Post-Apocalyptic Isometric RPGing: UnderRail Released

I understand we’ll have something to say about the post-apocalyptic subterranean trainworld of UnderRail [official site] after our Christmas break but, 2016 is THE FUTURE or something, for now I’ll settle for quickly telling you it’s out. It’s out! Christmas seems a good time to escape your family by diving into a strange civilisation surviving in subway tunnels and stations (and I do mean your family) with turn-based isometric RPG action, so I wanted to tell you. I’m telling you now, okay: it’s out.

“UnderRail is an old school turn-based isometric indie role playing game that focuses on exploration and combat,” say developers Stygian Software. “It’s inspired by western RPG classics such as Fallout, Arcanum, Neverwinter Nights and System Shock 2.”

Expect stat points and skill points, dialogue trees, numbers rising from enemies in combat, crafting, and all that jazz in a world where stations are states and humanity’s future is looking… not great. That’s why we’ve been keeping a eye on it for a few years. Well. A loose eye on it (perhaps looted from a corpse?), as it came out last week and I didn’t write a news post about it because I thought we had something more substantial coming. We do, it turns out, but not yet.

So, I repeat: UnderRail is out. You can find it on Steam for £9.34. Have a launch trailer:


  1. TΛPETRVE says:

    Despite a few notable flaws this is easily the best CRPG I have played in years. It’s quite tough as nails (and sometimes a bit unfair), but also remarkably accessible, streamlining where necessary without gimping its systems in the process. Some folks are complaining about the somewhat dry and unassuming writing, but personally I prefer the concise approach over the self-aggrandising exposition wankery most RPGs indulge in these days. A lot of storytelling comes from the locations themselves, which befits the game’s focus on exploration; think the Dark Souls of isometric post-apocalyptic CRPGs.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      If you squint a bit about writing it is indeed one of the greatest rpgs of,well, ever. And, as I understood it, it was/is made by one (1) guy. So, one of the greatest christmasses ever, ha?

      • Fry says:

        Mostly made by one guy. He hired someone to do the soundtrack and another person to do all (or most?) of the character portraits. It’s an impressive achievement either way.

    • jjujubird says:

      Show, don’t tell, whenever possible.

      This is one of the things so many things (not just games) get wrong. Dropping exposition bombs before the consumer cares about said thing makes them care even less.

  2. Rogerio Martins says:

    I got this game on steam, I hope it doesn’t become an underdog amongs so many great rpgs being released this year.

  3. haldolium says:

    Thanks for giving it some news-love :-) This one deserves a spotlight for quite a lot of reasons. Great game.

  4. Myrdinn says:

    I must say this game is kinda blowing me away right now. It’s SO GOOD, why aren’t there more (classic) Fallout-esque games out there?

    • geisler says:

      Because they don’t print money like the Bethesda garbage.

      • Nucas says:

        bethesda games are what they are and they don’t try to be anything else, certainly not this.

  5. aepervius says:

    I have played it and I have a blast. I am using the “oddity system” rather than classical XP. So far I have found it to be hard but fair, and have a great balance, keeping me on my toe. TRhe story is not that great, more like a rail (ha!) to guide you from area to area, but the gameplay great. I find the crafting a bit lacking because too many element or component I cannot craft.

  6. Fry says:

    Deep systems, engaging and challenging combat, inexpensive, and a ton of content. If you have any interest at all in classic Fallout-style RPGs, this game is worth your time.

    • geisler says:

      Because they don’t print money like the Bethesda garbage.

  7. teije says:

    It is definitely old-school. Played it a lot during EA, and it gives me the old original Fallout vibe, which is good and also a little annoying (UI-wise) at times. The oddity system for XP is a great innovation and I highly recommend it.

  8. internisus says:

    I have apparently owned this on Steam since February 2014. While certainly a nice surprise, it’s rather weirding me out as I cannot figure out where it came from.

    • alms says:

      Underrail was featured in the very first Build a Greenlight Bundle by Groupees, and in one of the IndieFort bundles on Gamersgate. If your account history shows it not being a Steam store front purchase, it may come from one of them.

      Early 2014 may a be a bit late for the BaGB, mine was activated a few months earlier IIRC, although I guess it’s possible for whatever reason you didn’t activate it right away. Can’t remember when it was made available on Gamersgate, but you can find out yourself if you click on my nick and search the thread, as I have routinely reported on new key additions since Greenlight’s inception.

  9. carn1x says:

    I was about to comment how I thought the dog bark sound in the trailer was the worst I’ve ever heard, until my dog interrupted me by barking back.

    • Fry says:

      There’s a cat in the starting area that gets me every time. “Dammit, I just fed you… oh”.

      • guygodbois00 says:

        Hahahahaha, made my near-boring night out with colleagues.

  10. demosthenes777 says:

    Have they fixed the UI font yet? I got it when it released but there was no option to change it and it was giving me a migraine so I gave it back for a refund; I’m waiting until there’s an option to fix the UI font styling to something that doesn’t make me want to smash my monitor before buying it as the psionics and things look interesting, I just can’t justify spending so much time in pain no matter how good the RPG is.

    • Fry says:

      The font still has aliasing problems, but I’ve mostly come to terms with it. YMMV of course, but with all text options set to large at 1920×1200 on a 24″ monitor, I find it readable enough that I stopped noticing. The developer doesn’t seem inclined to make font changes anytime soon, so if that’s a deal breaker for you you’re probably better off avoiding the game.

    • Myrdinn says:

      I personally just lowered the resolution and put the text size to Large.

    • xsikal says:

      I’m in the same boat. Bought it and cannot even make it through the character creation screen without getting a migraine. I do have terrible eyes, but this is the first time I’ve ever had this sort of issue. Hopefully, if Styg is not interested in patching the font to be customizable, some enterprising modder will.

  11. caff says:

    More people should be playing this! It’s what everyone has been asking for, for YEARS. Huge, in depth, turn-based combat and action-point movement just like JA2 but with a cyberpunky twist. What is not to love?

  12. syllopsium says:

    It’s currently on GOG 35p cheaper, but also DRM free..

  13. Goral says:

    Not as good as Age of Decadence but it’s still one of the best RPGs in years.

    • TΛPETRVE says:

      Personally, I think this bloes Age of Decadence out of the water, quality-wise. AoD is more ambitious, sure, but it is also a haphazard mess of barely interconnected mechanics that would be met with nothing but scorn and derision, if it wasn’t an indie title. Underrail is the exact opposite; very conservatively designed, but apart from a few hiccups it works almost impeccably.

  14. suibhne says:

    Well, it’s now getting on toward the back half of February, and I’m hoping we’ll still get a WOT of this game (as Alice’s first sentence seems to portend).