Benjamin "Yahtzee" Croshaw, best known for his Zero Punctuation game reviews, has revealed he's working on a new game. The Consuming Shadow, currently in beta, is described as a "survival horror roguelike."
"The idea came to me almost exactly a year ago, during my Christmas break from ZP," Croshaw said on his blog. "I'd been playing a lot of FTL: Faster Than Light at the time, which is a game I quite enjoy. I like the sense of being a small thing up against massive odds, having to prepare yourself with the constant threat of your pursuer hanging over you. It occurred to me that that sort of gameplay would fit a Lovecraftian setting very well, and thus were the seeds planted for Consuming Shadow. I've been working on it pretty solidly since then."
In Consuming Shadow, the player must uncover information on a Banishment Ritual. This ritual is the only way that you'll be able to prevent an evil deity from entering our world and killing us all. You must gather runes and figure out which god is trying to invade.
Our hero has 72 hours to scour England the information they need. They'll explore randomly generated dungeons and deal with all sorts of chance encounters along the way. Oh, and if you die, you're screwed.
"Everything will be lost: ammo, equipment, information, everything. You must go back to square one with everything re-randomized: the dungeons, the ritual, the invading god, and all the facts relating to the gods. However, with each death you are awarded XP based on how much progress you made, and each level you attain adds an upgrade you can apply at the start of each life. The game is intended to be obscure and challenging at first; you're not expected to pass it on your first attempt, but to use each life to learn a bit more about how things work and how to handle the minions of the shadow."
If you're interested in giving the game a whirl, you can download it here. Croshaw is hoping to collect feedback so that he can continue to refine the game. His ultimate plan is to create a full version with additional types of dungeons, events and monsters. Said version would also include monster profiles and unlockable playable characters with different abilities.
Screenshots of Consuming Shadow are below, along with a video of someone else playing it.