We recently traveled to Malmö to visit indie studio The Bearded Ladies and try out their latest project, Miasma Chronicles, which will be published by 505 Games. 505 Games likes to fund big indie projects that fall somewhere between indie and big budget. Miasma Chronicles exists in this gray area and is a very good tactical RPG that draws inspiration from genre classics like Final Fantasy: Tactics, Ogre Battle and X-COM.

Miasma Chronicles is set in a devastated America, after the world has been destroyed by a mysterious energy source called Miasma. The country is characterized by a violent class division in which the upper class exploits the rest of society. The player embodies Elvis, a mechanic who, in search of his lost mother, deciphers the origin of said source of energy as well as the totalitarian structure of society. During his journey, he encounters a diverse cast of characters who help him overcome any challenge. The game environment looks like something out of Firefly and Cowboy Bebop, as it has an aesthetic western Very cool sci-fi.


This title covers several topics. The main one is the climate crisis, but it also deals with the consequences of unbridled capitalism. These themes are not explicitly articulated, but rather should be read between the lines, both the settings and the characters. The director himself, Lee Varley, describes them as “rampant consumerism” and the naive belief that big business can be counted on to solve the environmental and climate crisis. He believes both are serious problems in today’s society.

“One of the main themes of the game is: if we deplete Mother Nature to the point of no return, what will replace her? What comes next?” Varley elaborates. uncomfortable that are very interestingly explored in the game and make Miasma Chronicles one of the most intriguing games of 2023.

The title’s producer, Mark Parker, is also keen to highlight the dark humor of the game, in particular the use of plastic as a currency: “It’s an ironic currency. In the history of the game we talk about plastic and we see that ‘it’s very valuable when it shows no damage because it’s rarer. It gives clues as to what the miasma may be. We thought it was fun to include a tongue-in-cheek element related to a very relevant.

Chronicles of miasmas


The game promises not only thematically, but also in terms of dynamics, which fully introduces the player to the universe. The creators managed to come up with an incredibly attractive minimalist user interface. The tactical RPG genre is distinguished by its complicated menus that take up all the space on the screen, which is precisely why the interface of Miasma Chronicles is so impressive. The sophisticated and intuitive approach is also reflected in the combat dynamics, where you can easily maneuver your players around the field and mount the perfect attack.

The mix of genres was also taken into consideration when designing the game, as Miasma Chronicles uses some pretty impressive stealth mechanics. The player can choose his preferred battle tactic, either kill the enemies one by one with a silenced rifle or attack them with rocket launchers and hand grenades. The player is thus invited to design more creative approaches to meet the challenges presented by the story.

It is true that the game has some flaws. The dialogue feels cold and contrived, though admittedly it fits well with the cinematic aesthetic of the genre it is inspired by. It’s a dystopian sci-fi western that borrows elements from the genre’s best works, creating an aesthetic that works really well. The environment is vibrant and full of details that give the world its own personality. So while the cast of characters is a little cliched, it’s balanced with a really good world design.

Miasma Chronicles is a very promising RPG that can surprise experienced players and attract newcomers to the genre. It will be released on May 23 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Chronicles of miasmas

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