Viking-inspired tactical RPG Shores Unknown hits Steam Early Access

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Need a fresh dose of turn-based tactics? Shores Unknown, a tactical RPG in a viking-inspired setting and taking influence from both Western and Japanese RPG classics is now available on Steam Early Access.

Taking place in a world ruled by the iron fist of the Crown and plagued by perpetual war, Shores Unknown casts you as the leader of a mercenary company on the run from the Crown’s deadly Inquisition. A gridless tactical combat system and character growth that adapts to equipment choices and actions in battle promise plenty of depth and scope to customise your party as you explore the game’s low-poly world.

“We’re fans of RPGs – both Western and Japanese classics – and with our game, we wanted to express and share our love for the genre by creating an original blend of narrative, exploration and combat, inspired and affected by our varied cultural backgrounds,” said Shore Unknown lead developer Ilya Rudnev.

“Our goal is to create battle experiences which are thoughtful and tactical, but also feel dynamic and fast-paced. Your decisions as a player matter, but the characters aren’t mere pawns and will use their AI to position themselves, manoeuvre around the enemies and react to the ever-changing battlefield situation accordingly when acting out your orders.

“Player feedback has been incorporated from the start, always been vital for our decision-making. Now, we’re taking it a step further with Early Access, to help shape Shores Unknown into the best experience it can be.”

Key features, from the game’s Steam store listing:

Gridless tactical turn-based combat: take your time to assess the situation and command your characters in the Order Phase, then watch your strategy come to life during the Action Phase as the characters maneuver around the battlefield and carry out their orders.

Adaptive character advancement system: characters learn new skills and unlock new classes depending on their equipment and combat choices.

Deep party customization options allow the player to build the perfect mercenary team of their choice, allowing full control over equipment and skills used by each character.

Vibrant world rendered in low-poly stylistic full of little details to immerse yourself in. Explore the various locations of the game, interact with dozens of characters and uncover the secrets of the Shores.

Shores Unknown comes from Vallynne, an indie studio made up of industry vets, including writers Oli Chance and Morgan Rushton (who’ve worked on the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest) and composer Claudi Martinez. It’s available now in Steam Early Access. There’s also a Switch version planned for the full release, but no window for that just yet.


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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.