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Lunacid, a homage to From Software before Dark Souls, launches out of early access to Very Positive verdicts

Indie first-person dungeon crawler going down a treat on 1.0 release day

The player holds a torch aloft as they explore a stone tunnel in Lunacid
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Kira LLC

I've only just read Sin's thoughts on Akuma Kira's Lunacid and lo and behold, the PS1-styled, first-person dungeon crawler has now released out of Steam Early Access, to considerable rejoicing. Lunacid is a homage to classic FromSoftware games - no, not that juvenile upstart Dark Souls, but King's Field and Shadow's Tower, which date back to the late 1990s.

I played one of the King's Field games as a sprog and found it to be an extended cave system full of lava, demons and torment. Lunacid sort of applies the perspective and medieval fantasy combat of that series to a story reminiscent of Demon's Souls - the From-alike that spurred the Japanese studio to international fame - with a world that has been flooded with toxic mist by a "sleeping old one below". Your job, as some unfortunate outcast chucked into a pit, is to journey downward and confront this mysterious creature, using any and all combinations of rapiers, clubs and fireballs. Off you go then.

Along the way you can expect mimics (who grow more numerous when you're carrying more treasure), pugilistic butterflies and enemies that only come out at full moon. Sin really liked the early access build, concluding that it "could well earn a place in some best of the year lists", and the same is true of many Steam users. The consensus at launch stands at Overwhelmingly Positive with 2,669 reviews, or Very Positive if you only count the 190 most recent reviews. According to the developer, plans for the game include bug patches, proper localisation and a prequel, which will run on the same Sword of Moonlight engine FromSoftware used for the original King's Field games.

From started distributing the Sword of Moonlight engine as a commercial product in 2000, allowing fans to make and sell their own games with unlimited use of the King's Field intellectual property and no expectation of royalties. Which is nice. I've only just learned about this, and am looking forward to discovering what other developers have done with the tech.

The Lunacid 1.0 changelog is here. Highlights include the nerfing of quickstep, the fixing of Demi's elbows and the addition of shrimp. I'm sure it all makes sense in context.

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