Chasm is a stunning sidescrolling Action-RPG set, you guessed it, in a mine

You probably think you've maxed out on procedurally generated RPGs set in dank subterranean environments, but boy are you dead wrong. Also: you're dead, because you just stepped on a trap plate, you idiot. Chasm is the procedurally generated dungeon crawler by way of a 16-bit, Metroidvania-style platformer, with added randomised sprite-slicing (those evil floating eyeballs will never know what hit them), oh and random loot drops, an optional permadeath mode, and an absolutely lovely visual style.

Here's the premise, taken from Chasm's Steam Greenlight page . "Players take up the role of a soldier passing through a remote mining town on their journey home from a long war. The town's miners have recently disappeared after breaching a long-forgotten temple far below the town, and reawakened an ancient slumbering evil. Now trapped in the town by supernatural forces, you're left with no option but to explore the mines below, battle enemies and bosses, and increase your abilities in hopes of finally escaping and returning home." So it's like Quantum Leap, but with bosses - got it.

Chasm's expected to be done 'late 2013', though James Petruzzi of Discord Games will be taking it to GDC in March, by which time he hopes to have the first area ready for attendees to play. After that, some sort of funding campaign may be in order, because as James explains on a Greenlight FAQ , "I definitely don't have enough money on hand to do the whole thing, so some solution will eventually be needed. I do NOT want to ask anyone for money though until I have something representable of the final product that they can play."

We can probably expect a demo (alpha or otherwise) a few months down the line, then, but in the meantime, check out the game's third development video, which is already showing a ton of promise.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.