This game just came across our radar and I wasn’t that excited to take a look. I heard the description and thought that maybe it wasn’t for me, then I headed over to the kickstarter page and saw the beautiful and distinctive art which got me curious. It seems that NetherWorld is another in this new trend of games that take a beloved style of game that evokes some nostalgia, in this instance the side-scrolling RPG, and injects some real storytelling, humour and diverse, maybe dark themes. It started with Undertale, which abstractly explores themes of loss, friendship and loneliness among many others and recently the Meatboy-esque, punishingly tough platformer Celeste gained a massive following, which uses a mountain filled with peril as an allegory for the protagonist’s struggle with anxiety and all the awful things that come with it.
This idea isn’t necessarily a new one, games have been trying to plumb the depths of human emotion since there were games, but normally it’s done with parody and oblique references, Monkey Island is filled with them. Maybe nowadays we’ve grown mature enough to tell these stories in both a funny, and evocative way.
The creators: Madrid-based devs at Hungry Pixel make no bones about the absurd nature of the game, stating that the players will find themselves in “an unusual story with deeply eccentric characters and a pile of -apparently- ridiculous situations“, which has me intrigued. They also mention similarities with their game and others like Dark souls, referencing “Intense Boss Battles” and going on to liken it to Shadow Of The Colossus but with an alcoholic squid for a protagonist and tons of weapons and accessories with which to manipulate the world.
Seriously though, some of the art on the kickstarter page has me excited enough to hope that they can follow through with the big claims stated above. As of writing the Kickstarter has made it 75% of the way, with just under two weeks to go to. Stretch goals include customisation for your “house” and a Nintendo Switch port.
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