Stoneshard is the name of the second title by Ink Stains Games, whose first release was 12 is Better Than 6 in 2015. Recently, publishers HypeTrain Digital (who also handled the release of the studio’s first title) posted a new trailer for Stoneshard, outlining some of the game’s core features and showcasing what makes its roguelike mechanics unique in a video game landscape already crowded with games that incorporate roguelike elements. Stoneshard looks to stand out from the bunch by rolling back the clock to the time when the subgenre became popular its first time around — unlike some of its contemporaries, Stoneshard looks legitimately hardcore.
Which is to say that, while most modern day roguelikes are difficult, the specific distinction of “roguelite” has come into semi-frequent use to describe a multitude of modern roguelike-inspired games with progression systems that carry certain things over from one run to the next. Stoneshard includes none of that, with each procedurally generated run starting the player off with nothing more than they had when opening the game for the very first time. While the death of the player character doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a run, a game mode called “Ironman” makes it an option.
On top of that, an injury system adds considerable depth to health management, beyond simply keeping track of an HP bar. Players are required to track the health and injury status of six different parts of the body and manage their individual states with a variety of healing items. Mental health is a concern too, and that can be maintained either in the traditional manner or through self-medication, so to speak (ranging from alcohol to something called “stardust”).
A turn-based RPG combat system is complicated by over 100 skills and more than 200 items of collectible gear, unrestricted by a class system, leaving character builds entirely up to the whims of the player. Exploration takes place in an open world, meaning that, in addition to character progression, plot and overworld exploration will vary from one individual run to another as well.
Stoneshard will launch on Steam Early Access on February 6th. More information about the game can be found on its official website.
Source: Ink Stain Games
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