Since Slay the Spire set the gold standard for deckbuilding roguelikes, it seems as though the floodgates have opened. Since deckbuilding roguelikes are the current subgenre du jour, I’ve been playing a lot of them lately. With all of the up and coming games in this burgeoning subgenre, it seems as if there’s something for everyone in terms of gameplay and even art style.
Deepest Chamber is a deckbuilding roguelike with dungeon crawling elements where you take control of a group of former guards and miscreants who are forced to fight their way through a waking nightmare. The medieval city you occupy is beset by undeath, with the deepest parts overrun by foul creatures. While you’re technically in control of a group of people, this concept makes little practical difference in gameplay: battles are waged from a first person perspective, almost like a standard dungeon crawlers—just without the puzzles, or grid-based movement. Instead, you play cards to either deal damage to or debuff enemies, or use them to buff or heal your team. Since you are technically a group of soldiers, there are no classes in Deepest Chamber, which means no cards are locked behind class restrictions.
One of the things that sets Deepest Chamber apart from most other roguelike deckbuilders is its classless system. In theory, that would mean that Deepest Chamber allows you more freedom to customize your deck than deckbuilders with specific character or class cards. There are also trinkets you can collect during your run that can drastically change how your decks are played, giving you the potential for some extremely powerful synergies. As with other deckbuilding roguelikes, not every run is the same in Deepest Chamber. Death is permanent, as in, your current run ends, losing any trinkets and forcing you to start your deck over from scratch.
Since Deepest Chamber is releasing into Early Access, it won’t be a fully finished game when it hits Steam today. According to the game’s Early Access information box on its store page, development will continue on Deepest Chamber for the next 12 to 18 months. That will give the developers time to finish the full range of cards, trinkets and enemies planned as well as two more planned regions—as there’s only one playable area at release.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Deepest Chamber develops over its planned year plus of development time. It has a dark aesthetic that’s a little bit Dark Souls and a little bit Darkest Dungeon mixed with Slay the Spire-ish deckbuilding. The decision to go classless is an interesting one that could potentially hinder its replayability, but multiple run types and difficulty levels could make up for it—but time will tell.
Deepest Chamber is available today on Steam Early Access.
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