Dark and Darker: First Game of its kind takes Fan Hearts by Storm

Published: Dec. 16, 2022
Updated: Dec. 16, 2022

German English

The Extraction RPG Dark and Darker from the Korean developer studio Ironmace has conquered thousands of fans' hearts in the first playable tests. In this article, our author Kevin Link explains how the unique gameplay works and what Dark and Darker is all about.

An Extraction RPG?! Yes, exactly. Unlike Escape from Tarkov, or most recently, Marauders, Dark and Darker don't rely on firearms and fast-paced combat. Instead, there is classic dungeon-crawler gameplay with role-playing elements. You create a character that belongs to a certain class. With this character, you'll go into the dark dungeon repeatedly to search for valuable loot and hopefully escape.

A Dungeon-Crawler in a modern guise - Dark and Darker combines old Principles with new Genre

The first pictures I saw of Dark and Darker immediately reminded me of old games like Eye of the Beholder or Ultima Online. That's why I had to know what Dark and Darker is about. After a short research, it was clear to me that a good old dungeon crawler combined with the Extraction genre is currently on the rise.

So for me, as a fan of this genre, it was clear that I had to test this new game. So in the last test phase in October, the time had come. Alone or with other brave fighters, I threw myself into the dark dungeons to return with wealth and glory. In the following, I will briefly explain the gameplay loop of Dark and Darker.

The Gameplay Loop of Dark and Darker

  • Choose a class and create a character.
  • If needed, invite more comrades-in-arms to join your group.
  • Get into the dungeon by game-searching with other players who are not friendly.
  • In search of new equipment and gold, do not die in battle against the numerous monsters of the dungeon.
  • Always be alert for other adventurers and dodge or attack them occasionally to get their loot.
  • With the zone getting smaller, move further into the dungeon's center.
  • Use one of the portals spawning towards the end to either get out of the dungeon or deeper into it.
    • Blue Portal: Here, you come out of the dungeon again and can sell your loot at various merchants and buy new items.
    • Red Portal: These portals take you one level deeper into the dungeon. In addition to more valuable loot, heavier monsters and a boss await you here.
  • Sell loot, buy new items, prepare and enter the dungeon again.

Since the game is still in development and is not expected to be released until the end of 2023, the current loop will probably change. Even in the current test phase, it is possible to mine ores in the dungeon and turn them into equipment. Quests and much more are also planned for the finished game. I love the extraction genre and find the mixture with a melee RPG successful.

Dark and Darker Vorstellung Preview Review Playtest

One of the many traps in Dark and Darker.

Did you know the game before this post, or are you now interested in taking a closer look at the game? There is currently a one-week playtest taking place. To participate, all you have to do is search for Dark and Darker in Steam.

Click here for the article with all the latest information on the playtest

If you want to check out the game before downloading it, you can find our Author Kevin live on his Twitch-Channel almost every evening during playtest around 8 pm. You can ask questions in German or English.


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