We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Striking new pixel RPG puts a spin on the genre, you can try it now

This gorgeous top-down pixel RPG has a free Steam demo for a limited time, and a really unique potion mechanic you need to try yourself.

Ada Tainted Soil free Steam demo: a giant turtle in a pixel art style, stood in front of a small person

I’m always on the lookout for videogames with stunning pixel art. While a lot about the medium has aged over the last few decades, good pixel art never goes out of style. Ada: Tainted Soil is a game that caught my eye, this top-down RPG about brewing, drinking, and throwing potions is out later this year. But it also just dropped a limited-time demo for Steam’s Endless Replayability Fest, and it’s well worth checking out.

Just like with other top-down adventures akin to Hyper Light Drifter, Ada: Tainted Soil is all about exploring a pixelated world, finding upgrades and secrets, fighting tough enemies, and trying not to die. An RPG with absolutely gorgeous visuals, you’ve only got a week or so to download the demo on Steam, so get on it.

What sets Ada apart is its alchemy system. Instead of just finding potions to heal or boost stats, you need to brew them yourself. You’ll collect herbs, crystals, vials, and plenty of ingredients for these potions, all of which have a variety of effects; you can heal yourself, boost abilities, and even throw some at enemies and the environment for devastating results. It’s a creative choice that ties you to the world you’re exploring through consumables and environmental reactions, and I’m all for it.

Ada’s world is also unique in its approach to exploration. You can go wherever you like from the start, as long as you can contend with the creatures in your way, and there are multiple fast travel mechanics to help you across short and long distances. There’s even a bit of roguelike DNA in the world design too, which I love. While every zone in Ada is handcrafted pixel-by-pixel, the areas that connect them are procedurally generated. So every time you play the path, resources, and enemies will all be a little different.

YouTube Thumbnail

Armed with your homemade potions, weapons in hand, and a dodge roll (can never go wrong with one of those), Ada’s combat looks like a slick blend of Hyper Light Drifter and Enter the Gungeon. There’s even some sort of giant tortoise creature and spindly spiders, so Ada is really selling me on the wacky enemies department too.

Ada: Tainted Soil currently has a planned release date of Q3 2024 on Steam, but you can play the free demo right now. The demo is available until the end of Steam’s Endless Replayability Fest on Monday May 20.

If you’re looking for more we’ve got the best single-player games you can play right now, alongside the biggest upcoming PC games to keep an eye on.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.