Tag: Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon

Yes, I finally got around to this one! I’m… rather ambivalent towards it.

Darkest Dungeon is a party-based RPG roguelike where you compile a party of 4 from 17 different classes and send them on expeditions into Lovecraftian nightmare dungeons. The key mechanic is that mental health is just as important as physical: Events like low light, critical hits, and certain enemy attacks will degrade your characters’ sanity, and when it gets to be too much they will go insane, followed by dying of a heart attack if pushed even farther. (Permadeath is, of course, a feature.) Insane characters create a death spiral where they will stress out the rest of the party with every action, as well as randomly disobeying orders or skipping turns. It’s very easy for even a well-balanced party to be completely destroyed if too many characters start going insane.

I found it to be an interesting idea, but the actual gameplay I found very grindy and frustrating, and I’m left feeling that the designers did not succeed in conveying their intended message at all.