Review: Darkest Dungeon – worth a try for old school RPG fans

Darkest Dungeon is an illuminated playground of rainbows and puppies compared to the blackened abyss it creates of your soul within only a few hours of braving its depths.

There are adventurers that you will call your own, seeking to protect them as they venture forth to help you reclaim your once illustrious estate. To keep them out of the reaper’s reach, you will do many things you never knew you were capable of. Many… many things.

darkest dungeon review
Darkest Dungeon – A party-based, phased combat RPG

You will hire on unwitting laborers to travel the wealds and warrens before them, reaping gold and heirlooms to pave your coveted heroes’ paths to victory. Their flesh torn asunder, their minds cicatrized with the scars of the horrors that befall them… it quickly becomes of no concern or consequence to you. They are but pawns that prance to their deaths in your miserable play, gaining only moments of respite when they lug the spoils to the hamlet for you. But back to perform they go, dancing upon a stage that might as well be dressed in broken glass, screeching their lines as the foul stench of death and despair lacerates their throats and lungs. Their minds and bodies used up, you abandon them in a field to die alone so that you may make room in your stables for fresh meat to serve you.

Yet you will feel no remorse. The hours have passed and you have long since relegated each adventurer to their place in your heirarchy of horrific acts. Occasionally, a peon will stand out among the rest, and you will look favorably on their soul. They will advance to the upper echelons of your minions. They will then become the recipients of the wealth generated by maddened minds delving deep into places no mortal should ever tread.

Of all the horrors that have befouled the estate….
Of all the evils that have clawed upward from its bowels or set putrid foot upon its soil…

There has never been any presence more evil, sinister or barbaric…

…than what YOU are about to become.


Ok, srsly tho…

If you like the old school turn-based RPGs where the goal wasn’t to complete the game but to try to just survive each dungeon/level/challenge, then this might be a game for you.

It’s like a sidescroller Wizardry or something. Lots of traits, a good amount of classes, and decisions, decisions, decisions – where something as trivial as being short a couple torches could mean the difference between a rewarded victory and character-deleting defeat.


Our Rating
  • Graphics – simple, stylized, effective
  • Sound/FX – masterfully creates the mood but narration can get repetitive.
  • Gameplay – tactics over twitch, well-balanced. Great for old school CPRG fans
  • Story – it’s there and moves forward, but nothing special
  • Replayability – like a good rogue-like, you’ll be playing again and again

Summary 4.3 out of 5 stars

Darkest Dungeon may be daunting for players new to the rather unforgiving nature of old school games, but the game is entertaining, easy to get into, and challenging at just the right level to give it a broader appeal.

Darkest Dungeon is available on Steam and well worth the few coins they’re asking. Travel safe!

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