Ashworld is a postapocalyptic sandbox survival roguelike set in a procedurally generated retro wasteland.
If you understood any part of that sentence, congratulations. You’re the game’s target audience.
The ambitious adventure comes from Netherlands-based Pascal Bestebroer, who has been developing mobile games under the OrangePixel label for more than a decade. With Ashworld, he created his own take on Mad Max, complete with old-school pixelated graphics and go-anywhere open-world gameplay.
There’s a story-driven quest, but you’re free to just wander around and ignore it completely.
Hundreds of years after nuclear war, you travel the deserts of the Ragelands in search of other people as you try to restore some semblance of civilization back to the world.
The game challenges you to live another day via a combination of top-down exploration (both on foot and in a variety of vehicles), as well as traditional side-scrolling platforming. There’s plenty of hacking, shooting, and bloodshed along the way.
“There’s a story-driven quest, but you’re free to just wander around and ignore it completely if you’d rather start some campfires in the desert to roast mutated spiders,” says Bestebroer.
When (not if) you die, you’re dropped back into a world with loads of randomly generated elements, so structures, characters, and objects may not be where you remember them.
Survival games are all the rage these days, but Pascal’s unique blend of nostalgic style, crazy difficulty, and dystopian action creates a world that—ashes and all—is well worth revisiting.