Steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum slashes out this month


Grid-based dungeon crawler Vaporum [official site] first blipped our radar in 2015 when the team were looking for funding, and now the steampunk RPG is all shined up and ready to go. You can get your finger-less gloves on it on 28 September.

The team at Fatbot Games say they were partly inspired by the Legend of Grimrock games, and it’s hard not to draw comparisons. Both are good-looking first person dungeon crawlers with a real-time combat system that sees you skip between squares as you try to bring your enemies down. But where Grimrock had ogres and angry crabs, Vaporum has flamethrower-wielding robots and mechanical spiders.

You’ll be solving some simple puzzles but the meat of the game will be its combat and customisation. You control a lone character wearing an exo-rig that you plug gadgets into to access new attack types or buff certain attributes. You can remove or replace these gadgets at any time to give on-the-fly changes.

The premise is a bit bland: you’re stranded on a small island with a giant mechanical tower, and you have to delve in and uncover its secrets. But I like the look of the rest of it. The environments are suitably moody and the enemies seem like they would be fun to fight. As you can see in the trailer below you’ll be battling multiple foes at once, which could lead to some tense moments. Plus, I was a fan of the Grimrock games so I know the grid-based stuff works for me.


  1. Artiforg says:

    “good-lucking”? “solving some simply puzzles”?

    • Ghostwise says:

      It’s steampunk slangy, matey.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Lately I’ve been seeing typos on this site that make me wonder if someone isnt writing via speech-to-text or something, cus, just like those, they arent just typos, but oddly phonetic ones to make.

      In general I’ve noticed that even journalists use the correct form of “its/it’s” less and less, which makes me feel old…

  2. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Looks like my cup of tea, but their site doesn’t say *where* it is going to be sold.

    • Janichsan says:

      Well, it’s a *steam*punk game, the title means “*steam*” on Latin, there’s a *Steam* Greenlight trailer, so GOG seems the obvious choice.

      • Vilos Cohaagen says:

        That was my thinking too. The clues were all there.

        Though if it wants to be legit steampunk I am expecting a jaquard card version to feed into my Difference Engine.

      • syndrome says:


  3. noiseferatu says:

    V A P E L Y F E

  4. malkav11 says:

    I wish people would quit emulating Dungeon Master/Eye of the Beholder/etc and start emulating e.g. Might and Magic. Which is to say, do all the first-person party based dungeon crawling and puzzling and stuff, but ditch the freaking real-time combat.

    I just don’t feel like it’s appropriate for anything party-based and in this subgenre’s context in particular it seems to promote degenerate tactics involving backing rapidly around corners instead of doing anything actually interesting.

    • Themadcow says:

      Bards Tale 4 next year, Grimoire released last month, Star Crawlers, Elminage Gothic…

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Hear, hear.

    • Chillicothe says:

      Might and Magic X

      Lords of Xulima

      Thank me later.

    • LexW1 says:

      Don’t insult Dungeon Master by suggesting stuff like this is emulating Dungeon Master. Dungeon Master was light-years ahead, design-wise (including visual and sonic design), of virtually every game of the genre that’s come out since. 30 years old, now, and it was better designed, and more playable, in pretty much every way, than Grimrock 1, and arguably Grimrock 2, and no doubt this as well.

      Likewise EotB and a number of other games (Lands of Lore etc.) all had massively superior gameplay to their modern counterparts. There’s nothing wrong with real-time. There’s everything wrong with modern dungeon crawlers.

      I’m not sure switching to turn-based is really going to improve things, either. StarCrawlers is good, but perhaps not great, no-one really knows if Grimoire is any good nor is anyone credible likely to ever know, so that really leaves us with Bard’s Tale 4, and we’ll see if that’s a patch on the originals.

      • malkav11 says:

        There is a great deal wrong with real-time. There may also be problems with how the modern games of this ilk are designed, but I’ll never find out because they’re real-time.

        • Merry says:

          There is a great deal wrong with real-time

          It would be nice if you could explain yourself there. That’s far from being a universally-accepted truth.

    • Vilos Cohaagen says:

      Personally I like interesting games. If the emulation makes interesting games then why not? It is not as if we have a paucity of choice at the moment. If you don’t like that kind of game it’s not the end of the world and more than likely someone will share that view and try and make something different.

      Oh I meant to add: I personally like the real time combat. I’m glad there are game out there that feature it.

    • Caiman says:

      I wish people would stop complaining that one style of game isn’t like another style of game. As pointed out there are plenty of M&M style crawlers, more than there are DM style crawlers I’d say, and a lot of us love these games. They are as different to M&M games as top-down action RPGs are from turn-based RPGs. Don’t be fooled by the grid-based perspective.

    • UncleLou says:

      ” but ditch the freaking real-time combat. I just don’t feel like it’s appropriate for anything party-based”

      Vaporum is *not* party-based, as the article states.

      And I agree with Vilos Cohaagen and Caiman. It’s good we get both kind of games.

  5. Blake Casimir says:


    Look, I’m wouldn’t want to complain that there are more first person dungeon crawlers being made… except for the fact that almost none of them are free-look / free-move a-la Ultima Underworld, King’s Field, Daggerfall etc. Why is this genre so farking rare!!??!??

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      Qazinsky says:

      I feel the same. I don’t like being stuck on a grid. It was bad enough that the new M&M removed the real-time combat, but that it was also grid based…

  6. Rhygadon says:

    I’m not sure I’m ready for another of these just now, but damn that’s some good sound design!