Sick of Waiting for Diablo III? Give Din's Curse a Try

I love dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, and generally bashing in the heads of multiple monsters while obsessively collecting loot and items through randomly generated labyrinths. Sometimes, though, I'm in the mood for something not-ASCII rendered (ruling out many roguelikes) and a bit more dynamic than something like Torchlight. I'm also sick of waiting for Diablo III to come out, although it will be epic when it does.

So, are you ready to scratch the itch? Give Din's Curse a whirl.

What is Din's Curse?

Essentially, Din's Curse is a lot like Diablo, but different enough to warrant stripping it of a "clone" label. Rather than being a ripoff of the classic dungeon crawler, Din's Curse takes any of the concepts of Diablo, twists them around, randomizes them, and makes for a wholly unique experience. I'd call it an immersive, dynamic dungeon crawler.

Din's Curse Gameplay

This indie gem, fortunately, doesn't bog you down with a laborious, novel-like story. It's rather simple, actually--you've been naughty in your previous life, and treated people like crap. Thus, the vengeful god, Din, has cursed you with a lifetime of service helping others. Not that helping others is bad, of course--you just have no choice. So, you must trek onward, traveling from town to town, saving the citizens from the dangers below ground.

Basic gameplay, again, is incredibly similar to Diablo and other point-and-click hack-and-slash type games. You have an inventory screen with containers. You can stack goods such as potions and food. You get skill trees in which you can evolve your character's skills each time you level up. You can select from a variety of different classes.

In addition, the familiar elements of randomization are there such as various weapons with different labels and skills, armor, etc. Same goes for the monsters and villains, again, very Diablo-style.

What Makes Din's Curse special, then? 

If you're bored already, or twiddling your thumbs because you think this game is just another boring clone, think again. Din's Curse is a special game, and here's some reasons why.

  • There's more than one town. As you "save" each town by completing quests and defeating monsters in the dungeon, you will progress to a new, randomly generated town, with a different look, different NPC's, and different dungeons.
  • Monsters have a mind of their own. This is one of my favorite things about Din's Curse. Monsters don't just simply stand around waiting for you to come find them. They roam around freely in the dungeon, can change floors, and will even fight each other. In addition, more powerful monsters will organize against you--building armies and machines to slow your progress.
  • Your decisions have repurcussions.  Did you just destroy the darkness generator that evil monster Fjord built on level 3? That monster is pissed off now, and might just send an army up to the town to start killing people.
  • Oh yeah, NPC's are dynamic too, and can be killed--as well as interacting in other ways.  For example, a poor NPC may steal from another NPC and be outcast. NPC's can be killed by monster attacks, never to return. And each one that dies puts you further away from saving the town.
  • There are other adventurers. You had better hurry to complete that quest, because not all NPC's are content to sit around in town with their thumbs up their duffs. Some of them like to spelunk in the dank depths of the same dungeon you're planning on exploring, and they might complete that quest you took before you get a chance to do it.

Here's the gist: Din's Curse is a dynamic, living world--and you're just a part of it.

Should I Buy Din's Curse?

If you're a fan of roguelikes, dungeon crawlers, or loot-gathering RPG's--yes. You should not hesitate whatsoever and immediately hand over your hard earned money to Soldak Entertainment, the maker of Din's Curse. Not only are you supporting an indie developer who is very devoted and involved in the project (just LOOK at these changelogs of the most recent add-on to the game) but you will be rewarded with hours and hours of pick-up-and-play goodness.

Anything bad I should be aware of?

Every rose has its thorn(s), as they say, and Din's Curse is no exception--however, I think the complaints are minor and don't detract from the overall experience.

  • The graphics are dated. There's no way around this. Din's Curse looks like it would be right at home on a machine of several years ago. Some will find this charming, others annoying, but it's easy to get past the dated-ness if you're an old-school gamer.
  • The sound is a bit repetitive. I would have liked to see more variety in the sound effects, simply because you hear the same ones all over again. I do like the ambient, creepy background music though--and the sounds that are there are well-executed.
  • There's no "deep" storyline to suck you in.  This is both a feature and anti-feature. Remember, I think this game is great for pick-up-and-play sessions, not necessarily for 4 hour epic marathons.
  • The monster designs get repetitive. Again, likely the result of being a labor of love by a small developer, it's only possible to create so many monster designs; this is overcome in the classic style of using the same monster frame with different colors and names.


All in all, Din's Curse is a fantastic dungeon crawler RPG that can and will provide infinite replayability due to procedurally generated towns, NPCs, monsters, dungeons, and loot--as well as featuring a wholly unique "living" world for you to interact in.

For $19.99 USD, it's a bargain--and you can get in on the Demon War add-on Beta program for only $8.99 right now, which adds new classes and tons of enhancements. (I bought each one of them and they were worth every hard earned penny. I like this game. A lot.)

Also, Soldak generously provides a free demo so you can try it out for yourself, and the game is available for both Mac and PC.

[Check it out at Soldak Entertainment's Official Site]

(All screenshots are from the Din's Curse website and are property of Soldak Entertainment.)



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