Arrange your items to optimize your fights in asynchronous autobattler Backpack Battles

 Backpack Battles.
Backpack Battles.

The autobattling head-to-head RPG where you play inventory tetris to build your character, Bakcpack Battles, released its Early Access build this week. Each round you go up against a build made by another player before hitting up the shop to grab a new stuff with the gold you've won. It's like PvP but without the stress of a real-time game—the person you're "playing against" made that build hours ago, maybe.

Backpack Battles first got my attention last fall when its multiplayer demo got something like 7,000 concurrent players one weekend. It's topping those numbers this weekend with a peak of nearly 20,000 concurrent players—19,775 to be exact.

The neat part of Backpack Battles is how you make your character: You sew on new parts and pouches to your backpack in order to change the space available and its shape, because each item you add to it synergizes depending on what it's placed next to. Food might buff up when next to more food, for example, or a shield might be more powerful for every weapon next to it. Items can also combine, in order to become more powerful or alternate verions of themselves.

The release version adds two new classes: The Berserker and the Pyromancer. The berserker is a weapons-focused rager, while the pyromancer gets more powerful as she sets more things inside her pack on fire. The proper release also adds puppies, apparently. Puppies!

You can find Backpack Battles on Steam for $13, though it's 10% off until March 22.