Infra Arcana

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Infra Arcana
Stable game
Developer Martin Törnqvist
Theme H.P. Lovecraft, horror, mystery, cults
Influences H.P. Lovecraft, Horror movies, The PC game 'Blood'
Released June 5, 2011 (1.0)
Updated September 24, 2023 (22.1.0)
Licensing Freeware, Open source
P. Language C++, SDL
Platforms Windows, Linux
Interface ASCII (via SDL), Tiles, Keyboard
Game Length Medium
Official site of Infra Arcana

Infra Arcana is a Roguelike set in the early 20th century. The goal is to explore the lair of a dreaded cult called The Church of Starry Wisdom. Buried deep beneath their hallowed grounds lies an artefact called The Shining Trapezohedron - a window to all secrets of the universe. Your ultimate goal is to unearth this artefact.

The theme and inspiration for this game comes mainly from the horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft. The game also draws flavor from various B-horror movies, as well as the first-person shooter PC game Blood.

As a Roguelike - the game adheres to the virtues of the genre, such as high replay value and challenging tactical game play.

Features and Mechanics

  • 6 player classes: War Veteran, Rogue, Ghoul, Occultist, Exorcist, and Flagellant
  • 20th century equipment: pitchforks, tommy guns, sticks of dynamite
  • Many lovecraft-inspired enemies: cultists, deep ones, floating horrors
  • Experience is mostly gathered by discovering new items and enemies and descending the dungeon. You don't get experience for killing enemies.
  • Level-ups let you choose one of many powerful, passive traits.
  • The typical hunger system is replaced by mental shock. Seeing monsters and spending time on a dungeon level will increase your shock, but it is reset when descending stairs. Letting it reach the max will push you closer to insanity and give you negative traits and phobias.
  • Stealth is a viable strategy. As you don't get xp from killing anyway, you can often entirely avoid enemies.
  • Occult magic spells found on scrolls can be memorized and cast on demand, but this will cost spirit points and running out of them will kill you.
  • Bad wounds can't be regenerated passively and require medical treatment.
  • Excellent use of spooky ambient sounds.