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 (46) - 82% of the 46 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jul 5, 2016

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Early Access Game

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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.”
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Recent updates View all (87)

December 6, 2018

FreeHolder Alpha 7 Hotfix 6

FreeHolder Alpha 7 Hotfix 6


Upgraded Workshops
The Spinnery, Pottery, and Smoking Hut are now upgradable to their improved versions, which allow spinning of Spider's Silk to Bolts of Silk, the firing of clay into Bricks, and the smoking of Meat respectively. Smoked Meat is immediately awesome; the Silk Bolts and Bricks will really be more useful a bit more into the mid-game, but for completeness and extra profit they have been added.

More Fixes
More bugfixes and upgrades on the way. My time has been unfortunately severely limited as of late, but I hope to make a few more good steps forward in progress over the upcoming holiday, including dealing with those pesky bandit/strike forces issues on the villa map during the mid-game. Stay tuned!

-Fixed equipability of certain lootable items
-Influence actions no longer give an extra XP
-Master Clothier double speed silk weaving functionality restored
-Certain item sale prices corrected

-Bolts of Silk, Smoked Meat, Bricks added to Resources
-Spinnery now upgradeable to Weaving Shop
->Spider's Silk can be spun into Bolts of Silk
-Smoking Hut now upgradeable to Smokehouse
->Meat can now be smoked
-Pottery now upgradeable to Kiln
->Clay can now be fired into Bricks

Upcoming Features
(! = Major feature)
Muse's Song skill for Guildmaster (requires addition of art objects)
More battle gear (battlecapes, battlepack, sling pouches and special ammo)
(!)Steam Achievements(!)
-----alpha 8 (tentative)--------
More advanced classes and class skills
Remove studio action
Second factorium size upgrade
2 comments Read more

November 2, 2018

FreeHolder Alpha 7 Hotfix 5

FreeHolder Alpha 7 Hotfix 5


Level 3 Fabrica and New Iron Items

I was all ready to start coding iron mining and smelting when I suddenly realized I had actually done it already. This virtually never happens. It was wonderful. So, straight on to the Fabrica.

***REMINDER: The Fabrica Upgrade button is placed obscurely, to the left of the open crafting ledger once you enter the Fabrica menu. Not sure where else to put it, but this is temporary.***

The Level 3 Fabrica upgrade which allows you to craft iron items is now available. Keep in mind that iron requires not merely firewood but CHARCOAL to smelt and smith with it, and right now the only truly reliable source of charcoal is slashing and burning areas with dense vegetation. I think it would be wise to add a workshop type that allows conversion of firewood into charcoal; such a "Charcoal Kiln" would be historically known and available, and it is a significant sacrifice to use up a workshop space just for charcoal production. However, if you are planning on making heavy use of iron ore, it would be well worth it. Plus charcoal would be relatively valuable to sell directly.

The five new items released with the L3 Fabrica are not exhaustive of what is ultimately coming. There are other planned items including Atlantean technology and adamantine metal for the endgame, but that will wait for some time.

L3 Fabrica Items:

HEAVY SHIELD. The best ordinary shield available, made from iron.
STORM QUIVER. The best quiver, holds 24 arrows of up to three different types.
SPLINTMAIL. Relatively simple iron-reinforced armor that can be worn by non-warriors.
BATTLEAXE. Excellent iron axe that wreaks severe havoc.
TRIDENT. Iron spear which pierces and causes bleeding.
IRON MAUL. Powerful two-handed blunt weapon which is not too heavy for non-warriors to wield.

Journeyman Smith and New Craftable Items

SCUTUM. An improved heavy shield that also slightly protects allies from ranged attacks.
CHAINMAIL. An intricate iron armor that is light enough for anyone to wear but still quite strong.
SPATHA. A longer and more deadly gladius made of iron.
LAJATANG. An exotic bladed staff for use by warriors only.
WARHAMMER. An iron hammer also capable of piercing through armor with its pointed spike.

Master Clothier and New Craftable Items
The Rancher's L2 upgrade of the Tailoring skill, Master Clothier, now is implemented and immediately unlocks the ability to craft 5 new items at the Fabrica regardless of its current upgrade level. (Generally forging of progressively better metal items is what is unlocked when upgrading it.) These include:

COZY HAT. Multipurpose weather resistance accessory.
WAYFARER BOOTS. Great fatigue reduction and slight wet resistance.
HEAVY GLOVES. Small roll boost whenever using tools or any weapon in combat.
ARMORCLOTH MANTLE. Gone for a bit, now back as a non-leather alternative light armor.
SPLENDID VESTMENTS. Big time Charisma boost, of limited use until mid-game is more implemented.

I have removed the skill reference to spinning Bolts of Silk twice as fast, as this is not currently possible. I will add that back to the skill when I add silk spinning to the game.

Dark Gadgetry and New Craftable Items

The Agent's L2 upgrade of the Thiefcraft skill, Dark Gadgetry, now is implemented and immediately unlocks the ability to craft 5 new items at the Fabrica dependent its current upgrade level, depending on whether iron or copper is required. I took two items away from the excessive number available for Thiefcraft and put them in Dark Gadgetry, RogueWear and Shade Raiment.

ROGUEWEAR. Espionage-action and charisma-boosting inner layer.
SHADE RAIMENT. Cloak with large stealth and evasion boost.
SMOKE BOMB. Provide one character with immediate stealth during combat. (Requires L2 Fabrica)
CALTROPS. Provide thorns effect for one character for an entire combat. (Requires L3 Fabrica)
CHAKRAM. Accurate iron throwing weapon that causes exceptional bleeding. (Requires L3 Fabrica)


I keep putting off bugfixes unintentionally because of the limited time I have to accomplish things when I sit down to work. At my next not-insanely-short opportunity I will start cracking through the buglists and fixing stuff. Bugfixing is much less harder to predict in terms of how much time it will take than coding known and planned features. But it can't wait much longer. This next fix should be quite bugfix-oriented.

-L3 Fabrica Upgrade, Advanced Smithy (for smithing iron items) now available
-->Heavy Shield, Storm Quiver, Splintmail, Battleaxe, Trident, Iron Maul battle gear added to game
-Warrior's L2 skill Journeyman Smith now functional
-->Scutum, Spatha, Lajatang, Warhammer battle gear added to game
-Rancher's L2 skill Master Clothier now functional
-->Cozy Hat, Wayfarer Boots, Heavy Gloves, Splendid Vestments equipment added to game
-Agent's L2 skill Dark Gadgetry now functional
-->Chakram, Caltrops battle gear added to game

Upcoming Features
(! = Major feature)
Muse's Song skill for Guildmaster (requires addition of art objects)
More battle gear (battlecapes, battlepack, sling pouches and special ammo)
(!)Steam Achievements(!)
-----alpha 8 (tentative)--------
More advanced classes and class skills
Remove studio action
Second factorium size upgrade
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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

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