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Chaotic new co-op roguelike kicks off public Steam playtest

Co-op roguelike Lost Castle 2 begins its second public playtest on Steam, letting you get hands-on with a free demo of the early levels.

Lost Castle 2 - Pink flames pour from a heavy horned helmet.

As we get our first glimpses of Hades 2 and Slay the Spire 2, it’s a good time to be a fan of roguelike games of all shapes and sizes. Cutting its way through the crowd is Lost Castle 2, a sequel to the 2016 co-op action roguelite that blends Castle Crashers-style combat with character, upgrade, and progression systems akin to those of Rogue Legacy and Dead Cells. Now, thanks to a new public playtest that’s available as a free Steam demo, you and your friends can jump in and check out the latest developments ahead of its early access launch.

With the first game scoring a very respectable 87% Steam rating (with a recent minor blip caused primarily by issues with an update in February that was later rectified), Lost Castle 2 looks set to build on what it established, striking a balance between satisfying systemic depth and an approachable combat style that makes it a perfect addition to your crew’s regular roster of co-op games.

My time with the first playtest, which took place in February, felt like a promising upgrade from the original roguelike game and made me curious to try it in co-op where the first game really shined most. There are some welcome options, including full visual character customization to help you stand out from your teammates and the ability to swap out your starting weapon each run between three possible choices, meaning you’re never forced into using something you simply can’t stand.

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As you progress through runs, choosing your path through the forests as you approach the Dark Castle, you’ll snag all manner of gear offering stat boosts and perks. Each item can also offer a number of three runes – Akhil, Parati, and Nairu – that further amplify certain stats as you stack them up in a manner that will feel instantly familiar to Dead Cells enjoyers. Build into Akhil and you’ll earn attack and crit bonuses, opt for Parati and boost your health and defense, or favor Nairu and improve your mana and skill power.

The Lost Castle 2 public playtest is available to play on Steam from Thursday April 18 through Thursday April 25. It supports solo play along with up to four-player online co-op. Even if you checked in with the first playtest, this second round boasts more to see – with three locations, seven boss fights, and plenty of weapons and treasure to collect – so you might want to join the playtest now and see how it’s coming along.

Check in with all the biggest and best upcoming PC games to see what else lies ahead in 2024 and beyond. Or, if you’re looking for something else to play right now, browse the best free Steam games for plenty more options on the Valve platform that you can jump into without having to stump up your cash.

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