Not only is this indie Metroidvania a love letter to PS1-era action RPGs, but it also has a giant capybara in it

Rune Fencer Illyia
(Image credit: Nootbox Games)

This cute and dark Metroidvania is a love letter to PS1-era action RPGs like Castlevania, Metroid, Zelda, and more - but I'm mostly here for the giant capybara.

Rune Fencer Illyia is an upcoming atmospheric action-platformer that's now live on Kickstarter, and is sure to be a hit with fans of PS1-era action RPGs. The game focuses on "rewarding exploration, heartfelt storytelling, and fast-paced combat" - it's also been described as a "love letter" to the likes of Castlevania, Metroid, Zelda, Kirby, Hollow Knight, and more.

In the game, players will take on the role of young Runist Illyia who, after waking up in the debris of the airship she was traveling on, must explore the ruined world she's found herself in whilst searching for her missing twin sister as well as a way back home. Gameplay-wise, players will meet strange allies and enemies, fight numerous foes with swordplay, and perform powerful runic magic. 

If I'm being completely honest, though, the thing that first brought this game to my attention was the clip shared by developer Nootbox Games below. In the video, Illyia comes across a group of capybaras having a leisurely citrus bath. As you may notice, one of these cavies is not like the others. In fact, it's big enough for Illyia to walk on. Instead of this, however, she gives it a polite scratch, which, judging by the little hearts above its head, it really enjoys.

Rune Fencer Illyia hasn't got a release date yet, the project still has some time left on Kickstarter after all, but when it does release, it'll be available on PC (via Steam) and Nintendo Switch. As of the time of writing this, the project has managed to smash some of its stretch goals, meaning it'll also be ported to Xbox consoles and hopefully soon PlayStation too. 

Find out what other hidden gems are on the horizon with our upcoming indie games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.