Cardinal Quest: Devoutly But Briefly Free

Yeah, it's the same picture as last time. Why? Because I'm writing this on Windows running on a Mac, and there's no bloody print screen key on this fruity machine

While knickers are being busily twisted about whether claiming The Binding of Isaac as in any way qualifies as a roguelike is right up there with the purest, most horrifying, most unforgivable evil of calling a real-time tactics game a real-time strategy game, let’s also look at something that does fit that genre without outrage. This one’s turn-based and everything!

Cardinal Quest, which impressed our Mr Smith just over a month ago, is spending 24 hours in the happy land of no-pennies. To qualify for this most absolute of discounts, you’ll need to read this tweet from CQ’s creator, Ido Yehieli and apply the code wherein when you go as if to purchase the game. That’s it! Trailer below if you’re having a dither.

If you want to give Ido some money for the game anyway – because it is a jolly good game – you can still do so by ordering again, without the code. If the whole ordering twice thing seems too confusing, you could always try the demo first and then pay for the full thing. Or just pay anyway. Or… I dunno. I’m out of ideas now.


  1. Stylosa says:

    Good lord, free you say old chap?

    It’s a deal!

    • Kaira- says:

      Free, you say? Hmm, I’m not sure… mmm… and it’s just a roguelike… hmm… well, it’s free… well, alright then.

  2. terry says:

    Picked this up yesterday when I saw the tweet. It’s rather splendid for a quick coffee break game, although it seems a tad easy (at least with the warrior).

  3. SquareWheel says:

    The more copies I order, the more the price goes into negatives.

    I am going to be rich.

  4. Unaco says:

    All the great Roguelikes are free.

  5. steve19137 says:

    wow, this is actually really fantastic. ive played a game like this on my android phone, but this is great! thanks for the news!

  6. rayne117 says:

    I thought one of the possible classes said “Chef” in the first scene.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      This comment reminds me of how much I want a real-world sandbox roguelike. Something like Rogue Survivor, but without the zombies. Am I crazy or would that be great?

    • Dominic White says:

      It exists – and has existed for a great many years.

      link to

    • JB says:

      UnReal World rocks.

    • Karol says:

      I can attest to that. It’s an amazing survival game, and it breaks your heart when you die from eating poisoned mushrooms that the wiki said were safe after cooking. DAMN YOU UNUPDATED WIKI!!!

  7. Magnetude says:

    Why not just use the snipper tool in accessories?

    Also, why would you run Windows on a Mac in the first place? Do you secrete money from a special money gland or something?

  8. PleasingFungus says:

    [Alt]-Command-[F3|F4] takes screenshots on the Mac.

    it’s perfectly simple, I’m surprised you hadn’t figured it out already.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I would presume that unfortunate Mr Meer is stuck in Boot Camp, where such intuitive invocations are futile. Chances are he has been deprived of the ability to type octothorpes, as well.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Not stuck in it so much as chosen to be, cos, y’know, PC games. Thank heavens for IrfanView’s screen-capture mode, though.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’d say you’re stuck in Boot Camp in the same way that a man in the middle of the ocean might be stuck in a lifeboat. In theory you could get out, but it would only make the situation worse.

  9. Demiath says:

    Nice offer which I’m sure will benefit Cardinal Quest’s developer in several ways. However, seeing as Mutually Assured Destruction seems to be the order of the day when it comes to the ever-decreasing prices of indie games I’m not that thrilled about the general idea of a developer giving away stuff for free. It sends the wrong signals – especially since it’s the publishers of AAA games who can really afford to slash prices and do crazy deals (which they still won’t do), not the cash-strapped indie crowd.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yeah, I think it might be a little crazy to give away your full game if you’re hoping to make money from it. But this is just one developer and one game and one day rather than a trend. So far.

      A F2P/quasi-shareware model where you give away the base game and sell expansions could be neat, though.

    • Shuck says:

      I know that deep discounts and giveaways on Steam result in increased sales for the games afterwards, so briefly giving away a game can result in increased revenue. It’s the impact of free-to-play games on game prices that worries me the most; it’s creating a strong pressure for indie games to go that route, which seriously constrains their designs.

    • BooleanBob says:

      It’s an idea I think they got from the drugs trade (not the legal one). There’s so much competition that you need a way to get word out that your product is the good shit. So you release some free samples into the market, and hope that word of mouth generates subsequent interest among paying customers.

    • qrter says:

      Someone made a similar comment to Yiehirli on Twitter – his answer:

      actually more people opted in to buying it than in a normal day!

      He seems to be getting a lot of unsollicited donations through Paypal. There have been 150.000 downloads, good lord.

  10. Rev_Sudasana says:

    How much does one have to pay for a save/load function?

    • Magnetude says:

      That, my son, is not the roguelike way.

    • Koozer says:

      Would’ve been nice to save and reload when it randomly decided to not let me go down a floor.

    • arccos says:

      Save and load are pretty standard. Permadeath is, too, but this game doesn’t even let you save your game half way through.

      I like that this game makes the interface pretty clear, but its a bit too simplistic for anyone who plays roguelikes regularly.

  11. JackDandy says:

    Wait, Ido Yehieli? That’s an Israeli name!
    It’s nice to know we have some indie devs too.

    Anyway, thanks for the tip! Will download right away!

    • BurningPet says:

      And it’s also nice to know there are other israeli RPS readers other than me.

  12. says:

    It’s free and has a Mac version now, too?


    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Also convinced me. More Mac games, please!

      One major omission, though: where is the WINDOWED option? If there isn’t one, please add one!

  13. mcnostril says:

    Can’t seem to finish a dungeon.
    It gets slower and slower the deeper I go, and generally crashes when I get to the 8th floor.

    There appears to be some sort of memory leak.
    The memory usage steadily goes up as the game goes on, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for it.

    • appropriate touching says:

      Yeah, it randomly crashed on me after 6-7 floors and task manager showed it was using 1.8 gigabytes of memory at that point. I’d be somewhat annoyed if I’d paid for it.

  14. OJSlaughter says:

    Thank you kindly for the information RPS!

  15. qrter says:

    Am I the only one having trouble loading BMT’s orderpage?

  16. destroy.all.monsters says:

    “This product is no longer sold”.

    Of course this is after you give them all your information. :/

    Exact wording: “Your order contains a product that is no longer sold: Product 70380000 (Cardinal Quest) is not available for purchase at this time. Please contact for more information.”

    • Film11 says:

      Aye, it would appear that the promo ended 3-4 hours ago as of this post.

  17. suibhne says:

    Goddamn minotaurs.

  18. Molnar says:

    This looks cool, but I wish it were on steamworks.

  19. RegisteredUser says:

    I always hate these “24 hours only!” type of things.

    It almost feels deliberately aimed at annoying people who do NOT obsessively check sites/updates/notifications daily. And since they ended up selling more in that day than on any other “normal sale” day, why not just go and make it “pay what you want”?

    I’m annoyed. Go ahead, call it wrong feelings of entitlement.

  20. andrewdoull says:

    As Ido points out in this interview, he sent out the tweet to try and get some more beta testers – not expecting that it would result in 150,000+ downloads.