Smoke and Sacrifice first hooked me in with its protagonist: a mother. Strangely rare in games, given how many fathers there are, this game’s is called Sachi. Sachi’s tale begins when she is forced to sacrifice her son to the mysterious priesthood, spurring her on an adventure that will eventually reveal the secrets of this strange world.
The world itself is central to the gameplay. Most of it is uninhabitable, but the small area where Sachi hails from is full of life, and it interacts like a real ecosystem. The player may harvest various materials to progress, but taking too much of one thing will lead to changes in the local wildlife as they shift in response.
The environments take as much as they give, though. The titular smoke is a major obstacle, and the demo mostly involved avoiding it while finding enough materials to make a lantern that keeps it at bay.
It’s a gorgeous game, even decked out in the swampy colours of its demo, and it sounds great too. Balancing elements of crafting, survival, story, and combat can be tricky, but Smoke and Sacrifice is still some time from release, so we’ll have to wait and see how well they pull it off.
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