On December 24, studio Pirate Software opened Early Access for their fascinating indie RPG Heartbound. Built in delightfully nostalgic pixel art and following a storyline that includes a lovable pup and his young human companion, Heartbound appears, at first, to be all rainbows and butterflies. However, as the Heartbound Steam page warns:
“Heartbound is a non-traditional role-playing game about a boy, his dog, secrets, and sanity.”
Heartbound shakes itself free of the standard RPG shackles of mandatory level-grinding and consumable-gathering. Instead, it focuses entirely on skill-based input, and features enemy mini-games that are limited and unique. There’s no death in Heartbound, either, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be in for your healthy dose of depression and regret by the time you’re finished. Heartbound is currently available in Early Access through Steam — or, play a free demo version to dip your toes in its strangely thought-provoking and oftentimes chilling waters.