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REKA preview: A spellbinding title inspired by Eastern European folklore

REKA preview: A spellbinding title inspired by Eastern European folklore

This free download is perfect for fans of cosy building sims

Eastern European folklore is the home of themes ranging from isolation and loneliness to associations with birds, superstition and the occult - and this upcoming indie title dives into that mysterious world with a reimagining of the famous tale of Baba Yaga.

REKA sees players get the chance to channel their inner witch and become the apprentice of the highly feared Baba Yaga. As a budding witch yourself, you will be able to learn beneath the master by practising magic, foraging for ingredients in the surrounding autumnal stained forests and most importantly, navigating the Eastern European themed setting in your cosy chicken-legged hut.

Developed by Emberstorm Entertainment and set to release in August 2024, the REKA demo is now free to try courtesy of Steam. The demo allows you to explore the opening area of the game to your heart’s content as well as get to work on your chicken-legged house.

Emberstorm Entertainment

Much like the original tales of Baba Yaga, an enigmatic character originating from Slavic folklore, the infamous chicken-legged house is the basis of REKA as we perform the ritual that brings it to life in the opening hour of the game.

With Baba Yaga most famously being the goddess of death in old stories, the house is believed to stand on the edges of life and death and this is surely to be believed with the ritual consisting of bones and fire. The opening moments of the game set the scene perfectly and capture your imagination with themes of the occult, magic and life.

As for our main character Reka, we first meet her as she arrives at the mysterious village that is lined with autumnal trees and falling leaves, huts and animals, travelling merchants and most importantly, the ominous figure that lives within the woods.

From the Eastern European style clothes that we are able to dress Reka in to the names of villagers, REKA feels incredibly authentic and does not let you forget where you are. Despite the demo only allowing you to stay within the boundaries of the first area, the map already feels lush and invites you to explore every inch.

Emberstorm Entertainment

Our arrival in the village kicks off what a lot of the story will be about, exploring areas, meeting villagers and accepting missions in order to receive rewards. My very first mission was to find an escaped goat which saw me receive a beautiful dresser and photograph in return. These items were soon placed in my chicken-legged house and I am excited to see how much grander I can make the magical home.

Furnishings, money and ingredients can be found all over the map with Reka able to use her magic to forage for items. More specifically, she is able to command crows to collect materials for her and there are some beautiful animations to be seen.

Although I was limited by the demo, I was still able to make a house a home and building, crafting and creating in REKA is extremely immersive. Once you have a blueprint for an item, you can craft it as many times as you want and materials can be collected and used to make walls, roofs and general furniture.

As well as basic furniture, you will also be able to find and create beautiful decorations such as photographs, hanging dried herbs and even pots of jam once you have cooked them in the fire. I can only imagine how beautiful you will be able to make the house over the course of the game.

Plus, you can have a pet companion who roams around the house before snuggling up in their assigned bed.

Emberstorm Entertainment

I spent around 70 minutes in REKA’s demo and a lot of that time was dedicated to creating Reka herself. Players are able to choose skin tone, tattoos, hairstyle and colour, eyes and colour, and clothes and accessories. The character creation isn’t too detailed but enough to make your character unique and fit perfectly into the world she comes from.

REKA’s full release will allow Reka and Baba Yaga to discover settlements, accept quests from strangers and even choose to help or hinder villagers. As Reka’s magical abilities grow, she will be able to tame the local wildlife and bring them home as the pair forge their paths through a procedurally generated, natural landscape.

For now, REKA is available to try for free ahead of its full launch in just a few months. Don’t miss out on this spellbinding exploration game this year.

Featured Image Credit: Emberstorm Entertainment

Topics: PC, Preview, Steam, Indie Games