Shardpunk: Verminfall

Posted:  Apr 14, 2023
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Cloud Saves


Shardpunk: Verminfall was provided by Retrovibe for review. Thank you!

XCOM meets Darkest Dungeon in this turn-based tactical game! Shardpunk: Verminfall will see you exploring grid-based levels and utilizing the tactical opportunities to defend and defeat your enemies as you escape the city. Put together your crew, each with unique abilities, perks, and equipment, and scavenge resources and upgrades to keep your team alive from the rat swarm closing in. Will you make it out alive? Only time will tell!

Shardpunk: Verminfall takes some of the elements I really enjoy out of its influences and drops them into a really enjoyable, small game. I love the victorian-style visuals mixed with steampunk design, culminating in a unique presentation and vibe that keeps my interest across all 3 districts in the game. Sometimes it can feel just a little too difficult, but there is good balance as long as you make the right decisions. I also like that you have to manage stress or passive negative effects will befall your team.

Overall, the turn-based combat and scavenging gameplay loop is great, the visual theme is wonderful, and I really enjoy the game. Unfortunately, it is just a little hard to fully enjoy on the Steam Deck.

Shardpunk: Verminfall - Steam Deck Performance

The good thing here is Shardpunk: Verminfall does run really well on the Steam Deck! It does drain a bit more than I would expect, reaching 14W - 15W battery drain, but lowering the framerate to 40 FPS helps keep the drain below 11W, usually around 9W, and doesn't compromise the gameplay. This change to framerate adds around 1.5 - 2 hours of battery and further stabilizes the game.

Other than that, there are no other changes in settings needed to play! I did notice that there's some slight slowdown when moving characters, but setting the framerate to 40 helps mitigate this a lot.

The game supports 1280x800 resolution and has cloud save support, which is fantastic, but the biggest issue I have is the controls.

Controller Woes

In the beginning, when looking at the game, I didn't see a mention of official controller support, and since Shardpunk: Verminfall defaulted to Keyboard and Mouse, I proceeded to make a controller layout for it. While the controls aren't perfect, and trying to use a combination of the left and right mouse clicks is weird, the controller layout helps a lot. Using A to take actions, X to search, R4 and L4 to cycle characters, and a radial menu to select 1 of the 8 actions each character can do really helps significantly. Make sure to press the selection twice using the radial menu to select and use the corresponding action.

You can find the controller layout under "Shardpunk Steam Deck Layout" in the community layouts section!


After I made this, I actually discovered the game does have controller support, but it isn't enabled by default. After checking the Xbox Controller layout, I felt the KB+M one that I created was much nicer. Navigating using R2 and using the actions felt a bit confusing to me and I liked that I could move the mouse with the right touchpad to make selecting options easier. So I would personally recommend using the layout with KB+M.


Shardpunk: Verminfall takes some of my favorite elements from turn-based shooters and roguelite games and puts them into a victorian, steampunk package. The game is punishing and requires strategy and tactics to keep your team alive and their stress down, which is a nice balance! While the game runs alright, the controls are a little bit odd at times, but after I got used to them, the game felt significantly better. For the price they are asking, I would definitely consider this a worthwhile purchase though!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Shardpunk: Verminfall is a great looking game that combines some of the best elements from XCOM and games like Darkest Dungeon into an awesome setting. While the game runs great on the Steam Deck, the controls feel very weird which can negatively effect the experience.

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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