Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle is an indie 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, skills, gear and room designs. With features like crafting, skill trees, characters development, and just-one-more-room style gameplay, Claustrophobia is a love letter to traditional RPG rougelikes. Create your ideal hero, build your own custom class, then set out on your quest for glory, slaughter, and anything shiny!
The short: A clean, polished roguelike that is easy to jump into and start playing immediately. Prepare to die often, learn from your mistakes and most importantly have fun.
The long: I just booted up the game for the first time and I am very impressed. Graphically it is retro styled but it is very polished looking. The graphics also belie the depth and complexity of the game. Do not mistake this game to be an overly simplified game which wears its indie flag as an excuse for poor gameplay and graphics.
I have not had a chance to do anything beyond very simple crafting, but I have crafted several helmets, hats and wooden arrows. There are 4 crafting slots but so far I have put in many things in the slots and only figured out how to utilize 1 material in 1 slot. It also seems, like Dungeons of Dredmore (DoD), that there are different stations with which to craft with although none appear to be portable.
The tone of the game is somewhat silly with many jokes to be found, but the stats, items and crafting is far less convoluted than DoD.
My main criticism appears to be very little story included, which is the usual for the genre, but I always enjoy having a goal, lots of flavor text and lore to find. Either way as a roguelike this isn't necessary to have fun.
Overall this is a fantastic game and is truly worthy of an 8+ rating, unlike many games on Desura (how games that are so incomplete they are near unplayable get a 9+ score is beyond me). If necessary I will update this review.