Of all the fantastic games that we saw at this year’s Play NYC convention, there was one that stood out more than the others. It’s a game that, while still early in development, is already mixing an absolutely gorgeous art style, innovative mechanics and a clear passion on the part of the developer.
Aquamarine is a turn-based game, focused on a combination of resource management, puzzles, and exploration. You’re cast as a astronaut, stranded on planet covered in water; You escaped your crashing ship in an escape pod, and it’s you goal to use that pod to return to your ship. You have some resources to start, but a large part of the game will be managing the resources you discover on this mysterious planet: you’ll have to make the choice to use these materials as fuel or to save them to use in upgrading your ship, and that balancing act is a central part of the danger and excitement in Aquamarine.
However you’re not alone on this planet. There’s a whole ecosystem at play into which you’ve been dropped, and it’s up to you to try and figure out what role the different alien life forms play, and how to best interact with, or avoid them.
In the brief demo I played at Play NYC, I saw two alien beasts; an orange-tone, duck-billed worm-like creature who wandered about looking for food, and a larger blue-black creature with a glowing lure-like tail, intent of hunting the first. Patric, the developer of Aquamarine, also told me about a third scavenger-type creature, who was more dangerous and would appear as a direct result of you creating more corpses as you travel across the oceans on this world. It may not be the best idea to simply start exterminating the wildlife on this planet…
As you’ve no doubt seen from the teaser trailer and GIFS above, Aquamarine’s hand drawn art and animation is absolutely gorgeous. There clear and obvious inspiration from the comics of Moebius and the psychedelic science-fiction of the 1970’s. The music is full of meandering synth, alien and calming all at the same time. Even this early in development, Aquamarine has a very clear aesthetic, unique and immediately identifiable. I cannot wait to see what other alien creations are waiting on this mysterious planet.
Moebial Studios is headed by journalist and writer Patric Fallon, who is joined by photographer and graphic designer Tonje Thilesen. I had a chance to meet and talk with Patric at Play NYC, and it’s clear that one of his greatest inspirations is the story-telling and world building potential of video games. It’s also very clear that he is aiming to bring a fresh and unique aesthetic to the current indie game landscape. It’s a project that has me super excited.
Aquamarine will be launching a Kickstarter campaign next month, in September (no word of an exact date yet). The team has already promised a full trailer with gameplay footage, as well as a demo available for download at that time, and rest assured you’ll be hearing more about this project here on IndieHangover then.