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Caves Of Qud’s final update before 1.0 adds new UI, and mouse and gamepad support


Caves Of Qud has been under development for over 15 years, but it’s finally reaching a 1.0 release later this year. Ahead of that happening, it’s received a final major content update which seeks to make the complex, detailed roguelike more approachable. The Spring Molting update, which is out now, makes the user interface work with both mouse and gamepad, adds Steam cloud saves, and more.

Caves Of Qud’s Spring Molting update trailerWatch on YouTube

The new interface does look pretty friendly, with the previously overwhelming amount of text now joined by illustrative quest maps, character build layouts, and so on. It’s enough – when combined with no longer needing to remember umpteen keyboard bindings – to convince me I need to give Qud another go.

The update also refreshes the starting town, giving it “the same lived-in texture as the rest of the world”, according to the press release. There are also hundreds of new sound and visual effects, 40 new achievements, performance improvements, bug fixes, and new narrative elements. There are a full patch notes over on Steam.

Caves Of Qud is the work of Freehold Games, but they’ve partnered with the publisher Kitfox to help get the game ready for its 1.0 release. Kitfox seem to be the de facto choice for making hardcore roguelikes playable to masses, given their work on Dwarf Fortress’s 2022 Steam release.

We haven’t made a proper appraisal of Caves Of Qud since nearly ten years ago, when Marsh Davies covered it for our Premature Evaluation early access column. Marsh found plenty to excite him in Qud’s procedural generation and systemic flexibility, but ultimately felt it required “more persistent, self-flagellating or forgiving gamers” than he to really scratch beneath its surfaces. Hopefully this update, and 1.0 to follow, will change that – for my sake, if not for Marsh’s.



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