Roguelike

Hands-on with Darkest Dungeon, the best game I played at PAX 2014

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Evan Lahti at

PAX East’s designated indie games fiefdom was, unsurprisingly, overflowing with interesting projects. Secret Ponchos. Gods Will Be Watching. Subnautica. Not A Hero. Below. Many of the other games on display were known quantities that we’d either played previously or are playable now in a pre-release form. The one that stuck with me most was Darkest Dungeon, a roguelike that had somehow slipped through my sensor array.

Spelunky world record beaten, $3,109,825 collected over four hours

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Phil Savage at

It was less than two months ago that top Spelunky streamer Bananasaurus_Rex smashed through Spelunky's $3,000,000 barrier to take the high score world record. It's an achievement I thought would hold, thanks to the incredible luck of finding a plasma cannon and jetpack on the first two levels. It wasn't to be, as now YamaYamaDingDong has broken that record by just $3,975. More impressively, he did the majority of the run without the level-blasting power of the plasma cannon.


Below hands-on: lonely, vulnerable, gorgeous

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Cory Banks at

The very first thing I notice when I start playing Below is how tiny I am. Noticing this makes Kris Piotrowski, Creative Director at Capybara Games, extremely happy. "That's the point," he says. I'm supposed to feel vulnerable, miniscule, and alone. Even in a crowd of gamers who are getting their first taste of Capy's upcoming roguelike, I do feel alone.


Xbox One indie darling, Below, is also coming to Steam

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Tim Clark at

What with its controversial launch parity policy, Microsoft hasn't exactly done a bang up job of wooing indie developers onto the Xbox One thus far. That said, one of the more promising projects which it has managed to sign up is Below from Capybara Games. Previously billed as an Xbox One exclusive, the latest trailer for the game reveals it will also be coming to the PC. I mean, of course it is. Capybara seem like bright people. Why the hell wouldn't it be?


After Action Report: the calamitous voyage of the Vagrant Badger, in FTL

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Tom Senior at

Welcome to the After Action Report, an account from one of PC gaming's varied, exciting battlefields.

FTL's creators wanted to make a brilliant Captain Picard sim, but Picard doesn't tend to die in a fire half-way through an episode of The Next Generation. Instead they've created a terrific roguelike that almost always ends in horrible death, but always spawns a neat little story every time you play. You control the crew of a spaceship as it zips across the galaxy trying to escape the laser beams of a pursuing rebel fleet. You meet pirates, recruit strange aliens and upgrade your ship to match increasingly deadly enemies. A juicy free update is about to add a load of new features, so I paid one last visit to the original version, to rediscover its brilliance, and try to reach the final boss.

Dungeon of the Endless explains its genre mashup in new trailer

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Patrick Carlson at

As a roguelike, Dungeon of the Endless gives players more than one way to die. But it's also a mix of squad-based exploration, tower defense, and RPG-style upgrades, so there's also more than one way to stay alive, too. The game's newest trailer shows how these different genres work together to make the game cohesive.


Cellar Door could start working on Rogue Legacy sequel in the next two years

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Cellar Door, the developer behind the excellent Rogue Legacy, has already started working on its next project. The team's not ready to say anything concrete about it yet, but it's notoriously against working within the same genre twice. Does that mean we won't see a Rogue Legacy 2? A recent interview indicates that the game's creators might just make an exception.


Proven Lands is a sci-fi survival roguelike, seeks funding on Kickstarter

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Phil Savage at

It's been a sc-fi kind of day in the PC gaming news ship. From mecha-judgement to pixellated piracy, the future will be filled with robots, adventure and so very much punching. All that's been missing is some synth-heavy exploration and survival. Fortunately, there's Proven Lands, a roguelike sandbox that hopes to scratch that '70s sci-fi itch.


FTL: Advanced Edition's new subsystems revealed, include cloning and mind control

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Phil Savage at

Subset Games have revealed some more information about their upcoming free update for FTL. In a new blog post, the team run through some of the subsystems that the Advanced Edition will bring. The expansion - due early this year - will introduce the ability to clone crew members, hack enemy ships, and use mind control. This will basically make the game 30% more sci-fi - a figure that will rise dramatically should they announce a constantly malfunctioning holodeck room.


Spelunky update brings level timers, new HUD to the deadly caverns

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Ian Birnbaum at

Spelunky, that addictive roguelike that stole our hearts to win our Game of the Year last year, is getting a bit of a facelift. A new update will include an option to enable a smaller, more streamlined user interface, as well as various tweaks and bug fixes. The update is available as of today for download on Steam.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth details emerge in new creator Q&A

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Phil Savage at

Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen has answered a huge selection of questions surrounding his and Nicalis's remake project Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Taking the form of a Q&A between McMillen and a (hopefully fictional) foul-mouthed and belligerent question-asker, he reveals how the game will contain double the content of the original, how the developers are planning to add shared seeds, and how - typically - it will be "done when it's done".


Barony trailer shows Ultima Underworld inspired multiplayer roguelike

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Phil Savage at

There are two reasons to be excited for upcoming indie dungeon crawler Barony. The first is its description. On the game's TIGsource thread, creator Sheridan Kane Rathbunhe explains that it's essentially "Ultima Underworld, with multiplayer and lots of rogue-like stuff." The second reason is the trailer's use of In The Hall of the Mountain King, which is, in and of itself, a naturally exciting piece of music. Although it could have been made more exciting had the maker just learned a few lessons from AAA trailer making. Namely, dubstep.


Eldritch dev discusses going indie, taking on big publishers in post-mortem post

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Ian Birnbaum at

Indie Lovecraft-alike Eldritch landed big last fall, earning itself a positive review and some kudos after only a few months of development. Now its designer, David Pittman, formerly of 2K Marin and Bioshock 2 fame, has written up an extensive post-mortem on the dark, unknowable secrets inside the black heart of indie game creation. In addition to talking frankly about the game’s budget and income, Pittman also revealed the absolute power of a Steam Sale to spike a game’s numbers.


FTL: Advanced Edition's new race detailed alongside other enhancements

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Phil Savage at

For all its infinite wonder, space is kind of a jerk. It would be bad enough if FTL was about navigating its various deadly pitfalls, but the game goes one further - pitting you against a selection of deadly alien races and their many weapons. Despite all this, and as good as the space roguelike was, I always felt that it could use more variety and options to support the need for repeat playthroughs. Step forward FTL: Advanced Edition, which will be made available as a free upgrade to the base game next year. Along with the already detailed ships, weapons and events, its developers have now announced another race of murderous foe. It looks like space is being upgraded to an ultrajerk.


Rogue Legacy update will bring a new class, harder bosses and more traits

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Phil Savage at

As if harder bosses were a thing that Rogue Legacy needed. That's the problem with roguelikes: they turn us all into masochists. Someone should chart the number of people who, having experienced the roguelike boom of the last couple of years, now spend their weekends in seedy industrial clubs getting spanked for pleasure. Alternatively, read on to learn of the less literal spanking the 2D dungeon-crawling roguelike will be administering in the next few days.


Spelunky's first solo eggplant run completed, makes for a tense hour of platforming

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PC Gamer at

It is done. In a heart-stopping descent, Spelunky caster Bananasaurus Rex completed a world-first solo eggplant run. The eggplant's purpose was one of Spelunky’s best-kept secrets, discovered only once hackers started digging through the HD PC release. But knowing its power and using it are two different things. One slip, one rogue bat, one angry shopkeeper and your precious cargo is purple goo.


Desktop Dungeons release date set for November 7th, will be available on Steam

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Phil Savage at

I'd previously assumed that Desktop Dungeons had ventured in the realm of the NeverLaunch, alongside all the other roguelikes and indie games forever stuck in a state of beta. Since the original alpha back in 2010, the QCF design team have been tinkering, fixing and rebalancing, seemingly with no end in sight. In fact, the browser-based roguelike puzzler has nearly completed its randomly generated quest; it's reward a Steam release, planned for November 7th.


Indie roguelike Catacomb Kids heads to IGF 2014 with twitch combat and inevitable death

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Ian Birnbaum at

Despite its childish name and the youth of its protagonists, Catacomb Kids looks seriously brutal. It's a new platformer with randomly generated levels in the flavor of Spelunky, but it adds offensive magic and a delightfully retro art style to the mix. Now that the game, developed entirely by solo developer Tyriq Plummer, has been sent to IGF 2014, we can bask in the warm glow of its submission trailer.


Eldritch review

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Chris Thursten at

As I approached the end of my first run through Eldritch I was more or less unstoppable. I'd bought stealth boots from the desert realm of Nyarlathotep, allowing me to sprint silently from cover to jam my dagger into the face of whatever adorable cosmic horror awaited me in the next chamber. I held a talisman that enabled my revolver to blow away the game's randomly-generated environments brick by brick. When my progress was blocked by a locked door I'd blast a hole in the wall instead, and where I couldn't find a safe route down to the next level of Lovecraftian dungeon, I'd make one.


Spacebase DF-9 alpha released by Double Fine to Steam Early Access

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Evan Lahti at

During E3 we learned that Double Fine was putting two unnamed games into production with help from its rich uncle, Indie Fund. Today Double Fine is releasing an early version one of those games: Spacebase DF-9.