This gorgeous indie looks like SNES Skyrim and it's coming in 2023

World of Anterra is a new indie billed as "Skyrim with pixel art" and it's coming in 2023 - so long as it reaches its funding goal on Kickstarter (opens in new tab).

It's worth pointing out from the offset that, according to its Kickstarter campaign, World of Anterra won't exist unless it reaches its goal of $99,555 by Friday, September 23. At the time of writing, it's sitting at $41,000. I only mention this so you don't get too attached, because I'll be frank with you: I want to live in this game.

The hand-crafted pixel art visuals look like a blend of classic RPGs like Breath of Fire and Trials of Mana and old-school farming sims like Harvest Moon. It might just be me, but watching the trailer for World of Anterra also gives me a pang of nostalgia that reminds me of exploring the seemingly limitless world of Ultima Online.

Beyond its scarily inviting world, I love the idea of a giant, non-linear, open-world RPG like Skyrim done in the style of a top-down SNES game. Developer 81monkeys says you'll explore oceans, continents, regions, castles and towns, mountains, caves, and dungeons, and encounter everything from little insects to "hulking creatures." 

World of Anterra

(Image credit: 81monkeys)

Like Skyrim and plenty of other RPGs, World of Anterra lets you wander around a bunch of diverse landscapes, chat with NPCs, cook yourself some grub, and go fishing, and it all sounds really thorough. For example, the developers say "cooking can be as simple as dragging meat onto the fire, or as complicated as combining ingredients in a pan."

Beyond that, you'll also go hunting, collect resources, craft and build cool stuff, go on faery hunts, and do some detective work. Seriously, the deeper you dig into World of Anterra, the more neat interactive stuff you'll find out about.

The combat also sounds really interesting. 81monkeys describes it as "the most streamlined grid-based combat we've ever seen." Apparently, it's simple enough that you can blast through crowds like an action-RPG, but there's also depth and strategy involved in taking down bigger foes.

"It’s as simple as choosing your action on the HUD, then pressing the corresponding button to move AND attack. You can also switch between different weapons, enchantments, consumables, combat abilities, and spells."

You can read about all of the complexities on the game's Kickstarter, but here's a brief clip of the combat system in action:

World of Anterra

(Image credit: 81monkeys)

Even co-op sounds pretty detailed. The game lets players - it's not clear how many - "drop in" seamlessly and adventure together or separately. There are also narrative-based world events with their own progression systems and rewards that happen when another player opens a rift into another world. "We believe that multiplayer in World of Anterra needs to stand on the shoulders of a great single player experience, so it’s important to us that the single player gameplay shines before we integrate our multiplayer features."

Again, we're only scratching the surface here with these details, and there are a bunch of other minute details available on the campaign page. World of Anterra is due out in 2023 on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch... hopefully.

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After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.