Developed by Red Hook studios, “Darkest Dungeon” is an intimidatingly deep RPG game. In this side-scrolling 2D perilous adventure, you lead a group of explorers through dark and gritty randomized dungeons. It turns the premise of an RPG and turn-based battles on its head. The player not only has to manage their character’s health but also their stress levels.

If a character sustains high-stress levels, they’re likely to perform poorly in battle and even lose their mental state. You’re tasked with recruiting a team of people to traverse these dungeons. With its unpredictable nature and merciless randomness, it provides a grueling challenge for those who dare.

Darkest Dungeon is a phenomenal game that has left many who played it wanting more. If you’re open to other insidiously difficult games just like this, here’s a list of ten games like Darkest Dungeon.  

10. Dead in Vinland Definitive Collection

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Dead In Vinland

Dead in Vinland is a survival turn-based RPG game that has you defending a family of exiled Vikings who’ve landed on a remote magic island. The island is filled with deadly enemies who won’t rest until they see you five feet under.

Along with dealing with random oddities of the island, you must seek food, balance people’s needs to survive, and build a new home in a very hostile environment. The combat system shares many similarities with Darkest Dungeon and even includes a depression meter for your team.

Encountering odd situations and screaming barbarians will keep you on your toes in this wonderful game.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

With the aid of Chrome Engine 6, the game looks better than ever. While it’s not as visually appealing as Dying Light, you can still expect it to be an insanely big touch-up. While the character models and animations appear to be a bit dated, you can still expect the game to look decent enough to make you hooked.

It follows a simple attack & defense-based gameplay. Your controls will be similar to most FPS titles. However, your combat will revolve around melee weapons rather than guns. If that doesn’t sound appealing enough, then you should try heading into the co-op madness present in this title.

Multiplayer & Exploration

As mentioned, the game features a seamless Coop multiplayer that allows you and your friends to collaborate in fending off hordes of zombies. Since you need to be the last one surviving in this already maddened world, there are more than a couple of locations you can explore.

From the deserted city to secluded beaches, there’s always something to look forward to. While there will be hordes of zombies waiting to welcome you, popping their heads open is always a good experience.

Pair that with the horror, the destruction, and the madness of the world, and you have a complete story to follow through.

9. Iratus: Lord of the Dead  

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Iratus: Lord of the Dead

Iratus: Lord of the Dead is a tactical RPG set in a fantasy universe. Developed by Unfrozen, you take control of a powerful Necromancer who can summon undead forces with the goal of taking over humanity. 

You take revenge against those who imprisoned you by building new bases, leveling up your monsters, and slaying those who stand in your way. Similarly to Darkest Dungeons, it has a gothic feel and roguelike RPG elements.

There’s stress-based and physical damage you have to deal with and potentially losing the higher-level minions you worked so hard on leveling up. The eerie music and fantastic voice acting make this game a must-play for Darkest Dungeon fans.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

This game is a familiar take on an old format that tends to work for a large demographic of audiences. With so much in common with Darkest Dungeon, Iratus: Lord of the Dead uses its visuals and ideas to give a great yet unique experience.

In terms of gameplay, Iratus features a turn-based tactics model that is both visually compelling to watch and smooth to play. Its aesthetics match a lot of the once-popular browser games. Plus, the battles are challenging, and you’ll get hooked in no time.

What To Expect?

The game will mainly test your mental and strategic skills. With every turn coming attached with a certain “weight” to it, a round will never feel stale. However, the game does suffer from a lack of content, so the joy will probably be short-lived.

Luckily, the journey is as interesting as it could possibly be, so you’ll have a great time challenging your foes in Unfrozen’s Iratus: Lord of the Dead.

8. Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Deep Sky Derelicts Definitive Edition

In Deep Sky Derelicts, instead of exploring dungeons, you’re exploring derelict spaceships. This futuristic treasure hunt adventure blends the elements of roguelike games and a tactical deck-building system.

You help a team of mercenaries scavenge ships in hopes of finding information regarding another ship said to be filled with treasures. The strategy elements of the game can easily hook players into its world. 

Every move you make can cost energy, and the combat system requires an assembly of cards, each containing specific attributes to use against opponents you battle.  Deep Sky Derelicts is easy to get lost in and promises to keep you hooked until the end.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

This game is a masterclass when it comes to presenting a unique style of 2D animation that appeals to everyone. With each attack rendered to be a comic book style illustration, the visuals feel as fantastic as ever – aside from the bland backdrops.

XCOM focuses more on players having a personal connection with their game. Thus, you are presented with a multitude of customizable options that go beyond just cosmetics. Plus, you won’t be limited to a single class either. In fact, the number of personal tweaks you can make in this game tends to feel overwhelming.

What To Expect?

Unfortunately, the game is like an untapped treasure trove – even for its developers. Due to the poor maintenance, it suffers from various bugs and technical issues that not only lessen the fun but can, at times, ruin your gameplay.

The difficulty levels aren’t really optimized, so you’ll be receiving a new surprise every time you load into a match. Aside from all of this, the game is quite fun and engaging to play. Therefore, we’d recommend you give it a try regardless.

7. Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master 

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master

Instead of exploring dungeons, how would you like to defend them from your dungeon master overloads? That’s the unique spin you’ll find playing Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master.

The developers at Goblinz Studio took several dungeon exploration ideas and offered a fun twist to them. The unique dungeon management and rogue-lite style game see you hired by a dungeon company to keep their treasures safe.

You’re tasked with hiring monsters and managing employees while setting traps for heroes who wander into your dungeon. Also, ensure your employees are happy, or they’ll form a worker’s strike! These are some of the random features found in this entertaining game.   

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

Heroes usually tend to go to dungeons to defeat the evil lord, but since you’re the lord, you need to be as crafty as possible in order to win. For the majority of the early game, the Legend of Keepers will continue to throw new narratives toward you.

While the game does not have deep lore, you will still find it quite attractive, both visually and gameplay-wise. With roguelike elements, the game tends to become much more than a simple management-based sim to a completely unique experience.

What To Expect?

Unfortunately, Goblinz Studio is painfully aware of the issues that come with deviating from the genre. Therefore, the game can feel stale at times, and with difficulty levels tuned for newbies, it can be really easy to clear the Legend of Keepers for veterans of the genre.

Aside from that, it’s a complete experience packaged into a single game. Therefore, you will always have something to do – whether it’s about sapping the spirit of the heroes with your strategic placement or just wearing them down before the final battle.

6. Battle Chasers: Nightwar 

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Based on a popular comic from the 1990s, Battle Chasers: Nightwar pokes the nostalgic feelings of “old school” RPG games while still featuring modernized game mechanics.

In this very detailed fantasy world, you can free-roam the vastly rich open world.  The combat system has a learning curve, but once you understand it, the game is truly enjoyable.

If you crave a deep exploration game filled with dungeons to explore, hardened enemies to battle, secret treasure, mini-games, and other elements, we recommend this game.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

The game features hard-animated cinematics that does a good job of setting a base for the game. Its art style is much more than just unique as it grasps your attention and immerses you into its small world of fantasy and steampunk.

While the opening is the most striking aspect of the game, you’d find a lot of opportunities to grind in order to push your steampunk blacksmithing dreams to fruition. It’s system is based on classic JRPGs, so you might get flabbergasted by the sheer number of attacks, perks, combos and vice versa.

What To Expect?

The game has grinding – a lot of it. While the first few hours of the gameplay are fine-tuned to keep the gas flow, the later stages can be just as demanding. Luckily, the addition of new characters progresses the story in such a way that you begin to feel as if you were a part of that story.

Unfortunately, the game isn’t nearly as balanced as it should be, but it wears off in the grand scheme. Besides, you’re here to enjoy the game as a whole, so going through a little bit of trouble only boosts the experience.

5. Vambrace: Cold Soul  

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Vambrace: Cold Soul  

Vambrace: Cold Soul is constructed in a similar fashion to Darkest Dungeon. Its format leans heavily on Darkest Dungeon but draws its own inspiration for its art style and certain gameplay mechanics. 

Yet, the JRPG-styled rogue-lite shares obvious similarities to Darkest Dungeon. The turn-based combat system has different classes and positions that can strike certain enemies. Additionally, you’ll need to scavenge for resources, recruit companions and deal with random traps.

Even with the patches that aimed to reduce its difficulty, the game still presents challenges that might make Darkest Dungeon feel like a walk in the park. This game fills the gap that Darkest Dungeon left for fans. 

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

What happens when you mix digital art style with a well-rounded battling system? Unfortunately, that’s the only striking aspect of the game. With so many menus that you lose count, a vast majority of hard-to-navigate dungeons, and the lack of foreplay make this game a mess to play.

Once you accept and move on from all of that, your true journey begins. You get to unleash your turn-based strategic prowess against a horde of enemies. While the battling system of the game is nothing too striking, you can still expect it to continue the monotony of proceedings.

What To Expect?

There is a bit too much to do in the game. You start with small-scale battles and move on to big-scale ones in the span of hours. Plus, the looting system in Vambrance just throws what it wants at you. Aside from the few balance issues, the game can be pretty fun to play, especially if you account for its amazing graphics.

However, there’s a considerable amount of grinding here as well. Thus, this game will only feel enjoyable once you commit your time to it. An amazing amount of artistic prowess has been exercised in the city of Icenaire, so it’ll be a shame if you don’t at least try it.

4. Robothorium: Cyberpunk Dungeon Crawler  

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Robothorium: Cyberpunk Dungeon Crawler 

Robothorium: Cyberpunk Dungeon Crawler is a simple turn-based dungeon crawling RPG published by Goblinz Studio. Set in a dystopian future, you’ll be placed in a David versus Goliath-style battle against an evil corporation.

You lead a party of three and a team of robots through places that look like dungeons to battle the evil corporation and their sinister plans. By far, the combat system provides the most fun in the game. 

Monitoring your robot’s stats is very reminiscent of old-school RPG games and offers you various ways to fight enemies. It’s not particularly difficult, but it’s fun, and its expansive combat system supersedes any of its cons.    

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

This is a game that knows how to appeal to its audience. The elements of the gameplay are put so well together that you lose track of time. Despite being a switch title, the visuals are nothing to scoff at either.

Robothorium fully understands its audience demographic, and it appeals to them in ways many popular titles fail to do so. Despite the graphics not being its main selling point, you can bet the gameplay more than makes up for it. (Zoloft)

What To Expect?

It’s a well-told story with a bunch of carefully tuned elements. While the combat can be felt ‘slow’ at times, the game is a masterclass – standing just behind Darkest Dungeon. You’d be using the cruise control much more often than you think.

While the premise of the game feels pretty similar to other titles in the genre, it takes a complete u-turn once you start playing it for real. With a more-than-compelling title at hand, you’d find your eyes glued to the screen.

3. Sin Slayers  

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Sin Slayers  

Sin Slayers is what happens when roguelike meets JRPG. Set in a fantasy world, your decisions determine how hard your enemies will be in combat. Developed by goonswarm, Sin Slayers is a turn-based RPG, which shares its inspiration with Darkest Dungeon.

You traverse with a group of three heroes through randomly generated maps in a world inspired by the seven deadly sins. Here, you’ll face hordes of monsters, possessed humans, traps, sub-bosses, and ultimately the Sin-Lords themselves.

You’ll explore dangerous dungeons and level up your characters in the process. This enchanting indie title is well worth the time.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

The game is not really known for being pretty, both difficulty-wise and visually. You have the regular old browser graphics with 2-step animations. However, the gameplay tells a different story.

The UI and the battle mechanics are butter smooth and are quite similar to Darkest Dungeon on a general level. As for the graphics – at least the game doesn’t look like a ripped-off version of super Mario.

What To Expect?

There are a total of seven ways to win. With the map possessing a similar number of areas, you’d think there was a certain depth to the story. Since that’s not the case, the game is almost entirely carried by its stunning gameplay.

It’s a title that’s a rather hit-or-miss experience for players. If you like it, you become a devout follower, but if you don’t, then no power can make you think otherwise. Since more people belong to the first category, we’d recommend you give it a try.

2. Mad Crown 

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Mad Crown 

From the offset, Mad Crown warns you of its difficulty prior to starting. This roguelike RPG is set in a post-apocalyptic world, which sees humanity destroyed. The surviving civilization must try and start anew and carve a new society.

Yet, they face a hostile world filled with hideous environments with grotesque creatures. You take on the role of an explorer who seeks to find the Mad Crown, which holds great power.

You’ll have to deal with limited resources, plan your combat strategy effectively, and battle enemies in randomly generated dungeons. It’s a wonderful post-Darkest Dungeon game for fans of dungeon exploring.  

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

Mad Crown is a game that features a visually complete environment with a Plants Vs Zombies-esque art style. The amount of detail and thought put into this game is borderline insane, and it continues to grow on you until you’re hit with the harsh reality check of its difficulty.

The gameplay is a smoothened version of the usual JRPG format. Despite the game being tough to clear, you will find it hard to keep your eyes off the screen. While the action itself is ordinary, the amount of thinking required to complete a single late-game round is nothing short of insane.

What To Expect?

You have a well through-out world that possesses almost every element needed for the gameplay to be interesting. Since it is essentially just a turn-based RPG, we’d recommend you focus more on the overall experience.

The characters actually feel real due to their dialogue selection. In essence, the game feels like a genuine effort by the developers. However, the high difficulty restricts its target demographic a bit too much.

1. Battle Brothers  

Games Like Darkest Dungeon
Source: Battle Brothers  

Set in a medieval fantasy world, Battle Brothers is a turn-based RPG game with you leading a mercenary company. This unforgiving game sets you in a fantasy universe, free to do just about anything.

The world map allows you to travel anywhere to take on contracts, earn money, ally with a noble, and explore the unknown. Much like Darkest Dungeon, you can recruit, train, and manage troops to do your bidding.

You can build them for specific roles in order to give yourself a tactical advantage during battle. You must manage your resources and injuries in order to survive. The procedurally generated open world provides a perpetual battle for survival and always forces you to adopt new gameplay tactics. 

Gameplay & Visual Fidelity

In terms of visuals, the game looks like a classic worldbuilder. While the overall atmosphere of Battle Brothers is intended to look as warm to the eye as possible, the gameplay tends to tell a different tale.

Luckily, the game guides you through its world-building and in-game mechanics. It’s essentially a mercenary experience that goes beyond simple JRPGs. Plus, the compensation for each task is fine-tuned to be fair to the player and his/her efforts.

What To Expect?

Overall, you can expect all the elements of a turn-based RPG to be present in their truest sense. From finding mercenary jobs to escorting trading caravans, everything will feel intended. The devs seemingly have put a lot of thought into the micro elements present in the game. Thus, it’ll be really hard to get bored – even after playing for hours.

Unfortunately, the game does not adapt to the console environment well. Therefore, you’d find that experience riddled with bugs. If you’re on a PC, then everything is buttery smooth. The only lacking aspect is the mediocre story – and even that has lesser potholes compared to popular titles.

Final Notes 

While no game can truly take Darkest Dungeon’s place, these recommended titles have come close to imitating the same level of fun, in their own unique way, found in the original masterpiece. If you’re looking to fill the void left by Darkest Dungeon, these games will surely fulfill that goal.