This gorgeous martial arts RPG looks like a Chinese Octopath Traveler, and it's an instant Steam hit

 2D pixel warriors prepare for battle in a 3D environment.
2D pixel warriors prepare for battle in a 3D environment.

The newest RPG to blow up on Steam takes Octopath Traveler’s unforgettable art style and squashes it into a Chinese martial arts tale. Best of all, fans of the genre seem to be absolutely smitten with it.

Wandering Sword came out on Steam earlier this month - September 15th - and the store page describes it as a “Chinese martial-arts RPG where you play a young swordsman caught up in a feud [who] nearly dies.” From there our main man journeys to become a martial arts master, travelling across 75 locations, including your retro RPG staples - the quaint towns, snowy mountains, and dangerous enemy lairs.

What’s immediately striking about Wandering Sword is its similarities to the great Octopath Traveler games. The art mixes some 3D environments with 2D sprites and the result is obviously beautiful. The combat here sets itself apart, as every battle takes place across a tiled board, so you’ll need to put your strategic cap on to properly utilise your techniques and weapon styles. Although, there’s both a turn-based and real-time mode to play with - something for everyone, then.

Wandering Sword's unique style and large cast of characters has worked its magic on throwback RPG fans, judging by the “Very Positive” rating based on 6,450+ Steam user reviews. Many reviews praise the branching Wuxia story that features impactful choices, the RPG systems, and of course, the irresistible art. Some user reviews also enjoyed the game’s side content, too, which makes me very excited to explore every corner on every pixel.

Wandering Sword is available on Steam for £20.99/$25. Developer Swordsman Studio has already updated the game since launch, adding in an auto-battle mode and a whole range of quality-of-life features. “There are still other requested features which we are actively looking towards implementing at a later stage,” the studio says.

After you sweep through Wandering Sword, take a look at the other best RPGs available.