Caves of Qud update has relaxed story mode and a coral-encrusted arcology

An image of the Caves of Qud Palladium Reef update.
(Image credit: Freehold Games)

Impressively large and strange roguelike Caves of Qud has a new update out on October 25, a big one adding two new regions, a new village, and a bunch of improvements for those looking to get into what can be an intimidating genre. 

In short, the creators say that the patch, called Palladium Reef, has got: "Wander and Roleplay modes, 9 preset builds, gorgeous new chargen UI, an arcology plastered in coral, gutsmongers and organ markets, thousand-year-old frogs, biblically accurate angels, extradimensional clams, anarchist commune, an algae snack, something called "sunslag", skin glitter, tongue tyrants, spaser weapons, star kraken, flowerfolk, psychal fleshgun, and a conversation pit."

Wander and Roleplay modes were announced earlier this year as less-violent and checkpoint-save-enabled ways to play a game that traditionally has involved a lot of combat and a lot of permadeath.

Caves of Qud is a science-fantasy RPG in the vein of traditional roguelikes, with lots of text description and intricately detailed mechanics rather than super flashy graphics. It's perhaps most notable for the bizarre variety of mutants and weirdos you can create for your character. You can have like 12 arms, or install ground-penetrating radar in your torso, and the like.

Jason Grinblat, a designer on Qud, said that there was "too much in the patch to cover" succinctly, but aside from the pitch above here's the quick stuff:

  • Two new late-game regions: Lake Hinnom and the Palladium Reef
  • New village: the Yd Freehold and new side quest
  • New, streamlined character creation sequence, including all new UI
  • Nine preset character builds for new players
  • Two new game modes: Roleplay (with checkpointing) and Wander (less combat) [these are already on beta but will be launching with this patch
  • A whole lot of new creatures, items, cybernetic implants, etc

As the inhabitants of Qud would say, "Live and drink, friend." You can find Caves of Qud on its official website, as well as for sale on, Steam, and GOG.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.