Desktop Dungeons (opens in new tab) originally came out in 2011, and was a game I instantly fell in love with. And not in some genteel, courtly manner either: our passionate dungeon-crawling sessions would stretch long into the wee hours, as I suffered little deaths innumerable and grasped modifiers untold.
Sorry. It’s a great game! And even if you’ve never played Desktop Dungeons, you’ll have played one of the games subsequently influenced by its smart ideas. It plays like a kind of mini-roguelike, where each run’s success or otherwise feeds into the next, with an overarching system of characters and classes alongside things like deities that set ‘rules’ for your playthroughs to follow. A standout element of the design is that you heal by exploring, making a good route-planning mindset as important as a big sword.
It’s one of those where a single game could take ten minutes but, somehow, you’re still there four hours later.
So today is a good day, as the new boutique publisher Prismatika has announced Desktop Dungeons: Rewind: an isometric 3D remake of the IGF-winning 2D original. The new subtitle highlights the game’s Rewind feature, which will allow players to (somewhat) cheat death with “an insurance policy that allows you to replay a dungeon from an earlier point, try different strategies and defeat monsters in new ways.”
It’s shown off in action at the end of the above trailer. Other features listed are similar to what was in Desktop Dungeons: Enhanced Edition (still available on Steam, and still great (opens in new tab)), so expect a bunch of classes and to be building up your kingdom over time and daily online challenges.
Hopefully this remake takes account of all the great roguelikes released since the original, and lifts a few ideas back for itself: I imagine after the likes of Darkest Dungeon, the kingdom building side might feel a little slight now. It’ll also be interesting to see if it retains that odd little feature it had of custom tilesets (in fact, the original game’s look is down to none other than Spelunky creator Derek Yu)
You can read our positively ancient review of the original game here (opens in new tab). Desktop Dungeons was and is a cracker, so fingers crossed this remake can bring that beautiful core loop into the modern age. The trailer says it’s coming “very soon” to Steam, but there’s no release date yet.