Vampire-slaying roguelike Golden Krone Hotel released

Golden Krone Hotel

It’s been exactly one year and a day since our Adam went to have a good old poke around the clearly haunted Golden Krone Hotel. At the time, the vampire-themed roguelike was already two years into development and officially entering early access. Perfectly on schedule, the final game was released yesterday after one year of additional community-driven tweaking and refinement, and it’s a lovely little thing indeed.

Golden Krone Hotel leans right into its world of vampires, werewolves and other traditional Hammer Horror creatures. Light and shadow, sun and moonlight, fire and blood – they all play huge parts, mechanically. Vampires burn in sunlight, wolves bathe in the moon, and humans are at a distinct disadvantage in the dark. It’s intuitive stuff, all building on classic monster lore, seared into our brains from childhood, and makes for an immediately accessible setting.

A clock tracks the time of day and the position of the light streaming into the building, letting you know exactly when the sun is at your back, just beyond a dense stained glass window – a single well timed bullet can clear an entire room full of vampires that would have otherwise ripped you to shreds, if you’re careful and smart. A ubiquitously satisfying move.

While you’ll still occasionally need to remember keyboard commands, this one if definitely more accessible than Nethack, ADOM and their ilk, offering hints and mouse controls for many basic actions. Sprites slide, hop and bounce around neatly, and combat is accompanied by some crunchy NES-like effects and a little screenshake. It’s all tied together with simple yet communicative sprite art, and a nice soundtrack to boot, although I’m still tempted to replace everything with Castlevania effects and music.

Golden Krone Hotel’s time in early access has been well spent. You can see the full breakdown in the update logs here, with especially cool bits being an endless underworld, and a difficulty setting so intense that it changes the title screen from a full moon to a blood moon and adds “gnarly” music. While normally locked to 4-way movement, giving the game its own feel, you can now opt to allow diagonal movement throughout the entire game for players and monsters. Between this and a multitude of difficulty settings, I’d say there’s something here for most RPG fans, even if roguelikes aren’t normally your cup of tea.

Golden Krone Hotel is available on Steam for £7/$10, minus a 20% launch discount until the end of the Halloween sale.

5 Comments

  1. shinkshank says:

    As a big letter slaughtering fan from the day, I’m quite interested in this one, but there being a price tag doesn’t make this quite a mindless decision. If anyone’s already played it, would you mind telling me :

    a) How much run variety is there? How much endgame is there? Would you say there’s replay value after your first win?

    b) Is there any sort of meta-progression system? If so, what exactly does it entail?

    c) What’s it closer to, Band or Hacklike?

    • jere says:

      There are 12 unlockable classes, but no “vertical” metaprogression. Most of the run variety is in which branches you decide to do and in what order. There’s a totally optional Underworld branch that has infinite levels.

      The main inspiration is DCSS (which I guess is a Hacklike), but GKH is a much smaller scoped game which much shorter runs.

      • Catterbatter says:

        I really like how you’ve streamlined some of the traditional systems and added complexity and variety to the combat. I’m a roguelike player who doesn’t like getting bogged down, and this looks right up my alley. So thanks.

  2. Bobtree says:

    This game is a gem: charming, innovative, and fun. I need to dive back into it. I love the interplay between the dynamic environment, your changing character, and the different enemy populations.

  3. dethtoll says:

    This is perhaps the only Roguelike I play regularly. It’s quick, simple and fun.

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