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Ace puzzler Desktop Dungeons: Rewind has a demo and incoming daily challenges

A remaster of a classic

Desktop Dungeons is a morish puzzle game from 2010 that channels conventional dungeoning into fiendish headscratching. Every enemy sits still, waiting for you to come and whack it. Whack willy-nilly, though, and they'll kill you in no time - so you have to tactically explore parts of each level to heal, while targeting foes in an order that lets you survive long enough to level up and take on the big bads.

Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is an upcoming "modern remastering" of the original, with 3D graphics and the ability to rewind time rather than start each level from the very beginning. It's got a demo you can play right now, and it's adding free daily challenges with a sharable leaderboard later this month. I am hyped.

It's good at generating lots of small moments that feel satisfying. Just from 15 minutes of tinkering with the demo, I've already had a couple of times where I got to relish venturing into a single tile that restored just enough health for me to survive a fight. Another fight took me down to one HP, but I'd timed it so I immediately got to bask in the full health bar of a level up. There's something very pleasing about turning such a familiar idea into a critical component of a puzzler.

The 3D graphics aren't as immediately readable as their sprite-based forefathers, but I found myself adjusting pretty quickly. I also can't remember there being so many items to use, but it has been like, 13 years. Developers QCF Design say your saves from Desktop Dungeons will still work, so it can't be that different.

You can play the demo right now, but starting from January 25th there'll be a new, procedurally-generated dungeon each day that you get one stab at. One-shot daily challenges can be magic, if you can get a gang of friends to all join in and compare strategies and leaderboard scores. This is free, so hey, maybe you can.

Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is due out at some point this year, on Steam.

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