[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]
Pawnbarian is a chess-inspired puzzler with light rogue-like and card battler elements. You are a warrior piece on a 5x5 chessboard, thrown onto the tiny dungeon floor with a bunch of enemies, including bloodthirsty Capybears, imposing Golems, and eldritch Blightsacks.
You're given a deck of cards representing chess pieces and play them to move your hero. The goal is to capture all enemies on a given floor by moving into them - like you would in chess - while avoiding or shielding yourself from their attacks. Every turn feels like a one-of-a-kind puzzle as you learn how to play around each enemy type's unique traits. After each encounter you're given the opportunity to either replenish your health or upgrade the cards with additional powers.
A single run is complete after winning several increasingly difficult floors, culminating in a tough-as-nails boss fight. Pawnbarian is designed to be a short, bite-sized experience. It's possible to win in around 15 to 30 minutes - that is, if you master the mechanics.
There are 3 characters to choose from, each with a different deck and core mechanic, and you set out to conquer 3 dungeons with varied theme and enemies. Each combination requires a unique approach. You can also take on Chains - cumulative difficulty modifiers.
Pawnbarian is created and self-published by Polish indie dev Jan Wojtecki AKA j4nw.
Steam - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1142080/Pawnbarian/
Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKr-AxVk7_8
Gameplay video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MjFRnGaPCk&t
Developer contact - https://j4nw.com/
Additional info and assets - https://j4nw.com/pawnbarian/