Okay, I might be making that headline up – lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time. But the latest project from Simogo, the Malmo-based creators of Bumpy Road and Beat Sneak Bandit, is a dark folkloric adventure, set amid dark Scandinavian forests and filled with weirdness.
Set in the 19th century, Year Walk refers to an ancient Swedish ritual said to provide participants with prophetic visions of the coming year. Here, you’ll encounter strange creatures, superstitions and objects, “in your search to bend the rules of the universe and open the rift that separates our world and what lies beyond it” – as the press release puts it.
Described as a ‘different kind of first person adventure’, it looks like both 2D and 3D graphical styles will be merged into its expressionistic vision. As Simon Flesser, one half of Simogo tells us, “The game is full of different interactions and without going into specifics it is basically our take on how to make an adventure that is less walking and clicking on things and more full of new and interesting (and constant) interactions”.
There is a mysterious and ominous trailer here:
So where did this intriguing idea come from? “Year Walk is the consequence of some real star alignment,” says Flesser. “Ever since Bumpy Road we have seriously discussed doing something a lot less cheerful, borderline horror. We started to talk about a different kind of first-person perspective and interaction about then, as well.
“Early this year a good friend of ours had something special story-wise that we started to discuss with him, and we worked together to adapt it to a very special narrative. From there on it just snowballed and we brought in two more people from outside Simogo to help us out with some different, not really game related, things. We’ll talk more about these collaborations later on!”
So yes, horror, alienation and mythology in the snow-laden woodlands of Sweden. Resident Evil meets Ingmar Bergman? No that’s an even stupider cultural reference point than the first one. Anyway, it’s out on iOS this winter.