Fantasy RPG Stray Children Revealed in Japanese Nintendo Direct

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Stray Children is the next title from Onion Games, a studio formed by classic RPG veterans.

During the latest Nintendo Direct, an excellent array of upcoming first and third-party games for Nintendo Switch was revealed – but unless you watched the Japanese version of the Direct, you might have missed a rather intriguing inclusion. While most of the game reveals were shared between Nintendo Directs, an additional game titled Stray Children was given an exclusive Japanese showcase.

It’s coming from Onion Games, a studio formed by veterans of the RPG genre – Yoshiro Kimura (Romancing SaGa 2 and 3No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Shadows of the Damned), Kurashima Kazuyuki (Live A Live, Super Mario RPG, Little King’s Story) and Hirofumi Taniguchi (Chibi-Robo!, Suikoden, Contra: Hard Corps).

In Stray Children, described as a “bittersweet fairytale RPG”, you are a young boy who is miraculously sucked into a TV set, and transported to a world where only children exist. This “strange and dangerous wonderland” serves as the backdrop to the story, which will see the boy attempting to find a way home through mysterious locales.

Stray Children looks very striking, and while its release in the West is yet to be confirmed, there are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on it. Beyond the tenure of its development team, it’s the premise and feel of the game that is so appealing.

With a hazy pixel art style, the first trailer for Stray Children reveals a gorgeous and surreal adventure filled with odd, imaginative sights – including walking bears, a manic pig’s head, and mushroom bosses. It’s clear the protagonist’s journey will be a rocky one, with turn-based combat and dialogue helping to chart a path through uncanny fantasy worlds.

The appearance of photorealistic fish and dizzying psychedelia also suggests it’ll be a real trip, with surreal Japanese horror and adventures like Homebound / Mother seemingly being homaged throughout the trailer. For anyone who likes ‘weird’ games, it should be one to watch.

Stray Children is currently in development and will be released in Japan in Winter 2023 [Northern Hemisphere]. Stay tuned for details of a potential release in Western markets.

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