This eerie RPG looks like Baldur's Gate on Game Boy, and it's out soon

Felvidek combat in motion, first person sword swing against row of enemies arranged against player

(Image credit: Jozef Pavelka)

Amidst all the commotion of the Steam Next Fest and some kind of big wizard game coming out this week, an absolutely captivating-looking indie RPG has emerged on Steam: Felvidek (sometimes styled Felvidék) is a low-fantasy, turn-based game made with the venerable RPG Maker toolset, and it has an absolutely stunning aesthetic all its own.

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"Like Baldur's Gate on the Game Boy" is the punchiest elevator pitch I can come up with. Solo developer Jozef Pavelka replicates that classic style of pre-rendered 3D backdrops common to RPGs of the late '90s, but goes the extra mile by applying this grim, monochrome wash that presents everything in muted greys, greens, and browns. The contrast between the high-fidelity art and the lack of color reminds me of Lucas Pope's Return of the Obra Dinn, or, and this may sound high-falutin, the gothic vistas of the original Nosferatu silent film. Pavelka recently put a short video outlining the process of making these environments on Twitter.

I'm an absolute sucker for this sort of rendercore revival, especially when a developer is able to make it their own and offer a really unique take on the style. Gameplay-wise Felvidek is reminiscent of classic Dragon Quests or Ultima, with your train of companions wandering through an exploration screen and combat zooming into a first person view of your enemies laid in a row. New Blood's upcoming Fallout-inspired CRPG is going for a similar split in exploration and combat.

Felvidek seems to be a more grounded, sober sort of low fantasy, but there are glimpses of more fantastical elements from its first trailers and screenshots, with floating eyeballs and tentacle monsters dispersed among stinky, arquebus-wielding bandits. I also love Felvidek's cheeky first person combat animations, with chunky sprites of sword swings, shield bashes, and spellcasting that look like they're straight out of Hexen.

Felvidek just strikes me as an incredibly characterful burst of color⁠—ironic given its deliberately drab palette. Felvidek is currently set to release this April, and you can wishlist it now on Steam.

Associate Editor

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.