Ring of Pain is a roguelike dungeon crawler card game that's set to come out this fall, and if you think that sounds like an odd but potentially interesting mashup of genres, I have good news: Publisher Humble Games has launched a demo that you can play right now on Steam.
Each dungeon in Ring of Pain is dealt at random from a deck of cards and arranged to be fully visible so you can see what's coming and strategize appropriately. Equipment you gather along the way will be vital to your survival, but your inventory will be a limiting factor, as each slot can only hold one item. Figuring out synergies can dramatically increase your odds of making it to the end. (I don't think it'll help you decide whether or not to trust strange, faceless cosmic auras, though.)
It all looks, and sounds, very strange—"It's like a turn-based Binding of Isaac set in the darkest corner of your mind," is how developers Simon Boxer and Twice Different once described it—which is what makes it ideal for a demo. Sometimes instead of pouring a lot of time into trying to explain what's going on, it really is better to just toss people the keys and say "figure it out."
The demo is available from the Ring of Pain Steam page, and will give you about a half-hour of gameplay—hopefully enough to give you a good sense of whether this weird journey is a trip you want to take.
Humble Games also announced the Ring of Pain release date today: The full game is set to go live on October 15. You can find out more (although, again, you'll probably have better luck just playing the demo) at ringofpain.com.
Check out a handful of screens below.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.