This time the spotlight will be shining on Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle, a roguelike that – unlike many of its genre brethren – is incredibly approachable, without trading depth for accessibility. Let’s see if we can’t help it escape the cold emptiness of Greenlight limbo.
Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle is an RPG roguelike, with a retro graphic style and a terrible sense of humour. The game takes place in a series of ever descending randomly generated dungeon floors, packed full of monsters to slaughter and loot to pillage. The game plays like a traditional roguelike, but with a clean UI, a slick, action orientated combat system, and a massive range of enemy types, gear and room designs.
Wait, what? “A terrible sense of humor”?! Strange way to pitch your game. Anyway, there’s no denying that it’s an oversaturated genre, but in my opinion, Claustrophobia is easily different enough to separate itself from the crowd. It may not look fancy enough for some, but if you can look past the retro-ish art style, there’s plenty to like about it. For starters, it does away with the traditional class-based system, letting the player choose from a list of ‘roles’ every time they level up instead. This allows for a more varied experience since it means you won’t be stuck playing a single class from start to, well, your untimely demise; or… glorious victory (right, like anyone ever “win” a roguelike). Crafting, barrel smashing, traps that mock the player when triggered, potions, scrolls, and plenty of other fun things, all add up to make for a good time. Oh, and permadeath of course – it is a roguelike, after all!
So riddle me this, dear reader: why is Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle still struggling to get through Greenlight? While the final version is not available yet, the alpha has been out for a while (since October 2012), so lack of availability is certainly not the reason. If you haven’t done so already, might I recommend visiting its Greenlight page and handing over a ‘yes’, if you like what you see? Remember, your vote matters!
Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle is available for Windows from Desura, GamersGate and IndieGameStand, priced at $4.99 / €3.49 / £2.99 and without any DRM.