The steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum will be out in September

Vaporum is an old-school, grid-based dungeon crawler that trades the fantasy RPG trappings usually seen in such games for a full-on steampunk setting. It appeared on Steam Greenlight earlier this year, managing to make the cut before Greenlight was shut down, and now developer Fatbot Games has announced that, aside from a bit of balancing and bug fixing, the game is complete and will be out the door on September 28. 

Vaporum doesn't do away with all the conventional dungeon crawler tropes. Combat is grid-based and real-time, there will be secrets to find and multi-part puzzles to solve, and of course the whole thing begins when you wake up on an island, alone and amnesiac, next to a giant, mechanical tower that you feel inexplicably compelled to explore. 

But the developers say combat will be a more tactical affair than the swing-and-dodge dance familiar to fans of the genre, with weapons that have unique bonuses, weaknesses, and other behaviors, backed by powerful "gadgets" that rely on limited energy reserves to function. Instead of controlling a party, Vaporum is (or at least appears to be) entirely a solo act, and character progression will rely on upgrades to the "exo-rig" that's discovered early in the game rather than improved skills and abilities.   

"The gadget-based system allows you to equip various gadgets to help you define your own playstyle. Because gadgets are items, you can change your loadout at any time, giving you a great deal of flexibility to deal with various situations," the studio explained. "On the other hand, as your exo-rig becomes more powerful by absorbing energy from destroyed enemies, you get to unlock useful circuits on it, gaining significant permanent attribute bonuses and passive skills. These two approaches result in a ton of customization, all at your will." 

It would be easy to look at Vaporum as simply a steampunk Legend of Grimrock, but—well, there is no "but," that's a game I want to play. It's not currently listed on Steam, but there's a website with more info at, and a nice handful of screens below.   

Andy Chalk

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.