I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a huge Twin Peaks fan, but I do own the boxset and really enjoy video games with a similar vibe. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game which has stuck with me since I played it; I loved the way Kathy Rain started off as a straight-forward detective story before getting all mysterious; and Falling Sky by NFTS student Jonathan Nielssen is definitely a title to watch out for.
That’s one of the reasons why the campaign for Trüberbrook stood out to me while browsing through the Kickstarter website recently (along with Raji: An Ancient Epic, which you can read about here). Independent studio Bildundtonfabrik (btf) are advertising their point-and-click adventure as ‘sci-fi mystery’ inspired by Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Stranger Things – could it get any better?
The title is set in rural Germany in the late 1960s and players step into the shoes of young American physicist Hans Tannhauser. After being selected as the winner in a lottery he can’t remember entering, he heads off for a weekend break in the aging health resort of Trüberbrook somewhere in the countryside of West Germany. But there’s something strange going on in the town…
Shortly after his arrival, someone breaks into his room at the Pension Waldeslust and steals his paper on quantum physics; and someone is trying to get in touch with him. Eventually he teams up with anthropologst Gretchen Lemke who takes him on a great adventure and it becomes clear he’s not in Trüberbrook by accident: he’s actually there to save the world.
Alongside the mention of some great television series, the game’s distinct visual style makes it stand out from the other projects. Like titles such as The Dream Machine and Armikrog, all scenery is built by hand and real lighting is used to simulate different times of day and weather conditions. These are then digitised in a process called photogrammetry – the same process being used by The Brotherhood to create fellow Kickstarter campaign Beautiful Desolation – before being blended with characters and visual effects.
In the promotional video, the developer describes Trüberbrook as a ‘somewhat classic adventure game with a modern approach’. The story unfolds as you interact with the environment, talk to other characters and solve puzzles which are integrated into the narrative. Apparently, these will range from inventory-based puzzles to social challenges and even passing ‘unsettling psycho tests’ (I think I’m going to struggle with that last one).
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) November 18, 2017
Unfortunately, there isn’t a demo to go alongside the campaign so I’m unable to give a hands-on opinion right now. But the content shared on the Kickstarter page was enough to convince me to become a backer, and I’m looking forward to playing the game when it’s released in late 2018.
At the time of writing, Trüberbrook has already surpassed its £71,351 target and is well on its way to reaching its ‘prologue’ stretch goal at £180,000 with 19 days still left on the clock. Head over to Kickstarter to support the game before 14 December 2017 and sign up to the newsletter via the official website; and give btf a follow on Twitter and Facebook.