Niche Spotlight – Source of Madness

H.P Lovecraft’s influence lives on in movies, shows and books, but no medium can be more interactive than video games to deliver the true cosmic horror experience.

One of the themes in Lovecraft’s work was of horror so incomprehensible that the human brain could not perceive it in its truest form, which matches perfectly with the current state of AI art.

So for today’s Niche Spotlight we’re looking at Source of Madness, a 2D roguelike that makes use of AI art’s assistance to bring the game’s unfathomable monsters to life.

AI art has raised quite a few concerns when it comes to its usage, but the game has some beautiful environments and the technology was clearly used to enhance assets rather than to lazily create them.

This can be easily shown in the game’s massive hub area, a cathedral where all of the game’s cultists gather:

The enemies in the game are built from multiple incomprehensible parts and move in uncanny ways, it is hard to even understand what you are looking at before it lunges at the player.

Most creatures are made up of multiple animal parts and gore, making it a challenge to even understand what composes them.

The game’s cutscenes mostly feature giant towers sprawling out of the ground amidst ruined cities, which make use of AI to give them an eerie look.

There’s quite a few of these moments in Source of Madness which show an absolutely ruined world that has been corrupted beyond understanding, and these moments set the mood quite nicely.

Source of Madness is living proof that AI art can be used for creative endeavors in a good way, and it also happens to be a fun roguelike with some really cool themes.

You can find the rundown (via Steam) below:

Source of Madness is a side-scrolling dark action roguelite set in the Loam Lands, a twisted Lovecraftian inspired world powered by procedural generation and AI machine learning.

Take on the role of a new Acolyte as they embark on a nightmarish odyssey. Uncover the cosmic secrets of the Loam Lands and The Tower of Madness, the moon’s mysterious Citadel.


  • HORDES OF NIGHTMARISH BEASTS – The horrific monsters you face are never the same, concocted with procedural generation and animated using a neural network AI
  • DEEP GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS – Explosive close-combat magic, labyrinthine environmental exploration, powerful loot management and a skill tree filled with abilities, classes, and spells
  • EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPES – Rendered in a beautiful AI assisted art style, the fascinating world of the Loam Lands reveals a deep arcane lore as players uncover its many secrets

Source of Madness is now available for PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).

If you are a developer and want your game showcased on Niche Spotlight, please contact us!

This is Niche Spotlight. In this column, we regularly introduce new games to our fans, so please leave feedback and let us know if there’s a game you want us to cover!

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Fan of skeletons, plays too many video games, MMO addict, soul-like and character action enthusiast.

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