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84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 450 Ratings

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  • Summary: Darkest Dungeon is a gothic roguelike RPG dungeon crawler about the psychological stresses of adventuring. You will lead a band of four heroes on a perilous side-scrolling descent, dealing with a prodigious number of threats to their bodily health, and worse, a relentless assault on theirDarkest Dungeon is a gothic roguelike RPG dungeon crawler about the psychological stresses of adventuring. You will lead a band of four heroes on a perilous side-scrolling descent, dealing with a prodigious number of threats to their bodily health, and worse, a relentless assault on their mental fortitude! Five hundred feet below the earth you will not only fight unimaginable foes, but famine, disease, and the stress of the ever-encroaching dark. Darkest Dungeon focuses on the humanity and psychological vulnerability of the heroes and asks: What emotional toll does a life of adventure take? Expand

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Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court - Launch Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Jan 31, 2016
    98
    Darkest Dungeon is one of the most intense and immersive games out there. A product of creative genius and flawless design, it delivers, with simplistic perfection, a difficult yet addictive experience.
  2. Feb 3, 2016
    90
    What makes Darkest Dungeon a fascinating experience isn't the rich character progression and overarching strategy, but the way it manages to make each character feel like a living, breathing human before asking you how much you'll ruin them to increase your bottom line. There's pockets of subtext that I continually filled with my own moral struggle. Spaces left ingeniously blank where, when I allow myself to reflect on my actions, I realize that the greatest evil isn't waiting at the end of a dimly lit crypt. It is sitting right in this chair, typing these words.
  3. Mar 15, 2016
    90
    It's hard, harsh and unforgiving. It might be the perfect challenge if you're looking for something similar.
  4. Jan 25, 2016
    85
    Darkest Dungeon grabs you. It is not a game for everyone, but it is precisely what makes it so special.
  5. Feb 1, 2016
    83
    It is a beautifully gothic dungeon-crawler with a wealth of clever mechanics, the most unique of which is that, as your adventurers delve deeper into Lovecraftian tunnels, coves, and ruins, they become stressed.
  6. Feb 24, 2016
    80
    In its best moments, Darkest Dungeon makes me feel crazy and hopeless. There's something I can't say for most games: The times when I most felt that I had irrevocably fucked up were also the times when the game was at its strongest.
  7. Feb 26, 2016
    50
    It would be a mistake to call Darkest Dungeon a roguelike game. It is, in fact, a more elaborate version of Cookie Clicker. You play with numbers instead of playing a game.

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 101
  2. Negative: 22 out of 101
  1. Feb 3, 2015
    10
    Darkest Dungeon is at it’s heart more than just a rogue-like RPG. It’s a tale, a story, an epic if you will. Becoming attached to yourDarkest Dungeon is at it’s heart more than just a rogue-like RPG. It’s a tale, a story, an epic if you will. Becoming attached to your characters cannot be helped and only makes those final blows much more painful to witness. You cannot go wrong with Darkest Dungeon.

    ~~~~~

    Gameplay: Darkest Dungeon gameplay is slow and methodical, but that does not make it stale. Oh no, the gameplay is as staunch as the droves of monsters you’ll slay. To rush your decisions will lead your party to suffer both mentally and physically. It’s unforgiving, and you’ll probably throw a few cusses at the screen but it’s part of the experience. This is a turned-based strategy gem, and you’ll see that the moment you step into the abyss.

    Mechanics: Controls are simple, actions are responsive. It’s a very well designed UI with enough depth to achieve what you want without feeling overwhelmed by navigation. You can literally play the entire game with just a mouse, unless you wish to name your characters after family members (not recommended).

    Graphics: Amazing enough to warrant the purchase of an art book. It’s orginal, somber, but warm enough to set it apart from other dreary titles. It takes you back, draws you in, and provides more than enough character and emotion while remaining true to the art direction. Nothing seems out of place, and at the same time everything feels otherworldly.

    Story: A solid foundation for a rogue-like game, and more than enough narration and backstory to keep you invested. The story is not the focus, but will provide you with everything you need to understand the world and characters.

    Replayability: Very high. There’s tons of upgrades (both town and character) and lots of trinkets to be found, if you stay alive long enough to make use of them. On top of that, there are currently three distinct areas with different enemies and randomized dungeons.

    ~~~~~

    Recommended: Yes, very.
    Rating: Currently 9.5/10 (rounded up) - This is not a game you want to miss

    ~~~~~

    Darkest Dungeon is the most original and deadly combination of genres to date. No area of the game is left unpolished, which says a lot for an Early Access title. I will continue to enjoy this game for an endless amount of time as it offers both an immense amount of replayability, depth, and challenge.
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  2. Jan 24, 2016
    10
    Excellent game that combines turn based combat RPG with micromanagement of XCOM.

    The graphic aspect is superb. The illustrator has created
    Excellent game that combines turn based combat RPG with micromanagement of XCOM.

    The graphic aspect is superb. The illustrator has created a great environment.

    I love the tactical combats in which you must think what attack is the best in each turn according to the resistances of the monsters. There is a big number of enemies and skills. You must play lots of battles in order to advance, and if you don't want to lose warriors easily, you must think smart and don't hurry to finish the game fast.

    The game has the micromanagement of XCOM. There is a village that is your HQ, where the adventurers improve their skills, and recover from diseases and mental injuries. You can choose from a roster who are the adventurers that are going to the next quest.

    Another gem from kickstarter.
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  3. Jan 25, 2016
    9
    To keep this short I think it would be best to explain why this wonderful game is not a perfect ten, rather than repeat the positives.To keep this short I think it would be best to explain why this wonderful game is not a perfect ten, rather than repeat the positives. Obviously Darkest Dungeon is frustrating but that's not it. The problem is the way the intended difficulty level and frustration level gets slightly sabotaged by gear, leveling and upgrades in general. It is hard at level 0, normal at 1, easy at 2. Then it gets really hard at 3, slightly difficult at 4 before finishing out at amazingly hard and frustrating at level 5 and (very) hard at level 6. Every time you level up, find gear, buy weapons or train skills it makes the game easier and easier until it suddenly ramps up when you move on to the next tier of dungeons. As a result of this dynamic there is no progressive escalation of difficulty, but rather a series of quite steep plateaus you need to overcome before you can coast a bit. And it does manage to be almost at its most difficult right at the start, when all your level 0 heroes are incredibly feeble and incompetent and capable of being oneshotted by all sorts of things. Obviously you haven't invested a thing in them at this point, and you can replace them immediately at no cost, so it hardly matters. It still feels weird though. Then again, this is basically exactly how Baldur's Gate felt. I don't know how many times I got a level one character killed by the bear outside Candle Keep.
    But I digress...
    The second slight issue for me is that the resources you need; gold and heirlooms; become more and more redundant. The heirlooms are worthless after you have fully built the hamlet and gold becomes slightly worthless once your heroes are fully leveled and geared. Additionally the trinkets your heroes can wear also become somewhat redundant after a while. This all leads to more or less everything becoming inventory trash, and the inventory is ridiculously small to make matters worse. This further fules the sense one gets that the game is far harder to deal with early on when everything is scarce and you have to constantly make difficult choices between mending stressed out or afflicted heroes, buying skills, weapons and armor with buildings in various states of disrepair. A particular favorite is the tendency early on of the Caretaker is drinking in the only slot in the bar and your healer is a tippler who will only relax by drinking. Whichever stress heal you need for a particular character with a negative quirk restricting the choice, the Caretaker will be there to frustrate you!
    Anyway, once the hamlet is done and everyone is leveled and healthy the latter parts of the game can seem both trivial (at times) and slightly tedious. The final result is an endgame that can feel like a bit of a grindy slog because you never really find anything interesting or useful after a certain point, while your microscopic inventory fills up within twenty seconds of every single dungeon.
    Apart from these persistent problems that have been around all the way during early access, this is a great game; distinct visually, great sound, music and game design and some absolutely awesome concepts. I swear the Plague Doctor skin has been ripped off from an amazing old cartoon called Canardo by Belgian cartoonist Benoit Sokal, and I don't even care. That's how coherent and impressive the design is. The negatives are very much negligible and most people will have gotten their money's worth long before they even notice them. But they must be mentioned. Good as it is, Darkest Dungeon feels oddly unbalanced at a fundamental level, which gets more and more apparent the further you advance. And that is why it has been so hard to adjust the meta game all this time. After following the game for a year and a half in EA I am now convinced that these balancing issues can't be fixed without redesigning the game from scratch. They are built in and as hard to root out as a fungal infection.
    But it also demonstrates a classic trap when developing RPGs; leveling and finding gear makes things easier unless you compensate with more numerous or more powerful monsters. This is precisely how AD&D's rule book got developed in the first place. Once you get down to the fundamental level, balancing RPGs is damn hard.
    Having said all this: buy the game anyway. It is well worth the low asking price. In fact it is well worth twice the asking price; so buy two and have one copy mounted on your wall. Red Hook deserves the support (and success) far more than most game developers.

    PS: Also, to the people writing reviews a year before release; tsk tsk. Keep it in your pants until the game gets done.
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  4. Mar 16, 2016
    8
    I'll start with a warning: If you dislike RNG and it making a big difference, you might wanna skip this game. Even with the right tactics,I'll start with a warning: If you dislike RNG and it making a big difference, you might wanna skip this game. Even with the right tactics, some well-geared characters and a lot of experience, some encounters might still get your favorite adventurers killed. You should be aware of this, and if you hate having some very unhappy rolls on attacks, then this might be very frustrating.

    Now... I at first wasn't very interest in DD, but a review and stream by TB made me change my mind and try it. And I was captivated quickly. The game is a LOT of fun.
    The graphics and animations are very simple, but also, very stylish, so they have character and are nice to look at.
    The atmosphere is great. There is a certain Lovecraftian vibe to things (not only because madness can become a real problem for your adventurers), and the narrator does SUCH a great job (BTW, check out his readings of HPL-stories, such a cool experience).

    Even with a lot of training, these dungeons will be risky for your guys. Bad RNG on heals (instead of, say, 8 points, you get 0 or 1 points, which means you kinda lost a turn) or damage (sometimes, you are THAT close to killing a mob, but then, 2-3 of your guys actually MISS, and you actually end up losing), debuffs like selfishness (your character might snag loot for himself), or paranoia (he or she might actually REFUSE to be healed) etc.

    So, you may ask, why do people play this? Are we all out for punishment? No! The game is just very addictive in that "Come on, just one more quick dungeon before I head to bed... whoops, it's 3 AM?!?!" way.
    It is challenging, it will often feel unfair, but boy, winning battles and completing dungeons feels so very satisfying. You start to care about your chars (and there is an achievement about beating the final boss with the chars you get at the beginning of the game), especially if you name them yourself.

    A guide might help you get started, as money will be an issue (supplies are expensive, so you wanna pick carefully what to take along), but even if you just dive in and go trial and error, you will learn what to do.
    It's a great, tactical game, some fights will have you bite your nails, sometimes you will feel disappointed, especially when losing a character you leveled up. The game will eventually become kinda grindy, but at that point, you could just play it casually, like doing half an hour or so and then returning later.

    Pros:
    - Atmospheric
    - Simple, but unique graphics and animations
    - Great narrator voice
    - Challenging
    - You get to choose your ability-loadout
    - Very satisfying when you beat a boss or dungeon...

    CONS
    ...and very frustrating when they beat YOU
    - Expensive supplies
    - Expensive treatment to get rid of debuffs and stuff
    - Can get grindy
    - Not recommended if you hate losing RNG rolls even when your characters are leveled and equipped with good gear
    - Can feel a bit repetitive

    Great game... watch some playthroughs and maybe a guide, and then decide for yourself. I thoroughly enjoy the game!
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  5. Jan 28, 2016
    7
    Well delivered game, but lack depth to get me interested for prolonged period of time.

    Thanks to good atmosphere and instant access to many
    Well delivered game, but lack depth to get me interested for prolonged period of time.

    Thanks to good atmosphere and instant access to many characters with varied skills it was possible for me to enjoy this game straight from the beginning.

    Unfortunately after a while exploration and combat gets repetitive. There is just not enough diversity in character progression and tactical decisions during battles. Development of the base is linear too.
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  6. Mar 29, 2016
    5
    I really wanted to like this game and for a short while I did. However, to sum up this game in a nutshell, all you're going to get isI really wanted to like this game and for a short while I did. However, to sum up this game in a nutshell, all you're going to get is variations on the theme and duplications of what fast becomes irreverence. Once you've completed one mission, you've basically completed them all, this coupled with the unforgiving nature of the game makes it a "play once for a short while, then confine to background and ignore". If this game is your bag, fair play to you, enjoy, but as an old gamer, this game does nothing to want you to keep playing it, therefore I cannot recommend it. Expand
  7. Nov 2, 2017
    0
    The game is unplayable on my system (mouse clicks are not registered, only runs on a small section of the screen; I do meet minimalThe game is unplayable on my system (mouse clicks are not registered, only runs on a small section of the screen; I do meet minimal requirements). After contacting their support and waiting over half a year, nothing has changed. The game is still not fixed and their support is not responding.

    Beware of this studio (Red Hook Games/Red Hook Studios). They don't support their paying customers and I recommend to not support them as well.
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See all 101 User Reviews