A dungeon scene in the game Zorbus

Zorbus Dungeon Crawl: Thieves Blood

Greetings! In this Zorbus Dungeon Crawl, I play through level 1 of the dungeon and narrate the events that happen. The name “Kimgrey” was one of the random names that I found as I cycled through. If you are unfamiliar with Zorbus, this gameplay ought to give a sense of what to expect, emergent narrative-wise.

Zorbus is a turn-based, role-playing roguelike developed by Joonas Hirvonen. You can learn more about the game at the Zorbus website.

I’m impressed by Zorbus. I won’t go into detail here on all the roguelike mechanics and features that Joonas decided to use and which ones to lose, like potion identification (yes!). Nonetheless, I will say that it’s smart; well-designed for adventure. The Zorbus website quotes the following:

“This is it. No more fetch quests. No more giant rats. No more grinding. This time, you’re going for gold. This is it. You’re going to be a power.”

Every playthrough is different and interesting. The first floor is fairly easy but it gets more challenging. I recommend this game for people new to roguelikes and people with the Amulet of Yendor in the top drawer of their bureau.

A Bloody Welcome

Kimgrey landed on something wet. His boot stuck in something. He screamed inside, but dare not make a sound as he slipped and stepped back.

There were bones, sinew, and fur of a bloody carcass. An animal of some sort.

Looking around the room, Kimgrey saw a brazier with a small fire burning. There was a book in the corner.

Zorbus dungeon room 1

Picking up the book, he read the title, “Player’s Handbook.” Kimgrey held up the lantern and slowly read before tucking the book in his backpack. “Handy,” he thought.

Slowly stepping into the next room, Kimgrey saw the scaled tail of a lizard move in the shadows.

Getting closer, he realized it was a giant gecko; cute, but hostile. He needed to get past the lizard.

The gecko hissed in warning. Kimgrey swung his staff at the lizard but missed twice. Finally, the third swing managed to kill the gecko. Its tongue hung limply from its jaws.

The Blue Room

The large room had bluestone walls. Rough, broken pillars cast shadows. Kimgrey heard the clicking sound of a many-legged arachnid somewhere.

A small hunched creature with pink skin and black hair moved into the light. It was a gibberling with a fanged muzzle and dark, bestial eyes.

Kimgrey cracked the gibberling hard against the skull and it fell dead in a heap.

Walking around the corner a goblin yelled, “Intruder!”

To quickly quiet the goblin, Kimgrey cast a fire ray, which is a power tieflings are born with.

“Damn you, tiefling!” the goblin moaned.

Zorbus goblin outcast

The goblin succumbed to the burns. The stench of charred fur mingled with the scent of mold and decay of the dungeon.

Walking to the west side of the room, a humanoid mummy and a large beetle attacked.

Kimgrey wished he had picked up the scimitar that the goblin dropped. Leaving it there before proceeding was a greenhorn mistake.

He took some damage but managed to slay the creatures of death.

Strangely, during the fight, a dog appeared nearby. Did it teleport into the room? Was it the spirit of the mummy released into another creature form?

Thief’s Torment

Kimgrey followed the dog into an ominous room to the south. Passing near the scimitar, Kimgrey picked it up and put the staff away.

The dog appeared to fall asleep in the middle of the room. A narcoleptic dog?

The room had humanoid corpses on the floor. Barrels filled with…more corpses. Yuck.

A young thief appeared from behind a pillar. He held a dagger and grinned at Kimgrey. He just stood there with an evil gleam in his eyes. The likely killer was eager to kill some more.

Zorbus young thief

“Time to die, you fool,” said the thief.

The thief leaped aside as a fire ray struck him. Badly damaged now, the young thief pleaded to spare his life. “Don’t hurt me, mister.”

The dog woke up due to the sound of the fire blast.

A large spider moved toward the easy prey. Venom soon flowed though the young thief’s veins.

Necromancy

When the large spider returned to attack, Kimgrey struck it dead with his scimitar.

Carved into the flagstone floor was writing that said, “Do not abuse or you will be punished by the dungeon master.” Kimgrey figured the warning related somehow to the nearby lever.

With a shrug and a muscled heave, he yanked. Bright rays emitted from the switch. A skeleton and a zombie appeared in the room! “What terrible necromantic energy is this?,” Kimgrey thought.

Zorbus necromancy

Kimgrey noticed the shabby abominations did not approach. The skeleton called him “Master.”

Huzzah! Kimgrey now had an adventuring party. Kimgrey named the mummy, “Mumfred” and the skeleton, “Charlie.”

Ambush

Walking through the next room, three thieves magically appeared in the room. An ambush.

“We’re going to rob you, milord,” one thief said.

“I don’t have much to rob, frankly,” sand Kimgrey. “Somehow I doubt that will deter you, bloodthirsty brigands.”

One thief dodged a punch from Charlie.

Another thief clipped Killgrey with his dagger. Kimgrey responded with a hard overhead slash of his scimitar. Blood poured from the large gash.

Shocked by the sight of his mutilated friend, one thief yelled, “No! I’ll get help.” He then ran off. Mumfred and Charlie followed.

Zorbus Ambush by thieves

Kimgrey quickly killed the thief in the south.

The last thief did not get far. The undead attacked him and then pursued him through the adjoining room until he fell.

Kimgrey gathered gold and weapons from fresh corpses. Finally, some sweet loot.

As the adventuring party regrouped, a fox snarled and attacked. Must be deranged or rabid.

Charlie punched and missed.

Kimgrey thrust his blade deep, and the fox howled.

Badly injured, the fox fled.

The dog fell asleep again.

Zorbus sleeping dog

Red Floors

The party stepped into another room with tall, strange totems.

Kimgrey found a large shield on the ground. He lifted it and held it firm in his left hand.

“Why is there blood all over the floor of this room?” Kimgrey asked.

Continuing, they walked down the southwest hallway.

They opened the first wooden door on the right and entered. The floor had an image of a red dragon head. There was a morningstar, a club, and dead bodies littering the floor.

Zorbus red dragon head

Kimgrey put out his hand and said, “Wait. I hear a creaking sound behind the door.”

Shrieker Fungus

Stepping into the next room, a large purple mushroom let out a shriek.

The room had bushes and giant fungi.

Zorbus shrieker fungus

As Kimgrey reached to pick up a bladed shield, Charlie slashed the shrieker fungus to pieces with a dagger.

Related Article: Stoneshard Early Access Review and Beginner Tips
Stoneshard will kill you—often perhaps—but character progression and the call of adventure will make you even more determined to continue.

Thanks for reading this Zorbus dungeon crawl.

As you might gather, I didn’t quite cover everything. After going into more rooms and hallways the group made it to the stairs to the next level. Along the way, they found weapons on alters, teleporters, an elephant (!), a centipede, and two large rats.

So what do you think? Does Zorbus sound like an interesting game to you? Have you played Zorbus? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

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Ernest Scribner
Ernest Scribner

Practitioner of games. Caster of words. Shares game wisdom, stories, and shenanigans with fellow adventurers. Emergent Mage like you.

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