Deadly Steam Rooms Of Death: DROD On Greenlight

By Adam Smith on July 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

I’m very late to this particular party but I’m also incapable of ignoring a good DROD story when I see one. For those not in the know, DROD (Deadly Rooms Of Death) is a long-running series of top-down dungeon crawlers. The first game is seventeen years old and the latest (and possibly final) came out last month. There’s a demo available as well as ‘lite’ browser versions of earlier instalments. The DROD games are puzzle games in D&D wrapping paper and although I’ve never completed one, I’ve played a fair amount of all but the latest. Unusual, well-designed and of venerable age, these games deserve a wider audience, which is where Greenlight comes in.

Now, this is going to come across like a steel toecap in the mush, but as well as a wider audience, DROD could do with better voice acting. Different voice acting. Or maybe NO voice acting.

However silly the video might be, pay attention to the level design shown and you can probably recognise that the game behind the goofiness is rather clever. My memories of the series are always of the early levels (because I’m rubbish at puzzle games), which mostly involve pointing a sword in the general direction of monsters as thy approach. The theme is slathered on thick, not just in terms of art style and dialogue, but in the actual design of levels. Traps, treasure and tactical combat all feature, converted into cunning puzzles.

This has been a public service announcement. The new DROD game is out and is seeking Greenlight votes, along with previous title Gunthro and the Epic Blunder. Do give the demo a look if this is all new to you – DROD manages to be the heir to scribbled dungeon maps on graph paper and Chip’s Challenge.

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9 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge phlebas says:

    Ooh, DROD. I should have another go at Epic Blunder – if I remember rightly I was stuck on a room with golems. Brilliant series of games, great balance of cleverness and simplicity and a lot of character.
    I hadn’t seen that there were web versions – could be handy!

  2. Premium User Badge SuddenSight says:

    I never cease to find it weird that well established games like DROD are forced to amble through greenlight alongside the slew of unknown, early access silliness I associate GL with these days.

    It’s like being told Kieron flies coach, even though such mythical writers clearly transpose themselves via teleportation.

  3. Knurek says:

    Uhh, it’s been greenlit last week?
    slowpoke.jpg

    • Premium User Badge phlebas says:

      Epic Blunder has already been greenlit. Second Sky hasn’t yet.

  4. Baf says:

    I remember when Gutnhro and the Epic Blunder first wound up on Greenlight. I remember looking at the comment thread and being very sad, because it was all just people complaining about the production values and the voice acting. Couldn’t they see past that to the brilliant design just under the surface? Well, no, of course they couldn’t: all they had in front of them was a video, and this is a game you need to play to appreciate.

    Fortunately, there’s loads of demos.

    • Tomatoboxer says:

      If it makes you feel any better, I watched this video with no prior knowledge of the game and thought it looked fascinating. It and this comments section have made me very interested in picking this game up.

  5. Tei says:

    DROD is a internet superclassic. The Indie Game before we invented indies.

  6. Gotem says:

    the drod I played back in the day didn’t have any voice acting
    and always the screenshots don’t make it justice.. I remember that after the first cockroach death I realized it was actaully a puzzle game

  7. malkav11 says:

    The DROD games may be the finest puzzle games ever made. And have a level editor with which the community have made hundreds of also amazing levels.