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Exciting new indie RPG Arco gets a free Steam demo, and I’m hooked

New tactical action RPG Arco is an exciting indie game with a Western setting, and you can try its free demo ahead of Steam Next Fest.

New indie RPG Arco gets free Steam demo - A person wearing a poncho looks out over a desert landscape with their llama companion.

Blending exploration and decision-making with tactical turn-based RPG combat that would make the likes of Baldur’s Gate 3, Like A Dragon Infinite Wealth, or Into the Breach proud, Arco is a beautiful pixel-art new indie game that tells the story of “three tales forged in bloodshed, laced with magic, and united by revenge.” With a free demo now available to play ahead of Steam Next Fest, I’ve been spending plenty of time with Arco, and I’m already having a lot of fun.

The first part of Arco is narrative-led exploration, where you’ll explore its South American-inspired environments, meet and hold conversations with all manner of people, and decide how to approach its various promising, rewarding, or dangerous, situations. Get into a fight, however, and Arco becomes a delightful turn-based RPG with an emphasis on positional, tactical combat.

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Arco’s fights are a mix of real-time and turn-based that reminds me of the excellent but oft-overlooked 2011 strategy game Frozen Synapse. Each turn, you set the actions for all your characters – whether that’s drawing out a path for them to move or choosing from one of their numerous abilities – and then both you and the enemies play out your turn simultaneously.

The result is a very satisfying dance, especially as more characters get involved. Movement replenishes your Magia, the resource used for your other skills, so you’ll want to keep on the move both to dodge incoming attacks and to replenish your own abilities. With over 70 different skills to unlock and more than 100 items available to find along your journey, I’m very excited to see how Arco’s combat expands as you progress further through the full game.

Arco is set to launch in 2024, and you can download a free demo now on Steam. With a tutorial to get you used to the basics, a taste of the game’s story mode and exploration, and a rather robust selection of arena fights that might well keep you coming back over and over as much as I have, it’s well worth a look.

Looking for more? We’ve rounded up the best indie games in 2024 if you’re looking for more that you might have missed, along with our pick of the best RPGs on PC.

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