April 3, 2015 12:40 PM | Luca Colosso
Silencium's Saltbox is just a prototype right now, everything can still be subject to major changes and therefore it shall not be considered representative of the final product that will be released "later on". It's a surreal open-ended RPG, or at least, at this point in time there doesn't seem to be any plan regarding the addition of a main storyline. That would mean introducing a start and an end to it, and I feel like part of the fun that you can already experience is mainly due to the lack of said gameplay elements.
You're going to be playing as Mr. Doitsch, a trapped individual in the titular town that is now forced to live together with its particular inhabitants. The graphics are simplistically hand-drawn, people's models are significantly disproportionate, and yet the bright colors don't really make you feel like the character is having a bad time. Sure, adapting to this whole new standard of life can be definitely difficult at first, but thanks to the unlikely quests given by a few NPCs, you'll eventually realize how easy it is to mesh with the world of Saltbox.
Quests such as finding stars for money or grabbing mice in the trash cans are completely normal here, so you better go out there and start to work. With the WASD keys you move, mouse is used to look around, and E and I are respectively used for interacting with anything it lets you and bringing up the inventory. The latter element is needed to keep track of the four main currencies, though I sense that as the game will grow even this tab will become much more complex.
Interesting locations can be already found in the limited section of the town that's been included in the demo. There's the market where you'll meet a 'Yummy Cola' addict, for instance. However, the place that seems to attract the most people is the Blue Bar. There, I realized for the first time what was going wrong in this seemingly peaceful corner of heaven. People gamble, a lot, Poker games are played inside of the warehouses so that no one finds out, and at the first floor of the Blue Bar you can also find slot machines that I doubt they will ever let you win.
So this is it, you work hard to have your stars and mice turned into cash solely to spend them all in the hopes of winning at some unwinnable game. A day in the life of these people doesn't look so appealing all things considered.
The developer stated that what's available now is just a small portion of what Saltbox is going to become. More quests will be implemented, and the city won't be as limited as it is right now. The demo version is free, and it can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Game Jolt.