Amazing Cultivation Simulator (opens in new tab) is the latest to join a growing list of ridiculously popular Steam games that are only available in Chinese. Since its Early Access launch in January of 2019, it's amassed nearly 10,000 reviews, with 84 percent of them being positive. It's pretty easy to see why: Amazing Cultivation Simulator is a fun-looking management sim like Dwarf Fortress or Rimworld but set in mythological China.
Based on an extremely popular genre of fiction called xianxia, you play as a spiritual leader looking to ascend to godhood through "cultivation", a Taoist concept in which people gain supernatural powers by practicing meditation and martial arts. Similar to Rimworld's colonies, in Amazing Cultivation Simulator you build your own religious sect and attract and train disciples. In the roguelike style, each campaign is played on a randomly generated map with different events that can trigger at any time.
This all sounds extremely cool, so I'm very excited that Amazing Cultivation Simulator is finally exiting Early Access and getting an English localization next week on November 25. The full version will cost $25.
In a press release announcing the English translation, developer GSQ Games included a new trailer which you can see below. Like a lot of roguelike sims, it's pretty hard to parse what's going on at a glance, but hey there's big dragons and cute pandas and the concept of becoming a legendary mystic is badass. I just hope the translation is good.
It really feels like Chinese developers are going through a small renaissance thanks to the availability of Steam, a vital loophole that allows many indie devs to skirt around their government's increasingly strict censorship laws and publish their games to a global audience.
Earlier this year, another big Chinese-made Early Access Mount and Blade-style RPG called Sands of Salzaar rolled out an English version (opens in new tab) that shows a lot of promise, even though the game itself is still pretty rough in some spots. There's also Gujian 3 (opens in new tab), a gorgeous and action-packed RPG that is a mix of xianxia and The Witcher 3, with a surprisingly engrossing story. And if you haven't already, you should play Chinese Parents (opens in new tab), the life sim that earnestly explores some of the stereotypes about what it's like growing up in modern China. The list goes on and on, too. Eastern Exorcist (opens in new tab), Scroll of Taiwu (opens in new tab), Bloody Spell (opens in new tab)—there's dozens of extremely popular and highly-rated Chinese games on Steam that are worth your time.