A Dark Room was something of an enigma when it first appeared on the App Store - it still is in a way. Here's this text-only game that starts out with nothing but a fire that needs to be stoked in order to keep you warm, that then expands into an unexpectedly large (and depressing) adventure. And now a prequel called The Ensign is on its way to the App Store. Time to get excited!
The Ensign will shed some light on the events that took place before A Dark Room - possibly explaining just what happened to the world to make it so inhospitable - but it's not the same type of game. A Dark Room had you delegating tasks to other survivors and expanding your base of operations while simultaneously exploring the wasteland. The Ensign will focus much more on the exploration side of things. Perks will be replaced with artifacts that can enhance your abilities, there will be new dungeons that won't simply funnel you in a single direction, weapons will break if you aren't careful, and a new (presumably horrible) enemy will stalk you all over the map.
Another key difference is that The Ensign is being designed to be extremely difficult. You will die a lot, but the idea is for you to learn from each death so that you can progress a little further each time. It's also meant to be highly-replayable, which is good since that's exactly what you're going to be doing a lot - because you'll probably die all the time.
The Ensign is still in beta, but we'll definitely keep you updated as we learn more about the release date and price.