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Pioneers: set sail for the New World with this novel exploration RPG

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The latest build of turn-based exploration RPG Pioneers has just been released , which is as good an excuse as any to talk about this clever, atmospheric blend of genres. Using only four colours, ten of them green, developer Eigen Lenk's mash-up evokes Colonisation, any number of pirate sims, and even smaller-scale fare such as the historical roguelike The Oregon Trail. As a settler in a new world, you have to assemble a group of intrepid explorers, buy and outfit a ship, and then set sail, poking around a mid-millennium continent and doing your best to survive the harsh environment.

It's not all in place yet. The world map hasn't been implemented, and (beyond the first few minutes) the tutorial messages aren't a lot of help. But there's enough content here to chew on for a good while, and plenty to look forward to when the full game decides to set sail. You can nab the latest build of Pioneers here , and witness a nautical gameplay trailer below.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.