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Spiritual strategy game Cantata comes to early access in May

It looks like Dune on acid

Cantata, the upcoming game from Afterschool Studio, is releasing in early access on the 12th of May. It's a turn-based strategy game set during a surreal and futuristic war, where, shocker, the aim is to kill your opponent. The twist is that while you’re building your base in each encounter, you’ll also need to manage logistics. The maps in Cantata are bigger than most other strategy games, so you’ll have to construct a supply chain alongside your army to keep your base expanding. And it’s all wrapped up in a unique and colourful aesthetic too.

Exploration is mandatory in Cantata, both due to the size of the maps, but also to find the best way to your opponent. But it's never that easy, is it? Cantata takes place on a bizarre planet called Shoal, and between turns it can damage you as well, through random conditions like weather or aggressive fauna.

The Cantata website says “every map that you'll play in the game will be made with the game's level editor,” which is a feature I love the sound of. It’s always awesome seeing really powerful tools being left in the community’s hands, even if I will just make a penis out of dirt before giving up.

Nate’s covered Cantata twice previously, in 2019 as an early preview, and again last August when the game’s first Steam demo released. He felt “there was a lot of tactical fun to be had along the way. But I would have preferred to have had it in about the quarter of the time it eventually took to have.”

Cantata arrives on Steam Early Access on May 12th. It’s not clear how long it’ll stay like that, but Afterschool Studio have already been working on Cantata for almost four years, and say that the game will release with “the first round of the story missions” while listening to the community’s feedback. If you wanna check it out before then, there’s a demo on Steam available right now.

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