Niche Spotlight – Urtuk: The Desolation

Urtuk: The Desolation

Today’s Niche Spotlight is Urtuk: The Desolation, a turn-based strategy RPG by David Kaleta that recently left Early Access.

Urtuk: The Desolation is set in a barren, dark fantasy world that was devastated by a war between humans and giants. For years, scientists have tried to extract Life Essence from the bones of the now-extinct giants in the hopes of producing a miracle cure that can mend fatal wounds, or even lead to eternal youth.

Unfortunately, their unwilling test subjects often find themselves twisted and mutated by horrific side effects. You play as Urtuk, one such test subject that has escaped, and now travels across the barren wastes in search of a way to reverse the crippling side effects of the Life Essence serum.

Recruit a party of adventurers as you explore a procedurally generated open world. Scavenge for resources to survive your travels, and upgrade your characters with skills and abilities extracted from the corpses of your mutated foes. Battle enemies in turn-based tactical combat that places a large emphasis on exploiting the hazardous landscape of the wasteland.

You can find the trailer below.

Urtuk: The Desolation is available on Windows PC, Linux, and Mac (all via GOG, and Steam) for $19.99 USD.

You can find the rundown (via Steam) below:

Urtuk is an open world, tactical turn-based RPG in a low-fantasy setting.
Guide your band of adventurers through the ruins of an ancient world. Recruit new followers, loot the corpses of your fallen foes, and do your best to survive in this harsh and unforgiving realm.


  • Survival RPG with focus on combat and open-world exploration in a dark fantasy setting
  • Turn-based, tactically rich combat on large maps, with multiple environmental factors and a carefully crafted class/skill system
  • Procedurally generated survival campaign
  • Extract character upgrades directly from your fallen enemies
  • All graphical assets are hand drawn, from characters, monsters and objects, to the world map and battlefields

Dynamic battles
Ram your enemies onto spikes or over high cliffs! Shield your allies and counterattack your enemies when they strike. Use your archers for ranged support while performing melee attacks. Or execute one of many possible combo attacks!

Extract skills and traits from fallen enemies and apply them to your units! These custom abilities can totally change a character’s role in combat. Extracted abilities include pushing the enemy on a critical hit, retaliating when being hit, avoiding a lethal strike, and performing a lifestealing counterattack against your foe!
Your characters also learn new skills when executing specific actions in battles. Pay attention and be rewarded!

The game world is a place of toil, suffering and darkness. There are no elves, dwarfs, dragons or other classical fantasy creatures. There are some light magical elements, but no overwhelmingly powerful sorcerers either.
Many centuries past, Giants roamed the world, living peacefully alongside humans until the war between the two species left the Giants extinct. Some years ago, a cabal of scientists discovered a process to extract the Life Essence of the ancient Giants from their bones.

This mystical fluid promised to cure many different diseases, mend grievous wounds, and perhaps even halt the aging process. Unfortunately, instead of improving the health of the subject, very often the serum would have the opposite effect, inflicting a mutation or lethal disease. Until the exact nature of this wondrous medicine can be determined, experiments on unwilling subjects continue.

The story begins when the main character, Urtuk, escapes from the Sanatorium, a facility where these experiments are carried out on abducted commoners. Urtuk suffered a severe mutation from his exposure to the Life Essence, and with every passing day his health worsens. Now he wanders the world in search of a cure. Unless he can find a way to counter his evolving mutation, Urtuk must eventually die.

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Frank Streva


Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.