Anuchard is an upcoming RPG that’s inspired by the PSOne era of JRPGs. I was introduced to JRPGs in the PSOne era, so I have a ton of affection for the amazing lineup of games in the PlayStation library. Needless to say, Anuchard caught my eye. When I saw that StellarNull, the game’s development studio, had an open E3 appointment, I jumped at the chance to chat about the game.

Because E3 was all digital, we had our meeting via Discord, and lead developer Rico Lemba was calling in from Indonesia. However, I was still able to see about 20 minutes of gameplay. Benjamin from Freedom Games (the game’s publisher) played through a section of Anuchard while sharing his screen, as Rico talked me through what I was seeing. Isn’t technology a marvel?

Visually, Anuchard draws influence from Legend of Mana, using a hand-painted art style for backgrounds, pixel-art sprite characters, and modern particle effects. It all blends together pretty well, giving the game a very charming simplified aesthetic. Additionally, Hyperlight Drifter, Bastion, Hades, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening were all cited as inspirations (Hyperlight Drifter for its use of varied enemy behavior to create interesting challenges for players, Bastion for its dungeon gimmicks, Hades for its controller options, and Link’s Awakening for the way it uses visual cues to help players solve puzzles).

The basic premise of the game is that the island of Anuchard has been fragmented, and its mighty Guardians lie dormant. Your goal as the player, then, is to awaken the Guardians to restore Anuchard to its former glory.


For my demo, we entered just before the game’s second dungeon. At this point in the story, I’m told, villagers have been traveling to the dungeon to collect resources they so desperately need, but lately people haven’t been returning. Your character must investigate.

People who are missing will have notices on a bulletin board in town. Not only does this board serve as a quest giver (asking you to locate missing NPCs), but it will also give you a brief summary of the story thus far. This is designed to help players return to the game after a break without forgetting what had happened previously.

The game’s protagonist is called the Bellringer, for they wield an item called the Audros Bell. This is basically a bell at the end of a long stick (it looks a bit like a broom), and it serves as both a weapon and a tool for solving puzzles. It also contains spirits, which guide the Bellringer through their adventure.

Now, this is the element of the game that interests me the most, because the Audros Bell is a part of the game’s innovative combat system.


You can use the Audros Bell as a club, whacking your enemies to a violent death. However, you can also use a heavy attack to knock them against the wall. Being slammed against the wall will lead to different effects for different enemy types. For one type, this will shatter its shield, making it vulnerable to attacks. Another enemy type will duplicate itself when hitting the wall, and yet another type will launch projectiles upon impact.

You’re not swinging blindly, though. Enemies with knockback properties will have an icon over them, which lets the player know which type of knockback properties to expect. You will have to learn to decipher and remember the meanings of each symbol, but that’s part of the fun, right?

Additionally, there’s an element of crowd control at play. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a group of enemies, you can use this knockback mechanic to separate them, giving you an opportunity to attack them one at a time rather than all at once.

Oh, and you know how classic RPGs are littered with clay pots? Anuchard‘s combat system lets you knock enemies into clay pots to shatter the pots and deal additional damage to enemies. It looks incredibly satisfying (and I’m told it feels satisfying as well).


On top of combat, you can also use the Audros Bell to solve puzzles. There were some bubbles in the game’s dungeon that could be knocked around almost like baseballs. With precise aim, these bubbles could be sent flying through tight spaces, activating gemstone control mechanisms that would give the player access to new areas.

I was told that the team at StellarNull was also experimenting with a dice system for later in the game, where you could knock dice around with the Audros Bell, and different numbers would have different effects on the environment. I think this illustrates the true potential of this combat/puzzle-solving feature; with clever implementation, each dungeon could present a new twist on this system. I believe that is the intent for the final build of the game, though it’s still very much in development at this point and this could always change.


Another feature I got to see in action is the game’s cooking system. Before heading into the dungeon, the character entered a tent that had a cauldron in it. Based on what was tossed into the cauldron, the character would get stat boosts.

You can chuck two items into the pot — the first will determine your attack skills, while the second will determine your status increase. In the demo, the character tossed in a cabbage, for the Cabboom (get it? cabbage + kaboom?) skill, and then a potato to get boosts to both Health and Attack stats.

The cooking feature does need to be unlocked before you use it, but it was already unlocked for the sake of the demo version I saw.


All of this looks great. Anuchard has a simple aesthetic, but the game mechanics have a good amount of depth to them. I’m excited to see what sorts of creative twists on the knockback system will be introduced later in the game, because the aforementioned dice mechanic sounds pretty neat. I’d love to see more of those types of things when I get my hands on the final release.

Anuchard is slated to launch on PC via Steam and on Xbox consoles (Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X) in Q1 of 2022.

If you want to see the game in action, you can check out the gameplay trailer for Anuchard below.

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