between now and January there will be a patch introducing a fabulous-sounding new playable hero called The Abomination, "[a] bloodthirsty class unlike anything currently in the game". There will also be two new monsters designed by backers of the game on Kickstarter, plus other "goodies" and bug fixes.

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FeatureEarly Access games done right

Some of the games that deliver on their promises.

Dungeon of the Endless, Subnautica - quite a lot of Early Access video games start with spaceships in flames, hurtling artfully towards strange planets, bound for tales of peril and survival. Possibly this is just the best way to kick off a narrative that will involve crafting and permadeath, two of this era's greatest loves. Partly, though, it seems a tacit acknowledgement of how so many people feel about Early Access in general - that it is the place where bright promise burns up, where landing sites become graves.