Blending strategy, survival, and roguelike elements with RPG style character development, FreeHolder is the story of three escaped slaves in the time of the Roman Republic. Farm, hunt, craft, and cook your way through the years as you live on the edge of the beginning of the Empire.
All Reviews:
Positive (47) - 82% of the 47 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jul 5, 2016

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“FreeHolder, from a design perspective, is uniquely suited to the Early Access format in terms of guiding development. It is a wide-open game and can be developed in a great number of directions depending on alpha player input. Currently, the core of the game is challenging and highly replayable. We intend to add and deepen a number of systems that will further broaden the scope of the game. However, we believe FreeHolder is already compelling and worthy of many hours of play.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“With all planned features we expect development to take at least 1 more year, but the scope of the final game can be altered depending on reception and success.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We want to take the currently open-ended experience of FreeHolder and finish the narrative that begins the game with a second military/political phase, and also add an endgame phase when you must aid or hinder the conquest of Gaul by the armies of Caesar. We also plan to add several advanced classes for each basic class and dozens more skills so the player is ready to meet these significant challenges. Small additions to all existing systems are also intended at this point. We also intend to enhance the graphical presentation of the game and add more musical content.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“By design, FreeHolder is highly re-playable, and can already provide hours of entertainment. We'd estimate it to be approximately 40% complete.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes - We intend to raise the price once we reach full release. For now our Early Access price will be lower to encourage more players to give FreeHolder a try and provide feedback.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We will be listening closely to our community for positive and negative feedback so that we can provide the best experience possible for them. We're committed to realizing the full potential of this game but can't do it in a bubble - we need to know what you think so we can bring you a better game with every update.”
Read more

Buy FreeHolder


Recent updates View all (89)

May 14

Delays...But Good News! And We're Looking for Artists!

Hello FreeHolders. I apologize for the lack of planned updates. My family is moving again (the fifth time in five years!) in a very short amount of time, though by choice for once, and I have had to spend tremendous amounts of physical and emotional energy supporting this transition. However, there is some good news on the horizon as we are going to be bringing a new developer into the company to help us re-start the momentum and get this game back on a proper and consistent track, as it and you both deserve. And finished, am I right folks?!

On that note, we do not have a staff artist of any sort, which has been problematic as the game development continues. I am only capable of making simple graphics and retro character sprites, and my time would be better spent coding. If YOU are a graphics artist, if YOU have ideas about the art direction of FreeHolder, some demo work to show us, and are willing to work for share in the company, please contact us. We cannot pay a salary at this time. If you are of the same belief that this game can be driven to a high level of success, and want in on that process, we are interested in hearing from you! Send inquiries to

A lot of extraordinarily positive changes are on the horizon, and I only hope that your patience and goodwill have not yet been totally exhausted by the sporadic development of this game. I want to bring a better experience to you all and am committed to making whatever changes are necessary to make this game the best it can be. I am going to be very busy over the next six weeks or so, but I promise FreeHolder will never be far from my mind.

Thank you for your support of FreeHolder. It means so much to me, and all of us here at RogueWare.

You all kick ass.

0 comments Read more

February 17

Upcoming Features: Campaign Mode

Hello everyone. I apologize for the lack of updates or activity in recent months. However, I have managed to squeeze some new art for the game in spare moments, which inspires me to work on the code because I have something tangible to integrate into the game.

The campaign section as previously conceived, and not really implemented, was overly complicated and served to reimpose limits on your play just as you supposedly transcend them by overcoming the census taker. The mission system was just a rehashing of the old "wheat and money" limitations. I wanted the mid-game to feel more like a new game, something fresh, like "Super FreeHolder."

Rather than being pigeon-holed through the resource demands of missions, you can freely convert goods you obtain to "faction resources" in line with whatever development strategy you want to follow. This direct interface with faction statistics ties your fate much more closely with them.

The campaign section will involve managing your faction capital and seizing territory around the towns, producing squads and ultimately attempting to overcome the other two factions. It's a combination of some mechanics of the old Genesis classic Gemstone, Heroes of Might and Magic, a zone control board game I can't remember, and some other stuff.

I'm psyched to implement these factors as soon as possible. Constructing a rudimentary faction computer strategy will take a bit of time, but I want to get this to you as soon as I can. I just wanted to assure that FreeHolder is not only still in development, but I have exciting new content planned and I am very much intent on getting it to you.

Thanks for your patience and support of the game. It means everything to me.

3 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

About This Game

-Survival on the Frontier of Ancient Rome.
You must avoid starvation and frostbite while working under the thumb of a corrupt census taker, and turn the tables on him.

-A Unique Blend of Genres.
From farmsim to survival, role-playing to strategy, FreeHolder presents a compelling and revitalizing blend of classic game genres.

-Detailed Character Evolution.
With seven classes and over thirty skills (with many more of each planned), you can be everything from a master sculptor to a hardened warrior to an efficient rancher.

-Roguelike, not Roguelite.
Challenging and highly replayable, like games should be. Over a dozen procedurally generated factors gives you a new experience each game.

-Original Retro Soundtrack by Blue Mage.
Drawn from a lifetime of obsessive involvement with video game music, the soundtrack for FreeHolder has been crafted to evoke memories of the classic console era.

The Story of FreeHolder -
You and two comrades are escaped slaves who while fleeing Roman territory, stumble across a recently-raided farm, and although almost everything of value has been taken a small amount of wheat, a few tools and a couple silver denari might allow you to eke out a stealthy existence on the fringe of Roman lands. Unfortunately, you agree to run the farm together just as the Roman census-taker is knocking on the small home's door.

Only slightly terrified of being found out, you are unable to convince the Roman that you are anything other than escaped slaves. However, this particular census taker is, 'flexible' and offers the fugitives a deal: if they run the farm and produce enough wheat to fulfill the wheat quota demanded by Rome, and toss a bribe on top for himself, they can go on running the farm instead of being sent back to face their master. With no other options, and no way out, you and your compatriots agree hastily.

This state of affairs does not have to last, however. A slave you may have been but you can choose to resist the Romans by stealth, subterfuge, or brute force, and by allying with the northern tribes. Or you can purchase freedom for yourself and your friends and buy your way into Roman high society. With ten different classes from agronomist to ranger, engineer, rancher, witch, and gladiator, with multiple different upgrade paths and special actions, you can play exactly the way you want to.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 and Up
    • Processor: 2 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 mb video memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 250 MB available space

What Curators Say

5 Curators have reviewed this product. Click here to see them.

Customer reviews

Review Type

Purchase Type


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph

Display As:
Show graph
Hide graph
Excluding Off-topic Review Activity
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...