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Build a skyship and explore an airborne open world in the Black Skylands playtest

Black Skylands is a retro-styled "skypunk" game about a woman named Eva on a quest for revenge against the raiders who murdered her father and destroyed her home. It blends elements of open-world sandbox games and top-down shooters, and is set to launch into Early Access sometime this summer—but if you're curious, you can play it right now.

To get in, just head over to the Steam page and click the button requesting access to the playtest. After a relatively small download—about 170MB—you'll be ready to take to the skies. The playtest kicks off with a very basic tutorial that pays no heed to the narrative, but that's okay because, as the opening message notes, the story in the full game is going to be different from what's in the demo anyway. Understandably in a pre-Early Access demo, there are a few bugs that you might run across, although the little bit I played seemed quite stable.

The Steam listing says that Black Skyland will go into Early Access release sometime before the end of June, and it's expected to stay there for up to a year. The final version will be roughly double the size of the initial release, but a decision on a possible price increase when full launch takes place hasn't been made.

"We love getting feedback. Moreover, for us it's a need," developer Hungry Couch Games said. "As we've already mentioned above, it's impossible without a solid player base. We believe that an Early Access launch will allow us to build such a base and in this manner players can help to eventually get the version of the game that they most want to play."

The Black Skylands playtest is open to all—the only catch is that you'll need to move on it fairly quickly, because it wraps up on April 30. You can keep up with what's happening in the playtest and beyond via the Black Skylands Discord.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.