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 Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.