PAX East 2020 Hands-on: Curse of the Dead Gods

Curse of the Dead Gods is a fun rogue-lite action game developed by Passtech Games and published by Focus Home Interactive. We had a chance to sit down a give it a spin last week – and generally experience death… and more death… and even more death.

The core of the game is perhaps not the most unique, but this game stands out from the pack by sheer force of will and high degree of difficulty. As an adventurer questing for gold and fame, you find yourself face to face with a cursed temple. As you progress your way from room to room, defeating the various monsters inside and avoiding deathly traps (or luring enemies into them), you uncover riches beyond your wildest dreams. But can you stay alive long enough to keep it?

Combat is very active, but can be approached in a variety of ways. You can rush the mobs and hope to survive through sheer force of will, or try to be more patient, picking off enemies one at a time. There are a few primary gameplay elements at work. First is light itself. You can control fire and light as you progress, lighting pyres as you progress. As you do that, however, the enemies will be hard at work putting out the lights, trying to gain the upper hand in combat.

In addition to monitoring your HP, you also have a corruption bar and limited stamina. Stamina allows you to quickly dodge in and out of battle, and is a significant, but all too scarce, resource as you get swarmed by monsters. As you progress your corruption bar also increases, and as it does, you become cursed. There are 14 curses in game, and the ones you get will dramatically change the way the room might be played. Some curses simply reduce HP, while others will cause enemies to explode in a chain reaction of mayhem. Survive to find an altar, and you can make a payment, in either gold (if you have enough) or blood (which increases corruption and leads to more curses) to unlock more powerful abilities.

Curse of the Dead Gods is in early access now on Steam for $14.99. If you enjoy a rogue-lite dungeon crawler with a high degree of difficulty, this game might be just up your alley – but you will die. A lot. Consider yourself warned.