Skald: Against the Black Priory - A dark fantasy game inspired by classic RPG's available now!

In the 80's many of us had the pleasure of playing Ultima IV on the C64, it was arguably one of the best RPG's ever released which featured a top down playing field with lush landscapes, dungeons to explore, characters to traverse with and many enemies to fight. So now as a complete surprise to us, High North Studios AS together with Raw Fury, have announced the release of Skald: Against the Black Priory: A game in which GOG says "is inspired by roleplaying games of yesteryear, combining modern design and compelling storytelling with authentic 8-bit looks and charms."

SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a classic, turn-based RPG. It's set in a dark and gritty fantasy universe: full of tragic heroes, violent deaths and eldritch horror. If that wasn't enough to get you excited, the game is not only dark and deadly, but it has an immersive plot, inspired by legendary titles such as Ultima and the gold box series, and allows you to control and lead a party of up to six characters on an epic and perilous quest!

And in full here's the latest from the GOG and Steam Page. "Set in a grim-dark fantasy world of tragic heroes, violent deaths and Lovecraftian horror, in SKALD: Against the Black Priory, choices matter as players explore an engaging storyline mixed with crunchy tactical, turn-based combat and character customization. Inspired by iconic retro RPG titles, in SKALD: Against the Black Priory players explore the thrilling expanse of Freymark and the Outer Isles to uncover the grand schemes of the Gallian Empire. Players will experience an unforgettable story filled with unexpected twists and turns, with a unique mesh of modern storytelling and classic RPG elements, that will seem familiar and yet innovative to RPG fans, old and new.

Players will experience key features including:

  • Equipping their heroes using a modern inventory system, fulfilling objectives through quest logs, and reading journals to discover hidden secrets.
  • Unique visuals built from thousands of hand-drawn tiles and images inspired by the legendary Commodore 64 computer, with an optional CRT filter to allow for a true retro gameplay experience.
  • Fighting their way to Level 20 by choosing a character, selecting their stats and building out a party from a series of diverse allies, each with their own skill-set, agenda and personality. Players will meet and recruit fully fleshed out pre-made characters with unique backstories and handcrafted interactions, as well as have options to fill their party: either with ‘mercenaries,’ blank characters that they can build from the ground up to their exact specifications or mix and match as they go. Players can also decide to travel on their own.
  • Deciding between a dozen classes and backgrounds, customizing spells and equipment in order to prepare for the journey ahead and uncovering the schemes of the Gallian Empire while exploring the vast expanse of Freymark and the Outer Isles.

Links :1) GOG 2) Steam


  1. very mighty, 80s vibes in C64 colours.

  2. This game is really good, it feels like an old PC game with Midi music!

  3. That looks absolutely incredible!

  4. I had the demo for a long time. Glad to see it is out. I bought a copy right away. Def C64ish. Hit tab while you are in the game and you get the C64 basic style screen as a console lol.

  5. if someone were to port this to the ST/e or Falcon id certainly take a look at it but like this its about as retro as celeste or supermeatboy imo ... opinions might differ ofcourse

    1. good thing this website is called Indie retro News then isn't it! Retro is an aesthetic, a vibe.. and this game captures it perfectly... and it's indie!

  6. Looks great and, as always, it shows you don't need a lot of colors, just a good artist. Speaking of modern games that look retro, I've always appreciated what the Studio Evil devs did with their game Syder Arcade. The game has almost twenty simulated vintage hardware graphics modes you can play the game in. The demo is still floating around out there.

  7. Insta-bought on GOG in Deluxe Edition. And I freaking love it!

  8. While it has C64 vibes, this game could probably never run on a C64 in real life, not not with out significant acceleration being added. Would love to see someone try though!

    But this does kind of feel like an early Atari ST or Amiga title. A game that might've originally been on PC EGA or CGA, and was slated for C64 conversion until they realised it wasn't possible, and so ported it to the 16-bit home computers instead. Someone should definitely try and port this one to the Amiga!

  9. I'm in the game for some hours now. First I started as Hospitaller, then changed to Champion (I want swords, not maces!) but now, after three hours or so I restarted again, as the Champion seems a wee bit too weak for my taste - this time as Officer. Now that's a class I like. Not just a simple warrior, but a guy inspiring the party to hit harder and fight more relentlessly. Plus he can stand his ground and deliver real blows. The game is a tremendous feat, I backed it years ago and while I became tired with all the updates and demos (of which I never played a single one) I can now clearly see where all the refinement and tinkering went into. The game is very well rounded, balanced and shows attention to detail at every corner. Everything just fits and delivers a retro vibe like not many other games are able to. Plus the atmosphere is spot-on, narration and storytelling are of great quality and the music is just perfect. I don't regret having backed it. Brillant stuff, if it keeps this quality till the end this is a new classic for ages to come.

  10. Incidentally, for Macintosh users out there the minimum requirements on the purchase page are wrong. I bought the game snd am running it on an Intel Mac under both Mac OS Monterey and Mojave and it plays perfectly, so you do NOT need a M1 Mac or Mac OS Sonoma to play the game.


  11. While the game does look nice, playability, performance and readability are sub-par. The game crashed on me quite a number of times, starting with mouse lagging.
    Then there are the issues with the fonts, they are unreadable on small screens and are head-ache inducing for people with even the slightest vision problems. The fonts issue was addressed multiple times to the developers after the release of the demo, but they clearly did not really want to tackle it. Even with the font setting on largest, the words in battles for instance are stioll unreadable and the choice of colours makes everything messy.
    About combat: it's impossible to make out anything happening on screen. Everything is just so messy and garbled. Colour choice for fonts and background graphics make it hard to discern anything happening, it is all so confusing.
    What I also really dislike is that you have to purchase game improvements as a DLC. You want to have an extra merchant which makes inventory handling easier? Just pay an extra 4 quid!
    Also, the silence on the part of the developers in the various support forums (GOG, Steam) make it that I voted with my money. Went for a refund.

  12. It's very good but it also came out at the same time as Selaco which is unbelievably good and has consumed me this weekend!


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