You can play Sand Land, the new open world action-RPG based on Akira Toriyama's manga, right now thanks to a free demo

 Sand Land.
Sand Land.
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A new Sand Land demo is available to download on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, and PC, giving you a chance to experience the new game based on the late Akira Toriyama's manga ahead of its official April 26 launch.

This gives me great comfort because Toriyama's untimely death earlier this month has been difficult for me personally. The legendary manga creator's work had a profound impact on my childhood and even my career, and well, you can only re-play Dragon Quest 11 so many times. Now, as if through divine intervention, there's a new and unexpected way to honor Toriyama's legacy with the Sand Land demo.

Of course, I have no idea if this game will be any good, and it's not like Toriyama himself had a hand in developing it, but the artist's iconic character designs and beautifully rich world-building will most certainly be felt from one corner of its expansive world to the other. And I personally can't wait to dive in for that very reason.

The game is in development at Japan-based studio ILCA, Inc., which made 2021's Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and One Piece Odyssey. The game centers around the childlike demon Beelzebub and his ragtag group of companions, Rao, Ann, and Thief, as they set out to find a Legendary Spring in a harsh desert environment. Of course, all manner of dangerous monsters, not to mention an angry king and his army, stand in his way. The one-shot manga on which the story is based ran from May 9 to August 8, 2000 and was hugely popular in Japan but never reached the heights of Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise.

The Sand Land demo lets you loose in a limited portion of the map and lets you play as three characters - Beelzebub, Rao, and Thief - and lets you tool around with the Battle Tank, Battle Armor, and Motorbike gameplay. Sadly, your progress won't transfer over to the full game, but playing the demo will get you some bonus items that'll help you kit our your vehicle in the full game.

I was already on board with Sand Land, and that was before I knew it has anime Animal Crossing and Mad Max Kart.