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This new Steam game is Stardew Valley reimagined as a turn-based RPG

Hermit and Pig is a new turn-based RPG game that sees the duo set off on a delightful rural adventure to unveil sinister corporate doings.

Hermit and Pig is like Stardew Valley as a turn-based RPG - An elderly man and his porcine companion, both wearing yellow beanie hats, cross a ditch by walking over a fallen log in a field.

Stardew Valley is an absolute delight, but have you ever wished that you could take on the wildlife (and perhaps even some of its inhabitants) in turn-based RPG combat? With the likes of Honkai Star Rail, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Sea of Stars really tickling our tactical neurons in 2023, it’s only fair that the format turns its eye to the world of peaceful rural exploration. Enter Hermit and Pig, a delightful indie game promising just that, which has already caught my eye with its charming style.

Hermit and Pig comes from Heavy Lunch Studio, and it blends colorful outdoor environments and caverns with combat systems that combine a little of Undertale, a splash of Pokémon, and a dash of the time-sensitive conversations from Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. Showcased as part of the Day of the Devs presentation on Wednesday, December 6, Hermit and Pig is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated turn-based RPG games.

As the eponymous duo, you’re approached by a young girl from a local village. With families unable to afford food and store shelves emptying out, the locals are struggling to survive. It’s up to the pair to head out on a journey taking them far from their comfortable home in the woods, where they typically spend their time foraging for mushrooms and dodging human interaction, as they search for the mysterious ‘Jumbo  Fungo’ and gradually uncover a sinister corporate conspiracy.

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Unfortunately, you’ll encounter a lot of violent wildlife and even some hostile locals along your journey, so it’s for the best that Hermit has a rather useful wilderness survival handbook at hand. Executing each move requires a short button input to pull off, typically consisting of several directional inputs as though you’re a Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat character.

You’ll also be able to gather mushrooms and truffles with Pig’s help, which can then be used for a variety of effects. Some will heal you, others can buff you, while yet more can be used to attack your enemies. You’ll even be able to trade and barter your mushrooms with people for other goods, and maybe even discover some hidden bonuses.

As mentioned before, there’s also a battle-style conversation system where you’ll have to try to overcome Hermit’s social anxiety to offer responses to the people you meet without stumbling too much over your thoughts and words. Succeed in your endeavors and you’ll be able to learn more clues as to what’s going on in the village and its surrounding area.

Hermit and Pig - The duo investigate a small outhouse in a tree-filled glade, gathering mushrooms from the environment nearby.

Hermit and Pig doesn’t yet have a set release date, although closed beta testing is underway. For now, you can head to the game’s Steam store page for additional details on its development progress, or to add it to your wishlist.

We’ve picked out even more of the best indie games you should be playing in 2023, along with more of the biggest and best upcoming games to keep your eyes on.

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