It doesn’t happen that often that an indie game from a small developer manages to beats the giants and climb the ladder to become Steam top-selling title but this is what Darkest Dungeon has accomplished, according to Valve itself. Browsing the Steam Store and sorting titles by top-selling, Darkest Dungeon appears on top of the list, followed by games such as Dying Light, Grand Theft Auto V and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Being released only today, February 3rd and still being in Early Access, the game has received a few awards during last year and developers promise more content to be added within the next six months.
Darkest Dungeon is a Rogue-like turn based RPG game. Players are able to recruit, train and group up with a number of heroes and explore dungeons, while experiencing the stress and dangers of adventuring. The game features cartoonish graphics and stress plays an important role in Darkest Dungeon. Each hero in the game has, right next to their health bar, a stess bar which will fill up following precise happenings. Activating traps, getting hurt or walking will increase stress to the point where some of your heroes might snap. This will lead to two outcomes: either they will become afflicted, penalizing the party and, sometimes, preventing you from controlling them or they will heroically rally up, decreasing the overall stress of the party and increasing their stats for a while.
As the game is divided in dungeons, clearing or, more often than not, fleeing from one of these will bring the party back to the estate, where characters will be able to rest and blow off some steam in order to reduce stress. Different heroes will prefer different ways to reduce their stress: some will drink, others will retire in pious meditation. The estate is also the tactical stronghold in Darkest Dungeon, where players can control their adventure. Bringing enough food, supplies and sticking to the light will be key to victory. Players can also choose which heroes to bring along on their adventures, as different heroes have different abilities.
Darkest Dungeon will remain in early access for at least six more months, says Red Hook Studios who plans to release the full game sometime during Q2 2015, while they add more features. The complete version will include more dungeons, classes, a complete story mode (the one available right now does not have an ending, so players can continue to raise their heroes as much as they want) as well as new monsters, items, dialogues and lore. Although pricing and release dates for the final version are yet to be announced, it is reassuring to see an indie game doing well, especially as more and more developers, both big and small, fail to keep their promises and deliver quality content.