Path to the Sky could take the roguelike to new heights

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Path to the Sky

Some developers are all up in your face, releasing a trailer every week to inform the world about some new feature, I sense more to keep the game alive in the collective consciousness than anything else. After all, with so many games releasing every month, every week, every day, being forgotten can often be a death sentence.

Then there are the developers that quietly get on with it, emerging every few months with a bold new look at their project, which has clearly come on leaps and bounds while they've been away from the spotlight. Dek's Path to the Sky (opens in new tab) is such a game: a procedurally generated platformer that takes you to the clouds, and that's shaping up to be one of the most promising games of this year. I mean, have a look at this recently released alpha trailer:

The word 'roguelike' has deteriorated to the point at which it just means 'permadeath' or 'a bit random', but Path to the Sky appears to be aiming for the complexity of simulation that used to set these games apart. Here are a couple of bullet points from the promising feature list:

  • Full procedural generation. A new, infinite world, every time you play
  • Round the clock day and night cycle with randomized atmospheric and weather effects. Enemy AI adjusting accordingly

You play the part of a 17th century shipwreck survivor, washed up on a mysterious island home to "hostile birds", and of course a load of floating islands leading ever upwards. Also: a lovely shield and impressive arrow effects, thanks to the game's support for Box2D physics.

Developer DEKDEV is aiming for a release sometime in Spring/Summer, but Path to the Sky will be coming to Steam Early Access first. You can pre-order now via the website if you like, which will net you an early access Steam key when they're available.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.