DoomRL ‘spiritual successor’ Jupiter Hell hits Kickstarter

“Doom but as a Roguelike” might sound like just a joke but DoomRL is a cracking game. It’s top-down, turn-based, grid-based, and… still surprisingly Doom-feely. Good stuff. Creator Kornel Kisielewicz and his ChaosForge team have been working on follow-up Jupiter Hell [official site], which boasts such fancy features as 3D graphics if you want ’em (or good ‘ol ASCII if you don’t), for a few years and now they’ve turned to Kickstarter to help finish development. So it’s… a Doom Roguelike clone Roguelike – a Doomlikedoomroguelikelikeroguelike? This terminology gets so complicated.

Like DoomRL, Jupiter Hell is a top-down, turn-based, grid-based roguelike with procedurally-generated levels permadeath and all that. Roguelike in the sense of ‘like Rogue’, yeah? ChaosForge are hopeful that a shiny look will help people get over that first hurdle and into roguelikes. They say:

“We think there are a class of gamers out there who have never tried a traditional roguelike, potentially being turned off by basic graphics or intimidating interfaces. The likes of the new X-COM games have shown that with more modern looks you can pull in bigger audiences and get them hooked on more engaging mechanics than most popular games offer. Jupiter Hell could be the game to get a new generation hooked into this awesome and underappreciated genre.”

Though it will have an ACII mode too. Anywho, here’s the pitch trailer:

ChaosForge are looking for £60,000 on Kickstarter to finish up Jupiter Hell. They’re planning to release it towards the end of 2017 on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Pledging at least £16 would get you a Steam key or DRM-free version.

If you want to check out its origins first, DoomRL is still free. As of 2012, it does come with a less-intimidating graphical mode with snazzy sprites by Spelunky lord Derek Yu.


  1. Kaeoschassis says:

    Oh, this is still a thing? Awesome, that made my morning.

    I think DoomRL was the first roguelike I ever actually managed to win, and the way it handled its various kinds of ingame milestones and challenges combined with the variety of builds and fun loot meant I didn’t just beat it once on the lowest difficulty and then move on. I still fire it up now and then, although I’m a little out of practice. And yeah, as you rightly pointed out, the whole game somehow feels far Doomier than a turn-based rpg thing has any right to feel. The familiar sound effects certainly help, but I suspect it’s the moment-to-moment stuff it has in common with Doom that really makes it work – fear of what’s around the next corner, dodging through waves of enemy projectiles like some kind of mad dance, somehow ALWAYS being low on ammo. Good times.

    I’m hopeful Jupiter Hell will manage to keep both the gameplay and the ‘feel’ alive. If it can manage that I’m not going to miss the pinkies and barons (though I will miss that good old plasma rifle sound). If it manages to actually improve on DoomRL I’ll probably be playing nothing else for months.

  2. Sleepery says:

    Alternative headline:

    “Developers of interesting games realise that having graphics could be a selling point”

    • Ghostwise says:

      Hopefully they’ll make a good mount of cash, thus encouraging other cool roguelikelirorolilikerogue games to follow suit.

    • Geoshark says:

      Graphics? Why would I need graphics when g can be a perfectly serviceable goblin and ” can be a kobold?

      Seriously though, as much as I love Dwarf Fortress and Cataclysm and the like I can never get my friends into them without some tile sets because the default visual state of the best Rouge-Likes is always somewhere between “cat fell asleep on the keyboard with a command line open” and “someone had a stroke while trying to make an ASCII art dick”.

  3. caff says:

    Great! This is a must-back for me. DoomRL was superb but I must admit I only played with the graphics tileset.

  4. mgardner says:

    Awesome news! DoomRL really is fantastic and I hope this project is more of the same. The medal achievement system has kept this game on my HD for a long time – on paper it sounds like “just trophies” but in practice it works really well and keeps pushing me to try new builds or greater challenges. This is a great RL to try to hook a mass audience – there is enough variety in difficulty levels that a new player can win with a relatively short time investment (still feeling a sense of accomplishment), but veterans can play for ages challenging the higher difficulties or medal challenges.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    DoomRL was damn good fun. This might be neat too, but sometimes RLs suffer a bit in the conversion to graphical interfaces. Still worth keeping an eye on.

  6. phanatic62 says:

    Ahh damn you RPS. I’ve gotten away from backing games on Kickstarter, but DoomRL was too good to pass on this. It looks like they have a solid amount of the game already made which makes me less worried than the old “here’s my concept art” method of selling an idea for a game. Let’s hope they get it funded!

  7. kalzekdor says:

    Ah, DoomRL. Nothing quite like a Scout with Dodgemaster (First dodge per movement is always successful) and Shottyhead (Shotgun type weapons fire 3 times as fast) traits wielding a Super Shotgun. Move, enemy projectiles crash into where you were standing just a second ago thanks to Dodgemaster. Unload your Super Shotgun in ~0.3 seconds thanks to Shottyhead, blasting away a demon of your choice. Move again, autoloading another shell into your shotgun thanks to Shottyman (prerequisite for Shottyhead), dodging more flying death. Continue the shotgun dance until you’re the last one standing, loot everything in sight, then go to the next level to do it all again.

  8. SlimShanks says:

    NOOOOO! I’ve been waiting for this kickstarter forever, and I’m so broke right now. I really want to support this game. I really hope this gets the money is needs, DoomRL is tremendous.

  9. April March says:

    Wow, having big fancy 3D graphics when your dude moves a square a time makes the game look as dumb as its concept sounds. And, like most people here, I have played it and it’s awesome. A truly different roguelike, from a time when those were rare.

    Well, I didn’t know about the Yu’s graphics for the original game, so as far as I’m concerned today’s still the day DoomRL got graphics.

  10. JiminyJickers says:

    Nice, always loved DoomRL so definitely backing them.