Draft of Darkness? That rings a bell. Ah, yes – it’s a game that featured on my list of promising titles coming to Steam a while back, a horror rogue-like that fuses survival horror with deck-building.
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My first memory of this indie game from Crawly Games was the time I invested in the Draft of Darkness demo – it was pretty addictive. That may have been due to the number of times I would die, start a new run, then it’d be different, yet just as engaging.
That’s right; it’s procedurally generated. While the visuals aren’t much to write home about (if people still do that), there’s something quite charming and equally visceral about them. But hands down, it’s the gameplay that makes Draft of Darkness one to watch.
After that introduction, today’s news is about the Early Access launch for PC and Linux this month. Mixing resource management and deck-building skills, there’s a lot of depth to the game and pretty stoked to get a chance to play it.
Set in the near future, we follow Jake and Cara in a world that has been corrupted by a virus. Purely fictitious, of course. They recruit new helpers to get them through this modern dungeon crawl in the hope of getting some answers, but more importantly, surviving.
Key features include:
- Procedurally generated levels with detailed events offering puzzles and difficult choices,
- 135+ cards associated with 6 weapon types to construct decks with, each weapon type having a different style and requiring creative ways to devise synergies,
- 3 heroes with their own background story and gameplay mechanics,
- 4 companion types with randomized perks and starting cards, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right party members,
- 45+ items with unique passive or active effects allowing for many creative combos,
- 19 basic enemies and 9 boss fights with different mechanics challenging the player to change their approach and experiment to optimize their methods,
- 16 notes to read, 35 achievements to hunt and many secrets to uncover,
- Grungy art style blending old-school digitized sprites with low fidelity 3d environments, creating a unique atmosphere fitting the dark world presented.
Here’s the trailer:
I’m pleased to see that the demo is still currently available, so I’d encourage you to check this out on Steam. Early Access will launch on the 30th of July.