Comparisons with Okami seem inevitable, but whatever way you slice it, the upcoming Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, product of American McGee daughter studio Spicy Horse, is looking gorgeous. Check out the first gameplay trailer.
The game pits your Red Riding Hood-esque protagonist against yokai, or nature creatures from Japanese folklore. It’s salient to note that while “yokai” is frequently translated to “demon” the word in its specific cultural context is really more like “fairy”– that is, a nature spirit neither inherently good nor evil, but certainly potentially dangerous to any blundering humans.
Let’s not hold our breath for any such nuance here, considering parent studio American McGee’s track record with such things. But the game is, at least, visually stunning. Arranged as an isometric dungeon crawler, Akaneiro recalls the ink and watercolor aesthetic of traditional sumi-e art, and does so quite vibrantly, as befitting an action-RPG bound for mobile and browser shores.
Interested players can sign up for its closed beta at Spicy Horse’s official website.