A few years before games like Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil made 'survival horror' a thing, FTL's Dungeon Master was one of the scariest things you could play. That might not seem immediately apparent, given that it's a first-person RPG which sees you balancing stuff like the hunger of your group, light levels, magic and many other things, but believe us – this game is one you might struggle to play in the dark.
Dungeon Master was truly groundbreaking and contains many gameplay elements that impress even by modern standards. There's the aforementioned need to keep your warriors well-nourished and watered, for example, and a complex spell system that requires multiple magical symbols to be selected, each one having a different impact on the final spell.
Then there are the monsters, which move in real-time and have the kind of uncanny intelligence that wasn't commonly witnessed back in the late '80s. The game's complete lack of music means you're constantly listening out for audio cues which might indicate a room full of deadly knights, or a couple of 'Screamers' – tree-like enemies which, once slain, drop chunks that can be eaten.
Dungeon Master, like many games from this period, came with a mini-novel which set the scene brilliantly – but in all honesty, it wasn't really needed. It was fun to simply play the game blind and fill in the narrative yourself. A stunning success on Atari ST, Amiga and PC, Dungeon Master would make it to the SNES and PC Engine later, with the much-hyped sequel arriving early in the '90s on computers and the Mega CD. A Japan-only Saturn offering (not coded by FTL) remains the last entry in what could have been a long-lived series.