There’s nothing I like more than a video game set in a beautiful digital world, with interesting puzzles that provide just the right level of challenge and a good story to hold it altogether. The Witness by Thekla Inc got it so right in connection with the first factor and did ok on the second; but was unfortunately way off the mark on the last. Still, that wouldn’t stop me from visiting its island on vacation if I had the opportunity to do so.
That explains why a post by Blaike over at The Game of Nerds caught my eye this week and saw me heading straight to the Kickstarter page to back Epitasis. Billed as an ‘exploration puzzle game’ and inspired by ‘old and modern classics such as Myst and The Talos Principle’, this title looks as though it would be exactly the sort of thing I’d love to play and is possibly one of the most gorgeous projects I’ve seen a in a long time.
Independent Game Designer Lucas Govatos has been working on Epitasis for approximately a year now. His statement on the campaign page makes it seem as though he has all the bases covered: ‘As an artist, I want the game to be as beautiful as possible, colourful and vivid as I see it in my mind. As a computer scientist, I want the game to be logical and puzzling, forged together with knowledge you must learn only by experiencing it yourself.”
Having stumbled upon an ancient portal, players take a leap of faith and find themselves amidst the remnants of an ancient civilisation. Forgotten technologies and treasured relics can be found within the wilderness that has engulfed the remains of this fallen race and it’s up to you to unearth the fate of the civilisation that once inhabited these stunning lost worlds.
In hope of finding a way back home, you’ll have to scour ruins for technological relics than will enable you to navigate to new areas. Obstacles standing in your way include armed security systems, inactive power sources and dysfunctional machines so it’ll be necessary to utilise various puzzle elements scattered throughout the environment. An ancient drone will give you a hand and help navigate the surrounding areas, but other drones aren’t so nice…
An alpha demo build is available if you still aren’t sold (seriously, those screenshots aren’t enough?) so you can try Epitasis yourself. I had the pleasure of playing it one evening this week and really enjoyed the experience: it’s like attempting the puzzles of The Talos Principle in the world of The Witness, while trying not to be distracted by the twilight skies and shooting stars overhead. You can take a look at my playthrough in the video below.
Besides the lovely visuals and challenging puzzles, the other thing that stood out for me was the music. The track featured on the game’s trailer itself is bloody awesome – I feel as if I should be lounging beside a pool, the sun beating down on my skin and a piña colada in hand. Produced by Funk Fiction, influences for Epitasis’ score have come from various sources such as Tycho and Boards of Canada.
There are only six days left for the Kickstarter project and with over 71% of the $11,650 target achieved so far (at the time of writing), it’s close but not out of reach. You can subscribe to the newsletter over on the official website to stay up-to-date on Epitasis’ progress, and add the game to your wishlist over on Steam.