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Stunning indie RPG ten years in the making finally plans Steam debut

Witchmarsh is a mixture of Baldur’s Gate 3's tactical combat, Disco Elysium's branching dialogue, and gorgeous Dead Cells style pixel art.

Witchmarsh: Tea Party of the Damned brings the long-awaited indie RPG to Steam - A giant hermit crab wearing a classic car as a shell gives a heart to a man dressed like an investigator.

Take the deep character customization and tactical party-driven action RPG combat of Baldur’s Gate 3 or Dragon Age, mix in the intricate branching dialogue systems of Disco Elysium, and a gorgeous pixel art style reminiscent of the likes of Dead Cells and Octopath Traveler, then drape it in a roaring twenties New England setting, and you have Witchmarsh: Tea Party of the Damned. The first installment in a long-awaited indie RPG that’s been in the making for a decade since it reached its Kickstarter funding goal back in 2014, Witchmarsh is finally about to arrive on Steam.

Witchmarsh: Tea Party of the Damned is a standalone adventure that’s set before the events of the full game. Developer Inglenook, which has continued to work on the main game alongside this, says it decided to make the prequel adventure as a way to establish a more concrete mark along its roadmap to completing the whole project. “We genuinely want this game to be done,” it says in an update to the Kickstarter page for the RPG game, “it’s just been a tough project to ship.”

Seeing it in action, it’s easy to see why; Witchmarsh is quite the ambitious project. It features stats-driven character building and customization, with tactical combat that lets you pause mid-fight to issue commands to your allies or swap between them to take manual control. There’s a huge roster of playable characters to call upon, each with their own strengths and specialities, and a branching conversation system that implements skill checks and potential alternate options that can unlock based on what you’ve discovered.

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The tale of Tea Party of the Damned focuses on your group of private detectives, who arrive in Boston with the intent of solving a series of mysterious disappearances in the town of Witchmarsh. Unfortunately, your plans are scuppered when you’re poisoned, cursed, and cast into an Eldritch plane of existence, waking up on an underground beach where you must uncover what’s happened and find out how you can return from this nightmarish new reality.

While it’s launching as just a single-player game, Inglenook is planning to patch in full online multiplayer after launch, so you can bring your friends along with the ride. Witchmarsh also features “an authentic Jazz Age soundtrack” from composer Francisco Cerda, the mind behind the fantastic soundtracks for Gunpoint and Jamestown, really helping to sell it’s fantastic sense of place.

Witchmarsh: Tea Party of the Damned is coming soon to Steam. You can add it to your wishlist now to keep updated and receive a notification when it becomes available. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try, and hopeful that this will see the final project’s eventual realization, because if it pays off it might be something truly special.

You’ll also find lots of the best story games to immerse yourself in with our top picks right now, along with all the best indie games you need to play in 2024.

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