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There's a new Vampire Survivors meets V Rising game in town, so why not try its free demo?

An Ankou is launching into early access next month

Swarms of crab-like critters surround our grim reaper in a screenshot from An Ankou
Image credit: PID Games

Following the lush card battling of last year’s Foretales, developers Alkemi are now trying their hand at an entirely different genre with An Ankou. The top-down roguelike casts you as the titular servant of Death, reborn and forced to continue working in the afterlife, mainly through killing demons and helping lost souls. Capitalism, eh? Lay your eyes on the reveal trailer below.

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The trailer gives you a glimpse at what's up here. You’ll be scavenging, crafting, exploring an open map with some random elements, performing some necromancy, and then dashing-and-slashing through enemies. A little bit V Rising, a little bit Hades, and a little bit Vampire Survivors by the looks of those screen-filling swarms.

Set in an alternative version of 19th century France (and more specifically the province of Brittany), your job is to reincarnate and escort spirits to their final resting places, all while hordes of gothic demons have invaded the lands of the living. Though, I can hear you asking: why is it called "An" Ankou rather than "The" Ankou? Well, there’s nothing special about your particular servant of death. Ankous are figures in Norman French folklore (and Breton, Cornish and Welsh, according to old Wikipedia), and every time you die, you’ll be replaced by another recently deceased person who worked as either a soldier, apothecary, or nun - this game’s version of classes.

Those classes have access to different weapons and abilities, and the team teases more additions in the future, such as a cook or a blacksmith. I recently learned that Rag Picker (people that would sift through bins in search of sellable goods) was a not-uncommon job title in the 19th century. I’d quite like to see that moveset.

Our Katharine loved the developer’s previous game, Foretales, calling it a “brilliant meld of strategic card battling, smart puzzles, and warm, characterful storytelling,” in her review. A good sign for An Ankou's prospects, although I'm interested to see if the team's brilliant storytelling chops makes the transition to this Survivors-like structure.

The team say there’ll be multiple game modes with runtimes ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, and some difficulty options should help you mod that further. An Ankou launches into early access next month, but you can try out the demo later today on Steam.

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