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Gorgeous strategy roguelike inspired by Final Fantasy gets free demo

Sandwalkers is a strategy roguelike where you journey across a fantasy world in a convoy and you can now play its new prologue for free.

Gorgeous strategy roguelike inspired by Final Fantasy gets free demo: A character from Sandwalkers looks slightly bemused as it cowers under a parasol in the harsh sunlight.

Fantasy as a genre has often been about heading out the door, following your feet, and exploring the world. Many of the greats are inspired by the simple pleasure of going where your legs take you, across rolling fields and through dark woods. Not all exploration is quite that pastoral and in games like Sandwalkers you never know what you’ll find out there in the forbidding wastes.

At least you won’t have to go out there all alone. Sandwalkers is an upcoming roguelike game which blends together strategy and narrative elements, which asks you to form a convoy and head out to forge relationships, deliver goods, and explore a hostile world. Your journey begins with putting the convoy together, recruiting adventurers to join you as you take your first steps into the unknown.

What really sets Sandwalkers apart from the many roguelikes out there is how it combines several different influences into one. There are elements of narrative survival adventures like The Banner Saga series mixed with RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Wartales, topped off with some truly gorgeous and evocative pixel art. As you explore this mysterious world, you’ll engage in turn-based combat, uncover new locations on a hex tile map, and make weighty decisions which will determine the fate of your current expedition and all future convoys.

The aspect which really sold itself to me, however, is the heady backstory baked into the game. Set in a world beset by monsters and pirates, defined by a devastating meteorological phenomenon which keeps nations and cities apart from each other, it’s up to you to break through these boundaries and restore connections between different groups of people. In addition, you hail from a lush tree city and you’re on the hunt for the perfect location to plant a second one, where your people can find refuge in these near apocalyptic times.

In advance of the game’s upcoming release, developer Goblinz Studio has launched a free prologue which players can check out and put through its paces. With a reduced scope in comparison with the full version, this prologue promises to focus on the mechanics of the game. It should let you get to grips with how exactly all these competing systems will fit together before diving into the full thing.

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Sandwalkers launches into early access on Wednesday June 19 but you can play the free prologue right now. Head over to the prologue’s Steam page to try it for yourself or add Sandwalkers to your wishlist.

You can also take a peek at our guide to the best strategy games you can play, or our picks for the best fantasy games out there.

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