Rule The Skies And Comb The Desert With Tolroko

Stuck for something to play this weekend? Take a look at Tolroko [official site], then, as you may find that its freely downloadable alpha build puts your fancy in its sights and gives it a good tickle. With machine guns.

Developer Richard Svensson describes his vision for Tolroko as a cross between the open-world (or open-universe) gameplay of Skyrim or Elite, and the old Edgar Rice Burroughs-penned Barsoom novels – a pulpish early 20th century science fantasy series which imagined Mars as a planet rich in life and full of ancient cultures. You may have seen the actually not awful film John Carter a few years back?

The above gameplay video concerns itself with duelling skyships, though that’s not all Tolroko has to offer. Its game world is procedurally generated, including a variety of biomes, with core gameplay revolving around exploration, chatting with taciturn desert natives, making friends and trading goods, and of course shooting whatever looks like it needs a bullet or energy blast to the face. Gosh, video games. When did you become so violent?

It should ultimately be possible to construct your own custom bases, become pals with some of the planet’s various factions, and of course acquire the best ships and gear the game has to offer. Explore, survive and prosper: these are things we do in games such as this.

At present Tolroko is free to download and play, although that may change in the future. At the moment the game is very much a work in progress, with some clunky aspects and missing features, but we can hardly be churlish about a free alpha.


  1. Funso Banjo says:

    Not awful John Carter?

    That’s not a good way to start an article you want taking seriously.

    • Wytefang says:

      Well except for the fact that the writer is correct. John Carter was just fine. Wasn’t great, wasn’t awful. #qualitativeassessingishard

      • Shaun Green says:


        (My favourite moment of the entire film was when the good guys launched an epic assault on the wrong location, & the alien chief slapped the hero in the face for not thinking to check such basic information. That this is my favourite moment is probably suggestive.)

    • Neutrino says:

      “You may have seen the actually not awful film John Carter a few years back?”

      I think I must have seen most of the sci-fi films ever made. Only two sci-fi films have I watched that I actually switched off part way through.

      The Phantom Menace.
      John Carter.

      • RARARA says:

        Honestly, I enjoyed John Carter more than the likes of Avatar and Prometheus. Visually inventive and captures that pulpy feel.

  2. Mrice says:

    This game looks fucking fabulous. Everything i love about old sci-fi perfectly realised as a game.

    • Blackcompany says:

      My thoughts exactly. I would rather have a good game about airships than spaceships to be honest. I just think you can make a single large planet far more interesting to explore than lots of empty, well…space. Really hoping this takes off!

      • rexx.sabotage says:

        plus it’s perfectly fine for atmospheric craft to fly like airplanes.

        it’s not ok when spaceships fly like airplanes >:[

    • dvoid says:

      Thanks!! =)

  3. Janissaire says:

    You took so much this for see this old game.

  4. Caiman says:

    All I could see was…
    Entering Weolkade
    Leaving Weolkade
    Entering Weolkade
    Leaving Weolkade
    Entering Weolkade
    Leaving Weolkade
    Entering Weolkade
    Leaving Weolkade

    (I think they need to tone that down a bit)

    • Shaun Green says:

      Oh yeah, the log is pretty irritating. I can forgive such things in alphas though.

      • dvoid says:

        haha yes, im so used to it at this point that i didt even think about it when recording this video. I have disabled those messages now ( will be included in the next public build ).

  5. Geebs says:

    Aesthetic = nailed.

  6. SuicideKing says: