The rogue-lite Darkest Dungeon, one of the most influential indie games of the previous decade, celebrates its 5th anniversary this month! The opportunity to come back to the reasons for this unexpected success.
It is sometimes difficult, as an independent developer, to seduce the players targeted by your game. There is now a plethora of competitors, experiences that come out every four mornings and, inevitably, less and less room to be done. on the market. So what distinguishes a game that will score, from an umpteenth average product to be tested by players who will end up becoming apathetic, under the ton of things that are presented to them every day? This is the question that we will answer today, especially with one of the biggest independent hits of recent years: Darkest Dungeon. The latter is celebrating his 5th birthday, and he hasn’t aged an inch!
The basic idea of the game is simple: we are on a Dungeon Crawler with turn-based combat gameplay. So far, nothing really crazy. What Darkest Dungeon brings, on the other hand, is a whole bunch of subtle gameplay additions that spice up the experience: for example, the stress system.. Below each health bar, the four characters that we lead during our expeditions can be under stress for different reasons: for example, by taking a lot of damage, or if the games we are surveying are not quite bright. If the stress gauge reaches 100 points, our character does not die, but he will be tormented: therefore, he either benefits from a positive character trait, improving his stats, or he does not manage to face his demons. , and will be entitled to a debuff. Between each expedition, our characters will be able to rest in the Sanitarium or in the tavern, in order to recover from their past adventures.
Darkest Dungeon is a game that is both demanding and difficult, but also incredibly exhilarating as soon as you begin to understand its ins and outs. We will lose characters (who disappear completely if they die in combat), expeditions, and even precious objects essential to our murderous walks. If the frustration is indeed there (especially when one of our most powerful characters dies in a completely lame way), the game always finds a way to attract us to it, with an extremely addictive game system. : there is always a little time to restart a small expedition. In addition to its demanding and addicting gameplay, Darkest Dungeon also benefits from an inimitable graphic style, which will have allowed it to stand out from the competition.
To shorten it, Darkest Dungeon will have created a sub-genre in the dungeon crawler: the Darkest Dungeon Crawler. A lot of games were inspired by it, including Warsaw in particular. 5 years later, the game keeps its superb, and continues to convince hordes of players who are looking for one thing: challenge. Success of Kickstarter, the game collected more than $ 313,000 for its development, and sold 650,000 copies in 1 week after its marketing according to the studio Red Hook. In December 2017, almost 3 years after its release, more than 2 million copies sold around the world. Suffice to say that we are there on rare figures for independent games … And inevitably, a sequel was announced recently by Red Hook Studios, just to raise the hype for all fans of this classic indie games.