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 (38) - 86% of the 38 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jul 5, 2016

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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.”
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Recent updates View all (83)

September 14


Hello, everyone. It has been some time. I just need a moment to breathe.


The demands of fatherhood have exceeded my rather pedantic expecations and I have had to convert to full-time baby care while my wife gets back to work. Until recently my days were filled with constant attention and emotional availability and nights with fatigue and an inability to focus or do much useful work. Exhaustion has been the watchword for well over a month. I have never been so tired in my life.

My daughter is the best, by the way. Just saying. :D

It has caused me a LOT of pain to step away from FreeHolder, not least because you all have waited such a long time for consistent momentum and despite my intense desire to bring it to you, my life has demanded my attention elsewhere, however temporarily. This game was conceived of originally due to its supposed simplicity to code, but the open-endedness of it has made swinging it around and bringing it to a tidy close problematic. That and my relative coding inexperience, which has been greatly remedied though artifacts of it remain in the game, i.e. old bugs to be squashed.

However, I am FINALLY starting to feel just a bit like my old self. The massive chasm between my old life and new has lessened slightly and I can see the possibility of integrating the two properly, as I must do. I know that generally when you pay for a game you are also not paying to learn the personal narrative of the creator: "Just finish the damn game, please." Of course.

But at the same time, indie games have so much of the personal stamp of the creators about them that such things are somewhat unavoidable. And I would hope that this type of open communication, admittedly sporadic at the moment, would show that I have not been ignoring FreeHolder and, frankly, all of you out of malice, or laziness, or anything other than personal necessity at this point. It has been one hell of an adaptation to fatherhood, and I am sorry that you all have had to sit and wait while I undertake various necessary personal baggage clearings and get right with everything so I can make FreeHolder the game it should be.

This weekend in general is still pretty much completely booked for me, though I will be working through tonight in an attempt to finish the long overdue status screen patch. It is my intention to hit the ground running on Monday and pick up all of your forum posts in the morning. Not much of indie game if the creator never says anything to you. Sorry about that.

Thank you, one and all, for your exceptional patience with our game. And I do mean collectively our, ours AND yours, for without you FreeHolder would just remain the fevered dream of a madman. You all kick severe ass.

1 comments Read more

July 8

Electricity/Heat-Based Delays

Hey all,

I had to recode the equipment system more or less like I did the battle gear because the old code was some of my very oldest and, er, not so good. So that took all of Friday, without even getting around to coding the character info page proper because it was all reliant on the new, considerably better equipment system.

On Satuday, my wife having finished her classes, we again fled back to our house with the intention of bunkering down for some time. Of course, our AC was not working on the hottest day of the year thus far, um, I think it was about 110 degrees. We had a portable unit that we deployed in the bedroom, which lasted until all power to our neighborhood failed not long after.

Babies are not supposed to get hot. My wife spent a lot of the next many hours giving the bub cold baths, and me harassing the power company, before power was restored, though our house A/C, which cools my office area, is still non-functional.

I deal with heat quite poorly. My productivity suffers no small amount when sweat is pouring down my back. Today, theoretically any time in fact, an A/C repair person will get here and restore my ability to work to some fraction of nominal. In any case, I will be working to get the improved equipment page out today or tomorrow. If I really manage to get ahead I might get the tools page in as well but that will most likely wait for the next fix, to follow in a few days.

Thanks for your patience.

4 comments Read more
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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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