Black Book is an adventure RPG with deckbuilding elements, inspired by Slavic folklore.

You play as a young witch named Vasilisa how renounces her bond with the forces of darkness to marry her beloved. As you can imagine, the forces of darkness don’t take to kindly to her decision.

When her betrothed dies under mysterious circumstances, Vasilisa goes out to seek the Black Book. This rare artifact can is rumored to grant any wish to the one who uncovers all seven of its seals.

We will join Vasilisa in her journey through the Russian countryside, where she faces demons and other Slavic myths and folktales. To beat the devil’s forces and unlock the Black Book, we will solve riddles, complete side-quests, and even command our own horde of demons.

According to developer Morteshka, the game’s narrative is based on something called Bailichkas – a collection of stories about “allegedly true events of meeting with spirits and demons.” They even consulted an expert ethnographer and a collector of Bailichkas, as well as the Perm Historical Museum, when constructing the game’s world.

Black Book also features an in-game encyclopedia that should help you learn more about the area’s folklore and its beasts.

The announcement trailer above doesn’t show us too much gameplay, though we do get to see a little of the turn-based combat. Our deck of cards represents the spells Vasilisa can cast during the fight, and it seems she can only use a spell once per encounter. It appears she can also summon familiars to help her during combat, like a big cat black cat.

But I’m more impressed with the game’s visual style. The low-poly aesthetics, combined with the dark color palette creates a foreboding atmosphere that suits the gameplay and the whole Slavic folklore angle.

Black Book is coming later in 2020, to the PC via Steam.

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