About This Game

Eastshade

You are a traveling painter, exploring the island of Eastshade. Capture the world on canvas using your artist’s easel. Talk to the inhabitants to learn about their lives. Make friends and help those in need. Discover mysteries and uncover secrets about the land. Surmount natural impasses to reach forgotten places. Experience how your actions impact the world around you.

Features

  • A peaceful open-world exploration-adventure full of character
  • Compose paintings anywhere in the world and offer them to the locals to unlock secrets and gain items
  • Acquire crafting materials and schematics to surmount obstacles and solve quests
  • Make friends along the way through fully-voiced dynamic conversations and unlockable topics
    Minimum:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 560 Ti/Radeon HD 6950
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
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Yung Creezy

Posted: February 17
It’s like oblivion but you just get high in the woods and make neat paintings.

Kuro

Posted: February 16
I have got to give this game the props it deserves! Going in I didn’t think I would have as much fun with this game as I actually did. This game is such a refreshing breath of air amidst the huge dry spell of AAA which is currently plaguing us. The whole time you’re playing you can just admire the scenery and feel no rush to complete quests or collect something for someone. Don’t go in having a Skyrim or other rpg-like mentality because this game will be a lot of walking and going places but that is the best part. As much as I hate walking places in games I love just fast traveling place to place to finish what I have to do but I find that not the case with this. A heartwarming game about a painter who goes around helping people, forming bonds, putting smiles on peoples faces with art is one of the best things I’ve played in a long time. This game comes from a small team of just two people which makes it even more awe-inspiring that only a couple people want to show us this vision. From drug trips with the roots in Nava to Helping a captain in the Arctic dig a tunnel, this game was an amazing experience throughout and I highly recommend this to ANYONE because this is a game that really made me feel genuine happiness for once.

I AKU!

Posted: February 25
Eastshade is an unfortunately unique game, an open world adventure game where you don’t shoot, stab, or power slam anybody; or as people here have put it, Elder Scrolls without fighting. Eastshade brings into focus a sad realization in just how ubiquitous combat is to games, namely open world games, and how it stymies the ways games express their worlds. Some of my favorite games are open world games with combat mind you, i.e. Witcher 3, New Vegas, RDR 1, etc, but Eastshade takes a path that I wish more would emulate.

Eastshade takes place in a fantasy world populated with animal people, mainly monkeys, bears, deer, and owls. You play as a painter traveling to the island of Eastshade to paint pictures of certain parts of the island for your mother as her dying wish. Unfortunately the ship you’re on runs aground and you find yourself washed up on the shores of Lyndow, a village in Eastshade. From there your journey will take all across the island, from the lush forests, to the bustling capital of Nava, and to the frozen tundras of the north.

Exploration is the major gameplay focus of the game. The painting is essentially just taking an in-game screenshot so it’s not really involved. There is also a crafting system that allows you to make things such as canvasses and tents. While these mechanics may be simple, that’s a not bad thing, as I said this game is more about exploring Eastshade and meeting its people so it doesn’t need a bunch of mechanics. Speaking of meeting people, the game has a bunch of quests where you help people out. The mission variety is actually pretty nice, some of them are just collecting resources to craft, but some are more complex such as acting as a detective to solve a theft at an inn or helping to reunite a lost family. Rewards for said missions can be quite substantial, giving you key items like a world map, a tent, and ways to travel over water. You’ll also have to complete some sidequests to gain rewards that help you in others. While you can take your time solving these quests you can fail a few by making a wrong choice. Some sidequests give you options on who to side with and overall the game has a decent amount of roleplaying for an adventure game. You also can get money from quests, doing painting commissions, or by selling collectibles like plants or feathers. Money lets you get useful equipment such as a coat that allows you to stay out in the cold Eastshadian nights and a wooden bike that makes traversal faster.

Obviously Eastshade is fun to explore or else I wouldn’t be recommending it. The game’s aesthetic is really nice, giving off this really chill and wondrous vibe as you wander this fairy tale like world. There are bunch of neat touches like how Eastshade’s world orbits another planet so at noon every day there’s always a big solar eclipse as the other planet orbits in front of their sun. The character design definitely shows how it was on indie budget though as it can be a bit lacking, the owl people especially have these pitch black doll eyes that are rather jarring but its forgivable. The writing is overall quite solid and the voice acting, while shaky every so often, is decent enough for an indie game too.

The only real flaw the game has is that performance-wise it struggles. I don’t have a high end rig at all but when I can run RE2make on Med-High by dropping the resolution a bit while this game is choppy on Medium you know there is problems. This isn’t a dealbreaker though obviously, I beat the game and did all the quests, but I had really bad slowdown ever once and a while. The devs seem to be hard at work on patching the game though and I barely ran into any actual glitches, which seemed to be a problem when this game first came out. This a small and ambitious indie game and I can easily forgive these technical problems.

Eastshade is a unique and cozy experience, showing that open worlds in games don’t need to have a bunch of mooks to fight to make them interesting. It’s got a strong chance of being of one my favorite games that will come out this year. If you want to take a relaxing trip through an enchanting world, Eastshade is worth the journey.

AuldWolf

Posted: February 19
I’m so completely in love with this game.

I’m an old man, I’ve grown tired of the continual homogeneity of entertainment that we just accept as a norm. It’s saddening. In the grim darkness of the video games industry, where there are only po-faced, mucky heroes who look constipated 24/7, it’s the little curios that stand out from the crowd. Those that would buck the trend and appeal to an under-served niche.

This is one of those games. I admire its gumption and derring-do.

Absolutely, it wears its heart on its sleeve. There are moments of magic, here, masterfully crafted in ways i have oh so rarely seen. In a way, it reminds me of so many of my old loves. Despite being different in its play, it’s reminiscent for me of the old Myst games, Uru especially, with their evocative, enthralling, and alien landscapes. It’s TES: Oblivion for those with an imagination.

And does it ever inspire me. There are times when I’ll be caught by a certain angle, a viewpoint just so, where the light strikes the land and its vibrant colours glow contrasted by perfectly fallen shadows. And there are times when I’ll leaf through a book. And there are times when the decency and kindness of these peculiar anthropomorphic animals will catch me off guard. It all contributes to a certain warmth that encourages my escapism, which so many other games lack. And, as such, there are times it’s brought me to tears.

I think the greatest accolade I could give it is that it’s clever, worthwhile, and spellbinding because it is, and not because it tries to be. That’s an utterly crucial distinction. You’ll play so many games which focus on melodramatic tragedy to coax a feeling out of its player, to have them feel melancholic and nihilistic, followed by clever for having known those emotions.

I understand that it’s a masterful manipulation and there’s an art even to that, but it’s a trick, an illusion, and those are so easily broken. No one is clever for revelling in tragedy. If I can be frank, this disquieting behaviour is all too reminiscent of those who’ve read a little Nietzsche and believe themselves to be scholars of philosophy, despite how Nietzsche is the Spice Girls of philosophy. Contentious? Certainly. Undeniably true, though.

There are things people do to believe themselves clever, and games will often engage them on that level to help weave strength into the delusion. A person will become convinced they’re more clever than they truly are for understanding such "complexity," that tragedy is an adult emotion, standing in stark opposition to the simpler "happy" emotions known to children. This is ludicrous, of course, but it’s what people believe.

Eastshade hadn’t brought me to tears with a tragic theatrical display, a corny soap opera intended to make me feel empowered by the sheer depth of my emotions. I’m autistic and introverted, I’m artistic, I know the depth of my emotions and I’m comfortable with my emotional intelligence. No, Eastshade brought me to tears by being so genuine, so earnest, and so passionate in those traits, in how it plaintively just wanted to share with me moments of unadulterated beauty.

It succeeded.

There are curios in the video games industry that do so much to spark my imagination, fire my inspiration, and restore my waning faith in humanity. They’re far too few and far between. Quite annoyingly so. I don’t judge others for what they enjoy but it cannot be denied that there’s a deluge of choice for those who wish to murder, they’re spoilt by it and they’ve become entitled, sleepy, and sedentary just chewing the fat of easily acquired meals. They want for nothing. It’s left them obnoxiously bratty, feigning faux offence at anything not meant for them.

This isn’t meant for them. That’s okay. This is meant for those of us who’re seeking different avenues of escapism, whose escapist fantasies have little to do with power. And I praise this game so openly for understanding that those like that are indeed a demographic, we exist, we have money, and we’re under-served.

I just want to go to truly fantastic places, converse with the locals, and engage in something other than wilful, sadistic mutilation. I’d be an archaeologist, drudging up the past, exploring forgotten places; a youngling coming of age and undergoing a connivingly clever rite of passage laden with riddles, puzzles, and traps; a dragon king whose magicks and wisdom are used to care for his kingdom and charges; a researcher documenting alien cultures on an unknown world; a werewolf on a rescue team using his natural agility to find and ferry the lost and injured to safety (inspired by the Werewolves of Ossory); I’d be a living ship learning the unusual traits of a strange, ephemeral sea I’d been cast amidst with my own sensors, as an ambassador of my kind seeking to make first contact with its native denizens so that I might learn; I’d be a diminutive thief investigating a conspiracy surrounding the collapsing reality my kind find themselves in; And I would be a painter, capturing the essence of the places I’d seen.

I wouldn’t limit myself to being a human, either. I’ve never understood the obsessions brought about by the neurotypical hierarchy of prejudice, preference, and partiality, as perfidious as it is. Obsessed with one’s own appearance, down to the skin colour, one’s tribe, one’s nation, or even one’s species. It’s a tiresome ordeal to have to wade through such ubiquitous narcissism on a daily basis.

Eastshade grants me both. These are the curios I value. The ones that truly allow for the concept of escape, as I feel so few understand. To go somewhere so unlike anything I know. It’s just lovely. It’s a healing experience for an old, world weary curmudgeon like myself who’s tired of humanity, so full of itself and its collective poop. It’s nice to just.. go and be something else, someone else, in a world so detached from our own. Just to be away from all the noise for a little while.

This exists so far on the outside of the usual human experience that I’m in love with it. It’s a dear thing. And, above all, it’s a kindness.

To the developers, I say this: Open a ruddy merch store already, won’t you? There are titles a publisher greedily expects sixty squids for without being worth even one, then there are others that simply understate their own worth and I feel exploitative, guilty that my reciprocation isn’t equal to my enjoyment.

Help me with my guilt. Give me more Eastshade things to buy!

andronull

Posted: February 14
I just got this game yesterday and I want to be upfront and say I have pretty severe anhedonia and depression. Not much gets me excited anymore because it all feels like too much of an investment and not enough of a return or it’s a reskin of older games I’ve played. I might be able to play these sorts of games in short bursts but I can’t really commit to them like I used to.
I first heard about this on Twitter and I got really excited because I love relaxing exploration games.

Pros:
~ The environments are so, so beautiful. You can pick out bits where you can tell the designer was inspired by Skyrim (the wine bottles for instance).
~ The characters are very unique (bipedal elk, bears, apes). They might not be to everyone’s taste but I immediately fell in love with them.
~ They’re also very opinionated and have varied thoughts about different subjects you may come across.
~ The voice acting is lovely.
~ Honestly, the characters overall are just so good and I love them so much.
~ The system for painting is very cool. To earn Inspiration (which you need to paint a picture) you have to read books, explore new areas, or experience new things. I love this idea and felt really satisfied when I sat down to hear a story being told and got a bunch of Inspiration at the end of it!
~ There’s more than painting for the sake of a pretty picture (say, a client who wants a portrait or a painting of a beach). You might have to find a particular animal or place that the person wants, which drives more exploration.
~ You can find really interesting schematics and craft neat stuff.

Nitpicks (not really pros or cons)
~ The game has a time mechanic with unbearably cold nights (I understand this is to make it so there something to work towards). Sometimes I feel like I am managing my character’s time but the inns are easily accessible, glowstones are pretty easy to come by once you know how, and it’s not overly inconvenient.
~ There’s no map but I was able to get a grasp of the area pretty quickly. The environment is such a big part of the game that the landmarks help you a lot. (Edit: There’s a cartographer and I just haven’t met them yet, so no nitpick here)
~ Little bits of environment clipping into or out of others, but it’s barely noticeable. (Like the end of one stone wall and beginning of a fence)
~ This is here because I don’t know if sometimes, by leaving a quest alone for a few days or so, I’m effectively failing that quest? If there’s a time limit on a quest I guess I’d like to know if it’s there. (Please I don’t want the animal people to be sad)

Cons
~ There are some bugs here and there, like getting a little stuck in places. Like you’ll walk into a bunch of bushes and suddenly slow down as if you’re walking down a ladder. The same happens when you walk into a tree (you’ll climb the tree instead of stopping, which I’m not sure is intentional or not but it super slows me down).

All in all, this is a game I’ve been excited about ever since I heard about it and was hoping against hope it wouldn’t disappoint me when it came out. It didn’t, at all. I feel absorbed when I’m playing this and I just wanna thank everyone who worked on it for making it, because I have a place I can drop into and forget everything for a while and that’s so rare for me. Thank you!

✪ Ai-chan

Posted: February 13
This game looks fantastic, it’s pretty relaxing.
Sometimes we need a short break from shooting, killing each other.
and this is what we’re looking for.

Nelnardis

Posted: February 13
What a beautiful game. Stumbled across it featured on the store page yesterday and I cannot be more glad that I had! It’s one of the best games I have played in a long time.

Pros:
+Beautiful visuals
+Relaxing and enjoyable gameplay
+Painting is super satisfying
+Great voice acting
+Wonderful story, dialogue, and believable characters

Cons:
-Some performance issues
-Trying to move across the landscape can be somewhat difficult due to rocks and bushes getting in the way

9/10

LoafyLad

Posted: February 14
It feels like a hug from an old friend, or like entering your grandma’s house and she’s just baked your favorite cookies and it smells warm and full of love. It’s very relaxing and quite visually stunning. The music only increases the ambiance like 100 times.

Arcryst

Posted: February 13
It feels like an Oblivion expansion full of sidequests that replaces "go and kill" with "go and paint". Really enjoyable.

Artoriiaz

Posted: February 20
I will start this review by saying this game is nothing but a pure masterpiece. I know that’s a big statement and I don’t say it lightly, but this is honestly the best game ive played in a very long time, and I didn’t even know of its existence until a friend pointed it out when it released a few days back and it looked cool so I bought it. And damn was it worth every penny.

This game is just beautiful. The soundtrack is great, the world, lore and characters are fun and interesting, this game is just near perfect in my opinion. The world is so immersive and enjoyable to explore, the gameplay is simple but fun, the story isn’t overly complex and doesn’t force hours of cutscenes down your throat that bore you to death, the voice acting is pretty good throughout, the missions all feel different, unique and interesting, there’s no filler crap to drag out the length of the game, everything feels purposeful, and not once did I feel bored or that the game was a chore to play. The only issues I had were a few bugs here and there which have mostly been patched, sometimes I ended up having to google what to do in certain missions because the game doesn’t always do the best job at explaining what to do or how to progress in a quest, and the performance can get pretty bad in some areas due to the use of the unoptimised unity engine, but none of these are huge issues and don’t effect my feelings towards this game.

We are in a time where the gaming industry is in a serious decline in terms of quality games, and many are being overly monetized and milked by greedy publishers who want to squeeze your wallet dry. We really need more great games like this because like I said already, this is honestly the best game I have played in a long time and I hope it doesn’t slip under the radar like it almost did for me. I really want to see this game succeed because it deserves to and I want to see what other amazing things the dev team can do. I honestly cannot recommend this game enough. It was a blast from start to finnish. I can’t wait to see what the dev team do next.

I don’t usually give review scores because I think they are pretty meaningless, but if someone wants the TL;DR version I would give it 10/10.