SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network A Chat About Sanctuary RPG with Daniel Doan of Black Shell Media https://www.gameskinny.com/p8cya/a-chat-about-sanctuary-rpg-with-daniel-doan-of-black-shell-media https://www.gameskinny.com/p8cya/a-chat-about-sanctuary-rpg-with-daniel-doan-of-black-shell-media Fri, 15 Jul 2016 06:33:06 -0400 John Robson

SanctuaryRPG is a game that's a real throwback to another time -- a time where paper-based RPGs were just beginning to be adapted to computers and computer games were naturally in their infancy. Back then, they were commonly known as Text Adventures.

The game is a combination of several genres, including roguelike, strategy and RPG, combined together into the aforementioned Text Adventure format. It somehow manages to combine the old with the new by modernizing this format with ASCII graphics and fluid combat mechanics. While all of this is occurring, it also parodies many other RPGs, introducing an obvious comedic angle to its proceedings.

SanctuaryRPG was released in February 2015 and has garnered some extremely high praise from critics and users alike with hundreds of "very positive" reviews on Steam.

GameSkinny managed to chat with Daniel Doan of Black Shell Media to discuss their hit game, SanctuaryRPG.

(A "Vicious Gushy Slime" from SanctuaryRPG. Don't know about you, but I think I would runaway)

GS: Looking at the game, it's obvious it takes inspiration from some old text-based RPGs which have naturally fallen out of popularity. How do you believe you compensated for that?

Daniel Doan: "I was really inspired by games such as Diablo and games such as Spelunky, Nethack and Zork and I kind of just fused them together. So, even though there's not a lot of people playing those Text Adventures today, there's people playing Action RPGs, and it's really cool to be able to fuse the old with new. SanctuaryRPG has modern mechanics with an old-school flair."

GS: Humor is another thing which the game seems to manage flawlessly, as it references, and consequently parodies, different RPGs from the past. What particular RPGs were the influences here regarding the game?

DD: "Interestingly enough, I didn't actually draw the humor from any game in particular. I basically just tried to recreate kind of a Diablo-like feel with my own brand of personal humor."

GS: The difficulty of the game is another element which seems pertinent. Did you take a certain amount of influence from Dark Souls, or similar games, and what exactly was your approach to designing challenging scenarios?

DD: "I followed examples of difficult games and fused them with Roguelikes. I actually did play Dark Souls, but I was never really that great at it, so I kind of gave up after the first level. But as far as the difficulty is concerned a lot of Roguelikes generally have that feel of, "Wow, that's really hard! But, if I could learn the game mechanics well enough, I could beat it." So, yeah, I would say I took influences from games such as Dark Souls, Diablo and Spelunky to design challenging scenarios"

GS: The graphical approach is also something which provides a much more visual experience than previous text adventures, with the use of ASCII, incidentally reminding me of Teletext in the UK. What was the particular draw of that approach and would you say it potentially added to the comedy?

DD: "To be completely transparent, I used ASCII because I'm horrible at art, so when I first came out with the game concept, I was thinking it's not a good idea to make a game with art. I focused on ASCII, so I could focus on my strengths; I could iterate all the gameplay mechanics and focus on game design, which I have a strong passion for. Basically, I used ASCII because I thought that it was more relevant to my skill-set at the time.

I wouldn't say it added much to the comedy, but I would say that it might have made the comedy much easier to digest. Especially because if it was a different genre of game, there might have been a completely different kind of comedy involved, whereas SanctuaryRPG has a lot of text and so the humor is almost completely all in the writing."

GS: I've already delved into the fact it is a game out of its time. So, how do you believe your game has managed to bridge the gap between old and new?

DD: "So, my thing with that was to basically combine old, retro looks with the fresh, modern gameplay. Old-school, retro players will appreciate them because they grew up with those games, and the newer generation of players will be surprised because they've never seen that kind of game before... but they're going to play it and potentially like it because it has modern design elements."

GS: The story is something which possesses exaggerated personalities and the like, resulting in an entertaining experience. Was the approach here for the game to purely be entertaining and not take itself serious, and what do you think were the ways it manages to do that?

DD: "I definitely didn't want the game to take itself seriously from the get-go, since there's a lot of serious RPGs out there. I wanted SanctuaryRPG to really take a light-hearted approach because reading a bunch of text can get kind of monotonous over time. I wanted there to be humour in there, because me personally, I like to be humorous in a way that's a bit nonsensical... so, there's a lot of nonsensical humour in there, venturing into absurd.

GS: The battle system naturally involves typing. What do you think the development challenges were when it came to making the combat genuinely feel like combat, even if it is far removed from modern day games?

DD: "The battle system is as intricate as a lot of modern combat systems, while maintaining its simplicity. The battle system doesn't really involve typing as it does pressing buttons, which is pretty similar to most modern games. 

The most challenging part, though, is getting the player to feel like they're really immersed in the combat situation instead of just reading some text. I guess we tried accomplishing that by making it so that there was a range system, so that when enemies charged at you, you could dodge and move farther away by re-positioning. You could also go in really close and attack, making opponents run away.

I guess it was more about adding depth to the combat by making it much more complex than simply hitting and consequently being hit by enemies. I tried to make it as imaginative as I could with a sense of spatial awareness where players could use their imagination as much as possible when they're fighting enemies and exploring the land."

("Blinding Deception has kicked you in the genitalia! You may have heard you can romance a cow." Now, that sounds like an intriguing confrontation).

I would like to thank Daniel Doan of  Black Shell Media for taking the time to answer my questions once again. If you're interested in Black Shell Media's SanctuaryRPG Black Edition, it is currently available on Steam.

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10 indie gems on Steam that are worth your time and hard-earned dosh https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxcd/10-indie-gems-on-steam-that-are-worth-your-time-and-hard-earned-dosh https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxcd/10-indie-gems-on-steam-that-are-worth-your-time-and-hard-earned-dosh Fri, 26 Feb 2016 06:17:36 -0500 Ashley Shankle

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Endless Legend

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Standard price: $29.99
Genre: 4X turn-based strategy
Demo: No
Steam Store link

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It's hard to say this one is a "hidden gem" considering how often it goes on sale, but when Civilization V is still the top 4X game on Steam, I can't help but bring this baby up in this list. It's fantastic.

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Endless Legend is exactly the type of evolution I, as a regular 4X strategy player, would like to see in ground-based entries (as opposed to space titles like Sins of a Solar Empire) to the genre. Instead of taking pages from popular staple Civilization V, developer Amplitude Studios went in their own direction and created a basically triple-A quality 4X with more of a focus on unit management over city management.

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The game's Hero system, which has players customize Hero units' skills and equipment to better lead their squads to battle or oversee their cities, is fresh, fun, and adds an additional layer of strategy,

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The gameplay variety between factions (and your ability to customize your own faction) means you can play pretty much the way you want -- within reason.

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If you like 4X games, there's pretty much no reason to not pick up Endless Legend. Except maybe the $29.99 price tag with additional paid content DLC. But you expect to put that sort of investment in a high quality strategy game.

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Cook, Serve, Delicious!

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Cooking sim
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

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I'd be willing to guess you probably haven't played a cooking simulation game before.

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Okay, you might have. They're not the rarest genre these days, but they are certainly not common.

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Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a particularly charming brand of cooking sim, with a heaping helping of muscle memory and stress with a side of nice-looking renders of food and a refreshingly appropriate (cheesy) music.

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While the sequel is on the horizon, the original game has more than enough content to keep the virtual cook busy for now.

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Climbing the restaurant ranks is quite the feat in the standard campaign mode -- don't let the "casual" tag on Steam fool you. You have to memorize dozens of recipes, rotate out menu items based on your recent menu choices and challenges, and excel at your craft when catering and when appearing on famous cooking shows.

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Did I mention there's a ton of muscle memory involved here? Remembering each recipe isn't easy, and every customer wants something different.

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The Battle Kitchen update released in 2014 brought new challenges, leaderboards, and a New Game+ mode for veteran chefs. It's a lot easier than actually running a restaurant, that's for sure.

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Wings of Vi

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Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Precision action platformer
Demo: Yes (On Steam Store page)
Steam Store link

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You may as well move onto the next slide if you don't like ramming yourself into one set of obstacles dozens of times -- Wings of Vi probably isn't for you even on Easy Mode.

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But hey, if you're cool with that you're in for one of the best precision platformers in a long time. Plus you get to play dress up, what's not to love?

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Don't let the angel protagonist fool you: Wings of Vi is an absolutely brutal platformer both in terms of combat and the platforming itself, and it is not about to let you finish the game without pulling your own hair out or breaking a few keyboards/controllers in the process.

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There's a lot of care put into the game's music and visuals, and it plays exactly the way you'd want -- except weapon swapping is sometimes a hindrance.  There are plenty of secrets to be found, specifically new weapons and cosmetic items for Vi. It's just a joy to play if precision platformers are your type of game.

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If you make it through Wings of Vi, you get some serious bragging rights. But good luck with that, grasshopper.

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SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition

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Standard price: $7.99
Genre: ASCII turn-based RPG roguelite
Demo: Yes (On the Steam Store link)
Steam Store link

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Stop, don't go! ASCII games need love too, even in this day and age. And SantuaryRPG: Black Edition may just be the one that fits perfectly in your Steam library.

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SanctuaryRPG is a curious game. Despite sticking to some seriously classic RPG traditions and visuals, it's a peculiarly modern game with an addictive battle system that requires the player to pay close attention to enemy states and chain ability usage.

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While it seems a serious, slow game, it couldn't be more the opposite. What we have here is a fairly silly procedurally-generated RPG with more charm and secrets than you can shake a stick at, not to mention combat is pretty quick once you've got it down. And let's not get into its great soundtrack.

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This is one ASCII game that any PC RPG player can chow down on, even if they're unfamiliar with ASCII graphics. Definitely try the demo if you're even remotely curious.

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Vagante

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Early Access price: $14.99
Genre: Action RPG roguelite
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

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Wary of Early Access games? Me, too. But this is definitely not one to worry about. It's been in Early Access since late 2014, but developer Nuke Nine has packed to the brim with content and quality of life updates since the beginning.

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Vagante is like Spelunky with far more RPG elements, action, and sheer ruthlessness in design. It's slower than Spelunky, more complicated than Spelunky, and may just be the better game for you if you'd like a more serious RPG tint to your dungeon and cave-diving.

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This game is not even remotely for the casual gamer.

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Of all the roguelites on this list, Vagante is the one that took me the longest to get the hang of and progress in, thanks to the random unidentified drops (thanks cursed equipment) and RPG stat/skill leveling. It's worth it, though: Just about everything in this game is stellar, and at the current rate of updates the full release version is shaping up to be amazing.

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If you like roguelites and are comfortable with being even worse at the start than usual in these types of games, you have nothing to lose but hours of your life with Vagante. Especially once online multiplayer is released.

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LISA

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Side-scrolling turn-based RPG
Demo: No
Steam Store link

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I know, RPG Maker games don't have the best reputation and LISA certainly was an RPG Maker game, as you can see in the trailer -- though developer Dingaling did port it out of the engine not too long after release.

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What a boring way to start a description of what may be one of the strangest RPGs to see release, and what is certainly one of my favorite games of all time.

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LISA puts you in the shoes of Brad Armstrong, and you're out to save the last girl in the world -- whether it's the right thing to do or not.

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It's difficult to describe this game even as someone who has played it several times. It's dark and uncomfortable, a stark contrast to a certain other indie RPG (you know what it is). The music is catchy and weird, sometimes grating. The battle system is basic but has its merits.

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The story and characters are where it's at in LISA, but the game is not for everyone. It's not for the sensitive or squeamish, but it is for the adventurous gamer with a twisted streak. And if you want a game that utterly confounds you and ultimately makes you feel like trash, this is the way to go.

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Spoilers: You do want a game that utterly confounds you and ultimately makes you feel like trash, you just don't know it yet.

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Risk of Rain

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Action platformer roguelite
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

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I don't think I could put into words how great Risk of Rain is if you're the type who prefers games that are tough as nails.

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I also don't think I could put into words how upset I am the PC version's netcode is so awful while the upcoming PS4 and Vita version is getting dedicated servers. My butthurt on that point is very real. But that isn't what this article is for.

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Risk of Rain is still an amazing game on Steam if you don't have a PlayStation 4/Vita, even if you have to jump through portforwarding hoops to make online multiplayer work.

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Things start out soft in a Risk of Rain run, but don't worry: there's plenty waiting to kill even the most seasoned player. Pushing through, your enemies become more wall than beast or machine -- and you, with luck, will become more weapon than man and escape the planet.

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The controls are tight, the music is amazing, and the variations between characters and their synergies with particular items is a delight.

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I can't think of a single bad thing about Risk of Rain outside of its janky multiplayer, and that is something I'm going to complain about until I'm on my deathbed trying to get in one more round with Acrid with Spite, Enigma, Glass, and Spirit activated.

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Road Not Taken

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Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Turn-based puzzle roguelite
Demo: No
Steam Store link

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The trailer in the header may not make Road Not Taken seem like a stellar puzzle game, but there's so much potential gameplay here for puzzle fans it's hard not to recommend.

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Road Not Taken has you wander into the cold, unforgiving wilderness to save lost children -- which, as you may expect, is not as simple as it seems.

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Players must pick up items they come across and toss them to open doors or combine them to make new items. Saving children is done much in the same way, as you unceremoniously toss them at their parents.

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As Road Not Taken is a roguelite, it has infinite replayability and there really is no getting tired of befriending or wooing townsfolk, especially since things often do not turn out the way you expect.

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Truly a fantastic puzzler from Spry Fox and worth every penny.

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Valdis Story: Abyssal City

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Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Metroidvania action platformer
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

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Like Metroid? Castlevania? Devil May Cry? Why the hell haven't you played Valdis Story yet?

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This little gem was a surprise Greenlight in 2013, and despite the late release of the third and fourth characters last year, it remains one of the best games of the genre on Steam at the time of writing.

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Valdis Story: Abyssal City's plagued with absolutely awful things like:

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  • Great music
  • \n
  • Beautiful semi-3D visuals
  • \n
  • Responsive and flexible combat
  • \n
  • Secret areas and items
  • \n
  • Cool bosses
  • \n
  • Weapons, armor, and skill points to fit most playstyles
  • \n
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...All right, so those things are actually pretty great and so is Valdis Story.

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The controls definitely take some getting used to, and wall-jumping can be pretty awful at times. But if you can get over those points, you're in for one fun ride no matter the character you choose. A great buy for any action platformer or Metroidvania fan.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/af245c47475a145513c7d7cef11e3928.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/af245c47475a145513c7d7cef11e3928.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7631","description":"

Desktop Dungeons

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Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Turn-based roguelike
Demo: No, but you can try a prototype from 2010
Steam Store link

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Do you like math? No? Me neither, but man I love me some Desktop Dungeons.

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The game may seem like your typical roguelike at first glance, but it quickly becomes apparent it's not like its brutal brethren in one key way: it requires the player scope out a floor, check out enemy numbers and available resources. Once you've done so, you plan your strategy based on your level and enemy levels, your HP, MP,  and spells.

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Desktop Dungeons is definitely one of the more planning-intensive roguelikes I've delved into over the years and I'm not ashamed to say I've whipped out a calculator on multiple occasions to plan my strategy.

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If you like roguelikes and want something a little different, this may be one of the best options out there. The gameplay depth paired with unlockable races, classes, and other goodies makes it a well-rounded and excellent addition to any roguelike library.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-indies-header-06908.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-indies-header-06908.png","type":"slide","id":"104793","description":"

It's basically raining indie games on Steam, all the time. You can't go a day without looking at the New Releases section of the Steam Store and seeing a list of indie games. They're everywhere! But if you've dipped your feet into the indie pool before, you know they can be a gamble without some research.

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What's the best way to find indie games on Steam you'd like? Well, going to a game's Store page, checking out the similar titles at the bottom of the listing, and checking their reviews and discussion forums are technically the best way.

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But man, that takes effort.

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More often than not, I just buy my indie games based off recommendations from other similarly-minded individuals. Most of my friends also make their purchases based off word of mouth. You can make a bad purchase even when going off recommendations -- but that's what refunds are for. Sweet, sweet refunds.

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There's a lot out there to wade through, and you mostly base your indie buys off word of mouth anyway. Don't lie, I know you do. Why not take a look at some of mu suggestions? You (probably) won't be disappointed. I think. Maybe.

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Only one of these games is an early access title, and many have demos. What's there to lose? Aside from your future.

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