bitSmith Games
Based in Dublin, Ireland

Release date:
March 4th 2015 (Early Access)

PC (Mac, Linux to follow)


Price: $15 / 15  / £10.99


Click Here to Request Press Steam Key



FranknJohn is a head-smashing action RPG with rogue-like elements. Battle your way through a horror house full of b-movie inspired creations and delve into the demented mind of your creator, Dr. Harmin.


The Past

FranknJohn has been in development since Summer 2013. The team brought an early prototype to GDC13 which provided them with a platform to continue developing the game. The game was inspired by Paul’s memory of being a lonely, vulnerable child in a strange world, where he kicked and scrapped his way through it until it made sense. The sense of detachment when growing up as you figure out who you are is something people can resonate with. 

Yep, heavy stuff, but then you swing your head around on a chain at the same time. Think of Tim Burton meets Frankenstein and you wouldn't be far off.

The game has been demo'd at PAX East, Eurogamer Expo,and Rezzed and exposed to tens of thousands of people. Ben Prunty (FTL, Gravity Ghost) is writing the soundtrack.

The Future

FranknJohn is available on Steam Early Access and the team will be working closely with the community over the coming months to make the best game they can make.

A decision was taken early on to open up it’s development to the community. Bringing the game to Steam Early Access will provide the perfect platform to engage with the community.

Features (Early access)

  • Smash enemies with FranknJohn's weaponized head
  • Experiment with 15 different Skullcaps that alter gameplay in many different ways
  • Huge skill tree. Collect shiny Marbles and use them to upgrade your stats
  • Randomly generated adventure. A new experience with each new life
  • Battle through the first area of the game, The Garden of Denial
  • Perma-death, challenging enemies and the spider Queen Sheela will test the sternest of players
  • Glorious soundtrack by Ben Prunty (FTL/Gravity Ghost)
  • Explore FrankJohn's underground hideout

FEATURES (Planned)

  • More areas - The Furnace of Anger, The Cistern of Depression and The Lab of Isolation
  • More variety, challenges and secrets - We have lot's of fun stuff in store
  • More Skullcaps -  so much fun to make we want to keep making them forever
  • More enemies - Each new area will have roughly the same amount of enemies currently available
  • More bosses - Dr. Harmins most prized creations are being readied for battle
  • Local co-op - play with a friend! Currently in closed-testing and will be launching soon
  • More glorious soundtrack by Ben Prunty

Playing with Skullcaps

Co-op: Two Heads are Better than One




Selected Articles

Eurogamer - FranknJohn, the brawler that requires Skulls as well as Skills

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Heads You Lose, Then Get Back Again

"An adorable roguelike"-Destructoid

"The freedom to make my head spasm sold it to me" - Rock Paper Shotgun

"A Frankenstein's monster, something unique" - Eurogamer 

"I'm in." - Patrick Klepek Giant Bomb


Paul Conway - Project Lead, Game Designer
Owen Harris - Producer, Game Designer
Robby Becker - Programmer
Basil Lim - 2D and 3D Art, Animation
Ralph Croly - UI, Audio
Ben Prunty - Music

content based on preskit() by Rami Ismail - those guys are awesome