Planned release early 2023, nightingale is a highly anticipated open-world survival crafting game from former BioWare boss Aaryn Flynn, which also stands out for being set in a gaslamp fantasy world. Although both this subgenre and steampunk typically take place in an environment that mimics the 19th and early 20th centuries, Gaslamp Fantasy focuses more on supernatural elements than technological advances.
Although the genre isn’t nearly as popular as cyberpunk or even steampunk, nightingale isn’t the only Gaslamp Fantasy game to consider. Other titles, like bloodborneprove that this subgenre has great potential.
Midnight Train (2020)
Created by indie developer LydiaBluebell, who also created the Alice in Wonderland-inspired game Aria’s Story, Midnight Train is a 2020 RPG Maker mystery horror game that follows Luna Wyndell, a mute traveler with a mysterious past. While riding the Midnight Express, people around her suddenly disappear, the train stops at a building in the middle of a void, and she finds a pocket watch with instructions telling her to find the next train before time runs out.
With the help of an amateur detective named Neil Lawton, who is also currently trapped in this world, Luna must explore, meet other characters, and solve puzzles if she is ever to escape. As the journey progresses, the dark past behind each of the characters will be revealed.
Seemingly inspired by the often-forgotten Dreamcast game Sky of Arcadia and classic JRPGs from the 90s, nostalgia is a 2008 JRPG for the Nintendo DS. Created by red entertainment, who also developed 2002’s third-person shooter Gungrave, This game follows a young British aristocrat named Eddie Brown who is the son of a famous adventurer.
When Eddie learns that his father is missing, he decides to become an adventurer himself in order to find and hopefully save his father. Along with a street kid named Pad Remington, a haughty witch named Melody Farklight, and an amnesiac girl named Fiona, Eddie hops onto his father’s abandoned zeppelin and explores this vast 19th-century world.
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura (2001)
Designed by Timothy Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason D. Anderson, who also designed the original Stand out, Arcanum: By Steamworks & Magick Obscura is a 2001 isometric open-world CRPG that combines the steampunk and gaslamp fantasy subgenres. After the player-customized protagonist miraculously survives a zeppelin crash, they embark on a journey to find out who attacked the plane and how it is connected to a larger conspiracy.
In a fantasy world undergoing an industrial revolution, there is an ongoing conflict between traditional magic and new technology, which is reflected in gameplay as technological machines fail near powerful magic and vice versa. Even compared to modern RPGs, this classic title is still one of the most compelling examples, with plenty of customization options, gameplay, and meaningful choices.
Forgotten Anne (2018)
published in 2018, Forget Anne is a puzzle platformer with a beautiful anime-inspired hand-drawn art style and a stunning soundtrack performed by the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. When an object is forgotten or lost, it is transported to a magical realm called The Forgotten Lands, where they become sentient beings called Forgotlings. The game follows the titular protagonist, Anne, who is one of the two humans that exist in this world.
The other human, Bonku, is the ruler of this realm who is said to be building an Aetheric Bridge that will act as a magical gateway back into the real world, and Anne is his enforcer, trying to keep the Forgotten at bay while he accomplishes this task Fulfills . But while trying to stop a group of rebels, Anne learns that all is not as it seems.
Sunless Sea (2015)
Within the same magical Victorian universe as the browser game Fallen London, sunless sea is a 2015 survival roguelike that requires the player to explore a dangerous subterranean ocean known as the Unterzee. Aside from being a steamship captain, everything else about the player’s character, including their background and goals, is customized by the player.
As he travels across this vast ocean, the player must complete quests, trade goods, fight other ships, and even battle various mythical monsters. With a vivid world and challenging gameplay, it’s not surprising that this popular game got a sequel with the title in 2019 Sunless sky.
Dishonored series (since 2012)
Developed by Arkane Studios who also developed the 2017 space horror game prey and the FPS 2021 Death loop, dishonoured is an ongoing series of first-person action-adventure games that primarily focus on giving the player choice in how they want to complete missions. Set in the Victorian-inspired Empire of the Isles, where both technology and supernatural elements coexist, players can use either weapons or magic.
As royal protector Corvo Attano, Empress Emily Kaldwin or former assassin Billie Lurk, the player explores the world and decides whether to deal with NPCs fatally or non-lethally. Depending on the player’s choices, they will receive different reactions, missions, and endings.
Final Fantasy VI (1994)
As the first entry in the series not to be directed by original creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, and the first entry to deviate from the medieval fantasy setting, Final Fantasy VI is a major turning point not only for the franchise, but for JRPGs in general. Released for the SNES in 1994, the game is set in a world where magic existed until a conflict called “Magi’s War” nearly destroyed the planet.
Years later, the descendants of the remaining humans now live in a society inspired by the late 19th century with technologies from the second industrial revolution. As the Empire rediscovers magic and attempts to use it to take over the world, a resistance group known as the Returnees, with the help of an amnesiac half-esper named Terra, attempts to stop them.
Thief Series (1998-2014)
Originally created by Looking Glass Studios, who also developed the Ultima Underworld and system shock Franchise, Thief is a series of stealth games similar to the dishonored Series, focus on giving players options and agency. The games follow a master thief named Garrett as he uncovers various doomsday and supernatural conspiracies.
As the player explores this strange world that mixes both medieval and Victorian influences, he must carefully monitor his noise level and stay in the shadows to avoid being noticed by the NPCs. Using different weapons, items, and paths, players can approach the missions in a variety of ways.
Created by FromSoftware, which is also the souls Series, bloodborne is a 2015 award-winning action role-playing game known for its challenging gameplay, gothic atmosphere and environment design. After arriving in the Victorian-inspired city of Yharnam to find a cure for a disease, the player-specific character known as the Hunter discovers that the city itself is plagued by a blood-borne disease that turns people into beasts.
In the night of The Hunt, the hunter must fight his way through terrifying monsters to uncover the mysteries behind this plague. Eventually, the player discovers that the city is dealing with sinister beings who give them the blood that cures people of other diseases while turning them into beasts.
Although the game is still in development, nightingale has already helped popularize the term “Gaslamp Fantasy” and many potential players are already amazed by the game’s vibrant art style and potential play possibilities. Scheduled for release in the first half of 2023, this first-person open-world survival crafting game leaves the player stuck in the magical and dangerous fae realms after the portals stopped working.
Alone or with friends, the player must become a “realmwalker” in order to find a way back to the city of Nightingale, which is mankind’s last refuge. In order to survive the different biomes, the player must collect materials, craft items, build structures, fight creatures and use realm cards to gain access to new realms full of unique discoveries.
NEXT: The 10 best cyberpunk video games according to Metacritic