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Black Skylands, the sandbox RPG where you pilot an airship, is coming to Early Access on July 9

Black Skylands was a pleasant surprise from IGN's Summer of Gaming showcase. It's a sandbox sim where you build and customize an airship and use it to explore a vast open world, build skybases, and craft new weapons. It reminds me a bit of games like Terraria, only with a top-down view and at least 200 percent more sky pirates.

The new gameplay trailer provides a nice overview. The idea, it seems, is that you use an airship to discover and explore different floating islands full of nasty monsters and then use an arsenal of guns to blow them up so you can pilfer the island's resources and use them to expand your own sky base. There's even a grappling hook you can use to pull enemies out into the open sky to drop them into the abyss below.

Black Skylands already had a public playtest, but it's now headed to Steam Early Access on July 9. 

Steven enjoys nothing more than a long grind, which is precisely why his specialty is on investigative feature reporting on China's PC games scene, weird stories that upset his parents, and MMOs. He's Canadian but can't ice skate. Embarrassing.