A downloadable game for Windows

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Zorbus is a free, fantasy-themed, graphical, turn-based, role-playing roguelike game. Your goal is to delve deep into a dungeon, find a portal to a mythical place called the Zorbus, where a mere mortal can ascend to demigodhood. You don't have to adventure alone, but can recruit other creatures along the way.

Thematically Zorbus draws influence from the late 70s and early 80s tabletop D&D campaigns, adventures and lore.

The game tries to create a dungeon which feels alive, eventful and rich in content. Something more than just empty rooms and corridors. Diversely shaped levels with themed content (throne rooms, prisons, hidden treasure caches, etc.) with good connectivity between the areas.

The dungeon denizens act intelligently, fight each other, flee when threatened and try to gather their friends to overcome a threat. Most creatures can use items and can also pick them up from the dungeon floor. Creatures are not silent either, but comment on things with speech bubbles.

The dungeon has dynamic lighting. There are light sources as dungeon furniture and in the hands of creatures and these both can be lit and unlit. Some creatures have darkvision. Creatures react to light and sound.

The game has over 2000 sound effects to truly make the dungeon feel alive.

Zorbus is already a stable game, but development still continues with more content and more polishing.


Being a roguelike game, Zorbus creates the dungeon randomly, so that every played game is slightly different. The game uses permadeath, meaning that when a character dies, it really is permanent and the player must begin a new game. You can save the game, but the save file is deleted when loaded. Zorbus does not have item identification or a hunger mechanic.


The rule system for the game is slightly influenced by the d20 system used in the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Zorbus has experience levels but no character classes (race is selected). On each level up, you point buy skills and talents (mostly combat maneuvers and spells).


Zorbus needs Windows 7 or newer, but can be run on Linux with Wine and on Mac OS X with Wine, Wineskin or WineBottler.


Keybindings are configurable. Mouse control is supported, but is not ideal for playing the game. The game has a targeting system, making it very easy to use ranged attacks or talents. Usable items and talents can be assigned to quickslots.

Display size can be configured. You can play in windowed mode or fullscreen and with 32x32-, 48x48- or 64x64-pixel tile graphics or ASCII characters. The font can be changed and text size can be adjusted.


The download button is a link to the homepage (www.zorbus.net), so it always downloads the latest release. If you enable the option "Check for updates on start" from the settings (it's enabled by default), you'll be informed when a new release is available and asked if you want to update. The check is made when the game is started.

Save files are not compatible between releases! You will lose your saved games and previously ascended characters from the save folder!


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Development log


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Definitely putting this on my list of games to play! Looks like loads of fun!


About keybinds: 

I suggest to reduce the number of key bindings to 4 buttons for movement,  8 buttons for abilities and 3 button for misc. (like in the uploaded joystick photo), but the player can use two abilities buttons at the same time to use some abilities exp: yell, using companion, swap between weapons. 

It will make this game less harder to play


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After trying a whole bunch of roguelikes (including DCSS), this is the one that finally "clicked" for me, and I love it.  The atmosphere created by the sound effects, the tilesets, the AI and the dialogue is great. The game itself plays nice and smooth, with all the usual bits working flawlessly and its own additions fitting in with no issue (e.g. condensing everything down to health and stamina even for mages). I especially liked the various nods to other roguelikes and RPGs, namely the Amulet of Yendor having actual worthwhile stats rather than just being either wearable godmode or an otherwise-useless "you win" object like in several other roguelikes where it appears. Every bit of this game oozes love and dedication put into it, makes me wish I'd heard of it and played it sooner.

Started playing this a couple days ago in release 31, so 32 coming out and adding all these new features today was a pleasant surprise after failing my last attempt at ascension the night before. The sprite bobbing not only looking nice but being customizable is really neat, I left it as is personally but having choices is always good. I also appreciate the quality-of-life features, namely the blue summon healthbars and the info you added to the player handbook at the start (I didn't notice that summon kills gave no XP until I read that bit, whoops).

My first and so far only successful run was today as a gnome mage ("Redingles") with the Natural Leader and Team Spirit perks, coupled with spamming Energy Bolt at the start and then some of the better direct damage spells as I unlocked them. By the end, I was riding a tidal wave of hippo-men and skeletons in plate armor, raining down acid clouds, fireballs, chain lighting and banshee shrieks like nuclear artillery fire  on anything unfortunate enough to have/develop a non-green health bar within view. Ended up ascending by wiping out Mrogna with the above army, some additional figurine/horn summon spam, two elixir clones, hoarded attack wands and a ton of endurance potions to fuel the spellpocalypse. Ended up being a bit overkill, admittedly, but then again so is the process of killing most oversized spiders.

Special mention goes to the fact that you can just drop the starting staff and start punching goblins and kobolds until they explode into gore, provided you have high enough stats plus Health Surge to offset the beating you'll get back at first. Very few games bother to include any consideration for unarmed combat, so having it be a viable gameplay type instead of an unintended dead end is a real treat. Being able to punch everything from common animals/people to ethereal beings until they cease to exist is part of why I played so much Morrowind, after all.

I hope you keep adding more to this game, assuming there's any more room to add anything as it is. Either way, I'm looking forward to punching everything to death solo, one monster at a time, whenever the mood to do another run hits me.

Big thanks for the feedback! 

Sure! After all, since I've already gotten 57 hours of enjoyment out of this game (according to the itch client) so far, it's only fair that I let you know that you made something awesome and say thanks.

Belle of the ball this week!  Downloaded a passel of roguelikes . . . a dozen?  This was the best!

Thank you!

Wow!  My goodness this is a tasty roguelike - just loads of flavore.

Dungeons are incredibly well generated and wonderfully decorated.  Combat feels so solid.

I really hope this continues!

It is really hard to start with a mage.

This is a really cool game

Could do with a custom  race creator or something simple but it's pretty solid after you learn the controls