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Grimrock-y steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum is out


Fatbot Games’ grid-based, first-person dungeon crawl, Vaporum [official site], has officially clanked and whirred past the finish line and is available now via Steam. Offering the opportunity to strap on a suit of steam-powered armour and ascend through a tower full of mechanised monsters, it’s a clearly enticing proposition and something that had caught our eye before. We’ve been covering this one since its early days seeking funding back in 2015, and it’s great to see it finished and looking gorgeous, in a distinctly loud, stompy, mechanical way.

Fatbot proudly wear their inspirations on their sleeve, claiming Legend of Grimrock 1 & 2 and genre progenitors such as Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master as key inspirations for Vaporum. Despite the design dating back as far as 1987, the blend of positioning-heavy realtime combat (see the guard satisfyingly punted into a pit in the trailer above) and puzzle solving still makes for a compelling mix in need of little more than a bit of graphical spit-and-polish in order to pass modern muster.

What sets Vaporum most visibly apart from Grimrock (other than the higher-tech setting) is its progression systems. Rather than control a party of four, you play as a single character wrapped in a customizable and modular exo-rig. While some of your choices have to be fully committed to, your abilities are largely governed by your interchangeable equipment. Multiple loadout slots allow you to switch between sets of gear at will, effectively allowing you to switch class mid-combat in order to adapt to the situation.

Fatbot have also outlined some plans for the game immediately following release. Beyond the usual post-release support, patching and tweaking, they have plans to open the game up to a global audience. While only available in English at present, another nine languages will be supported soon. If the game is sufficiently well-recieved, they are looking at the potential for Mac & Linux ports, although nothing is set in stone on that point.

Vaporum is available on Steam now for £15/18€/$18, with a 10% launch discount.

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Dominic Tarason


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