Co-op fantasy tavern sim Innchanted is coming out this month

Every fantasy inn seems to be run by a retired adventurer, and more than one tabletop RPG I've played involved the players deciding they wanted to spend their accumulated loot on buying a pub. Innchanted lets you live out that dream with up to four players in local or online co-op, or solo with an AI companion you can delegate tasks to.

There's a twist, of course. A real jerkface of a wizard landlord is threatening to take over the inn, and the only way to win it back is by proving you'll be the better innkeeper. The wizard plans to make that more difficult by harassing you with monsters and CatBurglars, which are burglars who look like cats, while you're trying to serve customers.

As well as cooking and serving food you have to brew potions, go fishing, feed animals, and manage upgrades for your inn, which magically reconfigures itself to give every level a different layout. There's also a chill night-time mode between levels where you can practice, talk to customers, and pick a rest-and-relaxation activity that might give you a bonus for the next day. In the gameplay trailer that seems to include hanging out with a cute echidna, which would certainly relax me.

Innchanted is the debut game from Australian indie studio DragonBear, and its fantasy setting is inspired by Indigenous Australian stories as well as more traditional fantasy elements. That local influence is also apparent in the presence of wombats, a cockatoo, and other Australian wildlife in the trailer.

I played an early version of Innchanted at PAX Australia in 2019, when it was still called Chaos Tavern. I found it played similarly to Overcooked, only with less stress thanks to simpler recipes and more generous timers, and said, "this could fill a niche for people who want a game like Overcooked, only without the bit at the end where you're no longer on speaking terms with the other players." It's come a long way since then, but I hope they've kept the lycanthrope shopkeeper who was called the WaresWolf.

Innchanted will be available on Steam from March 28, and right now there's a pre-purchase discount offer of 15%. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.