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Promising dwarven roguelike indie game readies four big updates

Below the Stone, a roguelike game blending Spelunky, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and Deep Rock Galactic, has four large updates on the way.

A lot of fantastic roguelikes hit Steam throughout the past twelve months, but Below the Stone charmed me perhaps the most among them all. Mixing the top-down cave exploration of Crypt of the Necrodancer with the spirit of Spelunky and the rambunctious dwarven spirit that makes Deep Rock Galactic such a joy, this Steam Early Access indie game has my full attention, and I can’t wait to see what gems developer Strollart digs up over the coming months.

A delightful pixel-art treat that learns from some of the best roguelike games, along with some smart touches from the likes of Minecraft and Terraria, Below the Stone sees you carving your way through cavern walls in search of treasure, additional gear, and more secrets, all while fighting off waves of enemies.

I took a look at the Below the Stone Steam demo when the game launched in early access and was so immediately taken by it that I bought myself a copy there and then, and I’ve been having lots of fun with the full version, which already holds a ‘very positive’ Steam rating from the players that have checked it out so far.

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Strollart thanks players for the positive initial reception, saying, “It’s a gem to be able to wake up every day and see you enjoying what we created.” It outlines the Below the Stone update roadmap for the first half of the year, which it says is based on feedback from fans and includes four notable update cycles seen below. These kick off with the Fashion update in January, with new cosmetics and quality-of-life features such as keybinds and an improved map.

Following that is Caves Awaken, part one of which is scheduled for February/March and will expand the existing biomes with new enemies, threats, and ‘cave events’ that can happen either as you explore, or if you spend too long lingering around during your descent without progressing. A second part will follow in April/May, with more work on the caves including new sub-biomes, new missions and run modifiers, and further upgrades to the hub town including additional allies to unlock.

Below the Stone update roadmap for the first half of 2024 - Descriptions of four upcoming planned updates for the dwarven exploration game.

Finally, June/July will bring the Layer Three update, which Strollart says will place a “heavy focus on new biome content including new monsters, NPC allies, side quests, and much more.” The team says it hopes that the roadmap will inspire discussions with fans, asking you to “let us know what you are excited for in these updates.” I’m really enjoying the core of Below the Stone so far, so I’m looking forward to seeing the team flesh it out further.

Until then, we’ve picked out more of the best indie games that you won’t want to miss in 2024, along with all the best upcoming PC games we’re looking forward to this year.

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