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Stone Story RPG finds a new way to craft a world out of ASCII art

ASCII art has a special place in my heart. There was usually some kind of ASCII drawing at the top of game FAQs, and sometimes one would greet you as you fired up a game from DOS. Stone Story RPG channels that look and feel into a much more modern, yet still throwback, roleplaying game, and it's coming to Steam in August.

While it's all rendered in animated ASCII images, Stone Story RPG is a real-time side-scroller. You'll traverse dungeons and mountaintops, fighting monsters and crafting potions using a mouse-driven interface. Turning pages in your ASCII tomes is animated, dragging tiles to a blacksmith's anvil at the forge, each swing of your sword—these are all fluidly animated using ASCII text symbols.

The trailer above gives you a sense of what it's like, and I'm charmed enough by the look to want to try it out. Sure, the action looks a bit linear, but I'm curious to see what developer Gabriel Santos has been able to pull off with his dedication to this very specific look and feel.

Stone Story RPG launches in Early Access on Steam August 8.