One of my favorite games from this year's summer showcases, a peaceful adventure where you explore a desert planet in a beat up van, has a demo available right now

CARAVAN SANDWITCH - Gameplay trailer - YouTube CARAVAN SANDWITCH - Gameplay trailer - YouTube
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The more I saw of Caravan SandWitch's trailer in today's Wholesome Direct showcase, the more I dug it. The "narrative-driven exploration adventure" has this uniquely desolate sci-fi look that reminds me of some of my recent favorites, while it also has a demo available to try right now on Steam.

I particularly appreciate how Caravan SandWitch's vision of a desert world isn't lifeless⁠—it's reminiscent of the American Southwest with red scrub grass, occasional groves of hearty trees, and gorgeous oases tucked between the dusty mesas. The planet's also littered with ruins that seem ancient, but also look like they were produced by a society of our own technological level: half-buried SETI-style satellite dishes and rusted communications towers that make me want to know more about this planet and its history.

It reminds me a lot of 2021's excellent Sable, or the TV series Scavengers Reign from 2023⁠—I think there's a throughline of French comic book influence in all three that goes a long way to explaining why they just look so good.

And Caravan SandWitch has intriguing-looking gameplay, split between driving around its world in a beat up van and on-foot exploration that looks to be of the clambering around, realistic 3D platformer variety. I am all in on the latter especially⁠—there just aren't enough people making expansive, exploration-focused 3D platformers by my reckoning.

You can check out Caravan SandWitch's demo and wishlist the game over on Steam right now, though it does not yet have a release window. 

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Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.