RPG fans have been eating good this year. Even setting aside monster releases like Baldur's Gate 3, Starfield, and the second coming of Johnny Silverhand, there are tons of great games on Steam vying for our leftover attention. But only one of them lets you play as a treasure chest.
Just a Chest, from a small Chinese dev called 42TeaParty, stars a protagonist named Issac—standard stuff so far—but Isaac isn't a valiant knight or devious demon lord. Isaac is a humble treasure chest. Joined by some wacky companions, he sets out on a journey to… well, I'm not exactly sure. Probably to find some gold to put in his belly or something.
As an unrepentant loot goblin myself, I approve of the choice of protagonists. Just a Chest looks like a mashup of various anime tropes and games—a slime companion that reminds me of That Time I Got Reincarnated (second best slime-affiliated anime after Campfire Cooking, come at me), a treasure chest crafting screen that looks straight out of Stardew, an overworld map that hearkens back to Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Given the novelty of playing as a treasure chest I don't think the familiarity of those other elements is necessarily a bad thing, and the trailer from the Tokyo Games Show is definitely giving a bit of a wink and a nod to its inspirations.
It's good to see treasure chests getting a chance to be the good guys for once, too. Historically we've been excited to see them, but there's always a bit of hesitation. What if it's like that godsforsaken mimic at the beginning of Dark Souls 3 that killed me a half dozen times before coughing up the deep battle axe I ended up using for a huge chunk of that first playthrough? Such a jerk.
Just a Chest has a battle between humans and monsters that you need to pick a side in. The Steam page begs the question, "To be a meek friend of humans, or stand with monsters, or maintain strict neutrality (and risk being smashed by both sides)?" With at least three ways to play the main plot, here's hoping that it's a bit more of a light repast than the Chicago deep dish RPGs we've been gorging on this year.
Check out the Steam page if you want to learn more about Just a Chest, but you won't find a release date just yet unfortunately. What you will find is another trailer with some very loose translations that are nevertheless endearing in the way only an overly earnest anime can be. And cats. You'll also find an adorable kitty cat, in case the chest alone wasn't enough to hook you.