Stoneshard is an ambitious turn-based medieval roguelike with brutal injuries

People often irreverently joke about dying horribly in roguelikes, which are designed to be completed only after dozens if not hundreds of deaths. In Stoneshard, an upcoming turn-based roguelike from developer Ink Stains Games, dying horribly is no joke—it's your bread and butter. 

Using the limited technology and colorful inhabitants of its medieval setting, Stoneshard has come up with all kinds of ways to kill you, most of them revolving around fear, hunger and pain. Injuries and ailments are debilitating, impactful and often permanent or incurable. 

You can die of shock while cauterizing a wound. You can fall into a substance coma or die of overdose. You can die of starvation. You can kill yourself with a misplaced attack. You can go insane while battling "psy-mages." There's seemingly no end to the ways you can die, and there's depth in other areas of the game as well. According to Ink Stains, Stoneshard will have:

  •  Three races and four "archetypes"
  •  12 classes 
  •  Over 200 skills 
  •  Over 150 enemies 
  •  12 weapon types 
  •  Six NPC factions  

Aldor, Stoneshard's procedurally generated world, also features a number of different biomes, many of which are home to unique characters you can save, hire or otherwise convince to join your team. It sounds like some followers are better kept at arm's length though, as they can potentially betray and kill you. 

If that sounds up your alley, you might want to sign up for Stoneshard's playable prologue, which will be released ahead of its incoming Kickstarter in early 2018. Ink Stains Games says there will also be a closed alpha before the Kickstarter launches, but has not yet released signup details.

You may recognize Ink Stains Games from their previous game, 12 is Better Than 6, a top-down Western shooter which was successfully Kickstarted. And you may recognize Stoneshard's composer, Norihiko Hibino, from his work on Metal Gear Solid and Bayonetta. 

It's making some big promises and is still very early in development, but Stoneshard looks like one to watch. 

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.