Darkest Dungeon is all about dreary, maddening catacombs and stressful encounters with death-worshiping cultists. But I have to say that I’m finding it quite nice to spend time with on my Nintendo Switch.
Red Hook Studios released Darkest Dungeon last week on Nintendo’s hybrid home/handheld console for $ 25. You can also get some of its add-on downloadable content in a comprehensive package for $ 35. I’m playing it on the Switch, and the gameplay loop is ideal for this platform.
The standard progression of Darkest Dungeon has you taking a crew of treasure hunters into the dank bowels of a decrepit mansion. If your crew survives, you can then take them into town to get upgrades and to heal their souls.
Each of those parts is great for the Switch because you can do them relatively quickly. If you want to pick up the system during a commute or during a commercial break, you can probably get a couple of rooms cleared out. And then coming back to where you left off later is never a problem because it’s hard to get lost in Darkest Dungeon. Even if you do accidentally backtrack, you’ll know immediately and won’t waste more than 30 seconds doing so.
Red Hook has already ported Darkest Dungeon to other consoles and iPad before this, but like Switch itself, this version of the game is also a hybrid. In handheld mode, it supports controller and touchscreen inputs. You can do all of one or the other, but I’ve found myself mixing and matching depending on the circumstance.
All of this means that I’m spending a lot more time in Darkest Dungeon. Even as it tries to kill me and stress me to the breaking point, I keep coming back because this version is just too good.