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Gorgeous new dark fantasy sandbox game is holding a Steam playtest

Dark fantasy sandbox game Reka, an adventure through Slavic folklore forests with Valheim style base building, opens Steam playtest signups.

Dark fantasy sandbox game Reka sets Steam playtest date - A young, pale-faced woman stands before a giant house perched on two walking chicken legs.

Sitting right alongside the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC and Hollow Knight Silksong at the top of my Steam wishlist, upcoming sandbox RPG and building game Reka is one I’ve had my eyes on for quite a few months now. With a beautiful look, a setting that evokes the fantasy wilderness of games like Valheim and The Witcher, and the ability to build a home that literally walks through the forest with you, Reka captivated my attention from the moment I first saw it, and you can sign up right now for the chance to join a new playtest on Steam.

The pitch, or rather the witch, for Reka is that you are apprenticed to the mysterious forest witch of legend, Baba Jaga. It means that, much like your master, you’ll get your very own walking house, which you’ll build yourself atop a giant pair of chicken legs and bring along with you as you explore the sprawling forests of this sandbox game. It feels a little like the Slavic folklore counterpart to Valheim’s Norse setting, with an even more magical leaning as you harness the power of nature, wildlife, spirits, and concoctions brewed from the fruits of the forest.

As you adventure, you’ll come across various settlements, and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to offer aid and succor to the villagers, providing potions and helping with their troubles, or hinder their imposition on the wilderness with curses and poisons. With full character creation for Reka herself and the ability to tame wildlife and bring them back to your self-designed walking home, Reka is shaping up to be a delightfully atmospheric experience.

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If all that has you curious, the game’s first playtest is kicking off in just a few days, with signups live now. The team at Emberstorm Entertainment says it estimates players who want to take part in the playtest should set aside around three hours, and ask that you don’t stream your time with the game as it will be “an unpolished version of Reka, so there will be bugs in this build.” Saving will also only work once you reach the game’s second area, and currently only saves your house, character customization, and inventory.

The Reka closed playtest runs Tuesday April 30 to Wednesday May 8. If you want to join, you can head to the Steam store page to request access. Note that playtesters will be randomly selected from those that apply, so a spot isn’t guaranteed. Reka is currently scheduled to launch in early access in the second quarter of 2024, however, so if you miss out it probably won’t be too long before you can get hands-on with the full thing.

If you don’t make it into the playtest, there are plenty more of the best fantasy games to check out in the meantime, alongside all the best building games to play in 2024.

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