The Salt Keep

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This is the demo version of a game still in development.


Set in a high fantasy world with low fantasy stakes, the character-driven story of The Salt Keep follows a struggling merchant named Doyle who stumbles into a life-or-death mystery. During the last legs of a months-long journey as a traveling salesman, Doyle stops in the seemingly deserted village of Cardwyke to meet a friend who has promised to help keep him financially afloat, but what he finds is even more dangerous than the crushing weight of debt. 

The world of The Salt Keep should be familiar to any fan of fantasy — it has breastplates, and swords, and other fun stuff like that — but is shaped by the vaguely industrial creep of bastard feudalism. Sprawling merchant conglomerates and faceless business structures pull the levers of power as much as the dukes and knights in their traditional roles. It's not a world a character like Doyle has any hope or intention of changing; he only means to survive.


The Salt Keep is a fantasy/horror text RPG. The entirety of the action is described through text, and the player navigates and makes choices via button inputs. Through these basic mechanics, you'll be able to:

  • Guide Doyle through the village and the towering keep that looms above it.
  • Collect items and discover their uses.
  • Equip gear to improve Doyle's ability scores.
  • Succeed or fail at percentage-based challenges.
  • Earn experience and level up based on those challenges.
  • Talk to and work with NPCs to make progress.
  • Uncover secrets and missable areas.
  • Risk grievous bodily harm.

Despite the prevalence of choices and risks, there is no chance of death or dead-ends. The story always moves forward. In turn, you'll change the outcome of Doyle's story (as well as those of the NPCs) not just through the things you choose to do, but through the things you fail to do, as well as the things you choose to ignore.


This demo includes the prologue and first chapter of an expected five total chapters. It should provide around two hours of gameplay, though it'll vary depending what you choose to do and how thorough you are. 

The full game will be novel-length — likely around 220k words — and will also release on Android and iOS, but this demo should hopefully provide a good sense of both gameplay and the direction the rest of the narrative will take.  If you want to help support development or keep track of progress:

  • Follow here for dev blog updates
  • Become a patron on Patreon
  • Follow on Twitter

Please enjoy!

WARNING: The narrative includes all sorts of violence and generally negative emotional states, which can vary based on your individual play-through, so please keep that in mind if you're sensitive to such things.

Release date
Small Gray Games
Age rating
Not rated

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Last Modified: Apr 15, 2022

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