Baldo: The Guardian Owls was originally announced back in 2019 and is expected to release on Nintendo Switch first with an Xbox One version sometime after. It looked gorgeous in its initial reveal, with its Studio Ghibli inspirations mixed in with Zelda-esque gameplay. Over the years, news on the game has slowed down. It was expected to release last year, but was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

But here we are with a surprise drop of 13 minutes of pure gameplay from the game. In an IGN exclusive, NAPS Team's upcoming adventure title has received its most in-depth look so far. We get a look at town exploration, as well as a side-quest inside an abandoned mine, complete with all the colourful characters and enemies. One thing is apparent - the art style is beautiful and genuinely looks like a classic Studio Ghibli animation come to life.

"Baldo is an action adventure RPG, full of puzzles and intricate dungeons to solve. Travelling around the world, Baldo will interact with many weird and funny characters scattered everywhere, to complete the main story quest and many other sidequests. You’ll travel into an open world map discovering new towns and people, fighting enemies , locating hidden temples and collecting objects to get new weapons or items to use."

For a small indie team, it's shaping up to be an impressive title. It still looks a little bit rough around the edges, with elements such as the bland text and slow movement speed appearing to need tweaks, but we're pretty impressed with the game on display so far. While Xbox was never treated to fantastic games such as Ni No Kuni, Baldo: The Guardian Owls looks as though it could be the next best thing. Fingers crossed a release date is on the horizon.

Are you interested in Baldo? Let us know in the comments below.