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New, dark survival RPG feels like a brutal Stardew Valley

Revive your fallen kingdom, battle plague-infested foes, and rescue your citizens in pixel art action RPG Kingsgrave, available right now.

Zelda meets Stardew Valley in this grim 2D action RPG out now on Steam: The king from Kingsgrave looks left with a grey, stone-like scene behind him.

When a plague has struck your kingdom, laying waste to a once-thriving land, causing grotesque creatures to walk the earth, and your citizens to flee in a desperate bid for survival, there’s only one thing you can do. Obviously, you have head out and put your enemies to the sword, re-earning your right to call yourself king. In Kingsgrave that’s exactly what you’ll be doing, and it’s out right now on Steam.

Returned to the land of the living, Kingsgrave slips you into the moth-eaten ermine robe of a long-dead king, reawakened to save your people and guide them back home. Of course, a king is nothing without a kingdom, so this gloomy 2D action RPG game tasks you with defeating the plagued creatures that have blighted the land. You’ll also be solving a ton of puzzles along the way in classic Legend of Zelda style.

It’s not all fighting and puzzle solving, however. Kingsgrave also has a dash of Stardew Valley added to its mix as you rebuild settlements throughout your quest. Gather resources and then head back to safety to craft some buildings, ready for rescued citizens to populate and in turn power up your royal abilities. It all feeds into a loop whereby you venture into the wilderness, defeat horrible monsters, solve puzzles to bring your lost citizens home, build homes for them in order to make you more powerful, and head back out again.

The king from Kingsgrave is attacking plagued monsters on a sickly-green field.

On paper it might seem that a Legend of Zelda and Stardew Valley mashup might be a cheery affair but if you couldn’t tell already Kingsgrave is aiming at something entirely grimmer. Everything in your kingdom is soaked in greens and browns all rendered in a rich 2D pixel art style. It’s almost reminiscent of the poison swamps FromSoftware is so enamoured with, though maybe a little less dismal than those can often be.

If, like me, you’re partial to something a little gloomy and grim, Kingsgrave’s mix of top-down action RPG combat, fiendish puzzle solving, and settlement building might just scratch an itch you didn’t know you had.

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If these fallen lands call to you, Kingsgrave is out now on Steam and you can pick it up with a 10% discount, running until Wednesday, May 1.

If you fancy carving off a piece of combat for yourself, our guide to the best action adventure games will satisfy your bloodthirsty urges. Instead should you desire something a little more sedate and filled with building, check out our guide to the best games like Stardew Valley.

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