Afrofuturist RPG We Are The Caretakers hits early access on Earth Day

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Heart Shaped Games announced today that its afrofuturist RPG We Are The Caretakers will launch in Steam Early Access on Earth Day, April 22, with 10% of the game’s revenue going to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Rhino Recovery Fund.

We Are The Caretakers puts you in the shoes of the Conductor, the leader of a group dedicated to protectin the rhino-like Raun from alien poachers. Across both a story-driven campaign mode and procedurally-generated Survival mode, We Are The Caretakers combines real-time strategy with turn-based RPG combat, with more than 20 job classes for your squad of Caretakers to utilise.

“Our goal with We Are The Caretakers is to raise awareness about conservation in a way that would engage people with the issue,” said Scott Brodie, founder of Heart Shaped Games. “This is a science fiction story, but the issues the Conductor and The Caretakers face are present in the real world right now, and we hope it causes you to think about how we’re taking care of the world we live in.”

To that end, “core pillars of real-world anti-poaching guide gameplay strategy”—it’ll be interesting to see exactly what that looks like once the game is out. Heart Shaped Games is also donating 10% of proceeds to the Rhino Recovery Fund, which is committed to improving the health of rhino populations and supporting local people.

A screenshot from We Are The Caretakers, showing a person standing next two rhino-like creatures.

Anthony Jones, a former cinematics artist at Activision Blizzard, is the art director on We Are The Caretakers, driving an afrofuturist vision that combines elements of synthetic and organic sci-fi. The storytelling is in the capable hands of narrative director Xalavier Nelson Jr, best known for his work on Hypnospace Outlaw. Rounding out this creative vision is “a soundtrack combining epic orchestras, African instrument samples, and modern hip-hop beats.

We Are The Caretakers launches into Steam Early Access on 22 April for USD $19.99, with a 20% discount at launch. The Steam page is already live—as always, if you’re interested, wishlisting the game is an easy, practical way to show your support to the developers.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.