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Emotional Baggage Handler: Darkest Dungeon

*cat squeal*

Darkest Dungeon launched on Kickstarter and was immediately funded, which says a lot about how good its pitch is (it was also helped by a $15 price and a low funding target): it’s a handsome looking dungeon crawler, a roguelike in which the player must manage a team of dungeon delver’s psychological stress levels alongside their hit points. The darker it gets, the deeper you delve, the more likely the pressure is going to affect your team.

The Affliction System’s the hook, here: instead of pushing through piles of dead bodies and shrugging off the corpses as just another day in the dungeon, there’s also the chance it’ll affect each member of the party differently. According to the devs, in that scenario “Coming across a rotting corpse may unnerve the Highwayman, or may fuel the Crusader’s determination”, which means you’ll have to figure out how to deal with the stress and phobias that arise from that. Big events and little moments will give the party an edge: a skeleton breaking through a character’s defense might give them a fear of the undead.

Management also plays a part in combat: the cramped corridors (represented by the side-on view) means you have to place your team in a good order in both the fights and general adventuring: “Put your Grave Robber in front to help disarm traps? Or keep your meat shield Crusader up there in case of ambush? As always, your choices matter.”

As long as there’s no toilet imperative. That’s what puts me off The Sims.

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Craig Pearson

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