Much though we'd love to cover every plucky roguelite that comes to PC, some slip past us with the grace of an ethereal sword-wielding warrior dash-dodging their way through the cold, dead night. Which is appropriate, because that precisely fits the description of the hero at the heart of Warm Snow, a Chinese game from developer BadMudStudio that's quietly grown into one of the more popular games on Steam.
With a 91% positive rating from over 12,000 Steam reviews and some persistently high player counts, how did we miss this gem that launched back in December? Well, looking at the reviews, 97% of them are Chinese, and the game was never really given an English-language announcement. All the screenshots are Chinese too, which would probably be enough to bat away non-Chinese speakers (even though you can play it with a somewhat imperfect English translation).
The game casts you as Bi-An, a lone warrior who goes on a crusade against some Big Bad Clans to save the world from its affliction known as 'Warm Snow,' which has turned everyone loopy and out for your blood.
It has a Hades-like loop by the looks of things, forcing you to kill all enemies in an area before being presented with branching paths through its fantasy Feudal Chinese land. As you progress, you pick up randomised artefacts and weapons, but also are presented with cards that let you choose different 'Sects,' which give you some choice about how you develop Bi-An for that run.
This being a roguelite, you start over when you die, but at least in your intergame purgatory you get to hang out with a sultry spectral giantess smoking a pipe, who sells you boosts and upgrades in exchange for some kind of soul-like currency that you earn during runs.
Having taken a swipe at the demo, it all feels pretty good. The controls are snappy, and beyond your upgradeable sword, I like that you can also chuck a bunch of auto-targeting throwing daggers that whoosh back to you with the press of a button.
Looking for a new slashy roguelite to bash your head against? This one could be worth a look (and given its relative obscurity outside of China, you can also brag to your friends that you 'discovered' it).