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Monday, May 20, 2024

Climb some psychic crystals and get dreamcrungled in the latest Caves of Qud release

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Delightfully strange classical roguelike Caves of Qud got an update today, adding the final region of Qud’s late-game and a new stretch of the main quest to go with it. Qud has had lots of updates in between, but this is the first addition to the main quest since the Tomb of the Eaters a few years back.

The Moon Stair update is a big one, and adds all manner of new critters and items alongside the Moon Stair itself, a region partially terraformed into psychic-power-inflected biomes by crystals. It also includes a new village, such as they are in the post-apocalyptic science-fantasy landscape of Qud, with Chavvah, the Tree of Life and its NPCs.

It also has the latest in Qud’s UX and UI overhaul, which has brought an ever-greater level of accessibility to the game. While it’s a very traditional roguelike in many ways, its new UI has added a lot of multifunctional support for controllers and mouse stuff. This latest design pass tweaks broad rendering like play area, and also new UI bits for things like targeting, options, and the help screens.

Of course, no Qud update would be complete without delightfully gibberish additions like the following: “Added a new liquid: warm static,” which is apparently something you can drink. Not good enough? Perhaps “Horns now regrow properly if you do not have a head and then grow a new one” is more your speed. This is, after all, the game where you can have like 12 arms.

Qud has only gotten easier to play over the years, and I’d encourage anyone interested in science fantasy, dynamic storytelling, deep simulation mechanics, or classic roguelikes to dive in posthaste. Hundreds of joyous hours await you.

As do new creatures, such as the: “zero jell, unimax, dawning ape, n-dimensional starshell, dreamcrungle, glow-wight apotheote, monad, and dream wren.” And, as Freehold Games told me in an email, “a lot of extremely weird stuff you’d only find in a region terraformed by psychic crystals.” You can find the full patch notes on Steam.

You can find Caves of Qud on GOG, itch.io, and Steam.

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