Surprise! West of Loathing's developer made a new stick-figure RPG, and it's out now

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It seems weird to work on something for five whole years and never breathe a word about it to anyone, but that's exactly what Asymmetric Publications has done. The developers of long-running online RPG The Kingdom of Loathing (opens in new tab) and singleplayer comedy western RPG West of Loathing have been writing, coding, drawing stick figures, and saying absolutely nothing about it for half a decade. No teasers, no press releases, not even a name.

Until today! Asymmetric's secret new game has a name: Shadows Over Loathing. And not only has it just been announced, but it's actually just been released. Shadows Over Loathing is out on Steam. You can play it right now (opens in new tab). Surprise!

If you haven't already gone scampering over to Steam to check it out, here's the skinny. In Shadows Over Loathing, you've traveled to Ocean City at the request of your Uncle Murray, who would like your help running his antique shop. But by the time you arrive, Murray has vanished. Now it's up to you to run the shop, explore the mysterious black-and-white world, get into approximately one million fights, and discover why Uncle Murray went missing and what strange artifact he was hunting for when he vanished.

I've been lucky enough to play an advanced build of Shadows Over Loathing for the past week, and fans of West of Loathing will feel right at home. Explore the charming, quirky, black-and-white open world, discover new locations, chat with oddball characters, solve puzzles, and have turn-based battles with gun-toting fairies, xylophone-playing goblins, junk-hurling robots, and old-timey gangsters.

Once again the economy is meat-based, there are all manner of bizarre weapons and gear to find (I'm a Cheese Wizard who uses an enchanted set of barbeque tongs), and there's a complicated mystery to unravel. And of course there are loads of hats.

I haven't completed the game yet, but if you want to know a bit more you can read my Shadows Over Loathing impressions (opens in new tab). If you're headed straight to Steam (opens in new tab) instead, the new RPG is priced at $23, and there's a 15% discount for its first week.

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.