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Shardpunk: Verminfall is a mashup of Darkest Dungeon, XCOM and Skaven

It's out now and there's a demo

Shardpunk: Verminfall smooshes together a bunch of different ideas you'll have seen before. It's got turn-based tactical combat against rats with magic rifles in a steampunk world already in ruins. It's got the need to keep on moving, lest an approaching rat horde overwhelm you. It's got bunkers in which your party rests, de-stresses, and tools up before moving on.

Kind of a Fallouty, XCOMy, FTLy, Vermintidey mix, then - which together seems very cool. It's out now, and there's a demo.

Shardpunk begins with you selecting your starting crew, each of whom has their own particular abilities, perks and equipment. If you take Gideon Shaw along with you, for example, he has a "quick shot" starting skill that's useful for setting up 'overwatch' mode, as well as a "calm" trait that means he's less susceptible to being overwhelmed by stress. Shardpunk is also a bit Darkest Dungeony, see, in that your crew gain stress in battle just like they lose health.

You'll need to lead your crew across each level quickly to avoid the approach rat horde, fighting enemies as you go, but also taking enough time to scavenge bodies and boxes for potential supplies. If you survive until the next bunker, you'll have the opportunity to take actions that may de-stress your crew, but also upgrade weapons and skills to help in future fights.

Although it only came out on April 13th, you can visit Shardpunk: Verminfall's Steam page and scroll back through its news posts to follow years of development. It had several demos and alpha demos available via Steam to gather feedback, and there's still a demo you can grab to give it a try now. That might be worthwhile since Steam reviews report that the game is good but extremely challenging, and the demo might indicate whether that's your cup of rats or not. If it is, the full game is £10/$12.

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Graham Smith


Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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