The latest update to my favorite indie RPG adds a clockwork police state ruled by a mad god

Dread Delusion is one of the games I’m most excited for: a lo-fi, indie take on a Morrowind-style weird fantasy world, the medieval societies clinging to a field of asteroids slowly orbiting a small red star. That world just got a little bit weirder thanks to the addition of Dread Delusion’s first new major region since launch, the Clockwork Kingdom.

The bones of this place have been here since Dread Delusion’s early access launch: an empty island with a unique, wintery look and its own soundtrack. Developer Lovely Hellplace wised up to the antics of boundary breakers like me jumping to the island with magic, and moved the kingdom’s home island out for the final release, forcing players to get there “the right way.”

The Clockwork Kingdom is a police state, you see, and the only way in is to smuggle yourself across the gap between asteroids with the help of the principality’s sole licensed merchant. It’s a great, tactile bit of worldbuilding that really helps sell how isolated and alien this place is, even compared to Dread Delusion’s other surreal locales like the nation of flesh-eating zombies over on the other side of the Oneiric Isles.

Dread Delusion continues to be an RPG that punches well above its weight class⁠—this open world is small but incredibly dense, while its lore and history give this believable sense of a world existing outside the small region explorable in in the game. I’ve only seen a little bit of the Clockwork Kingdom so far, but I’ve loved immersing myself in this place.

It also seems like we’re getting close to the game’s full release⁠—unless there’s been a change of plans, the main quest requires you to track down three key individuals, and the Clockwork Kingdom update saw the addition of that third crucial weird guy. Lovely Hellplace has teased a sojourn down to the surface of Dread Delusion’s ruined world, below the asteroid kingdoms, and I’m looking forward to going there once the game eventually leaves early access.

Until then, you can wishlist Dread Delusion or check it out in early access for yourself on Steam⁠—the game is currently on sale for $15, 25% off a usual $20.

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(Image credit: Lovely Hellplace)

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(Image credit: Lovely Hellplace)

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(Image credit: Lovely Hellplace)

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