One trailer at this week's Future Games Show (embedded above, or on YouTube) was not like the others. Outside of some obvious throwbacks to classic game genres, particularly retro RPGs, Dome-King Cabbage bears little resemblance to the other games we've seen at Gamescom so far. It's described on its Steam page as "a visual novel set in the world of a monster-collecting RPG," but that phrase does little to indicate the surreal mixed media variety show the trailer makes it out to be.
Every frame is full of things to puzzle over and raises more questions than it answers. Why does the angel guy have no skin over his flesh, why is this VW bug driving over a brick road in the sky, and why are there copyrights for '95, '96, and '98 floating across the bottom of the screen? It's fanciful and dark, mixing cute drooly mouse food truck workers with a choice of galaxies to destroy.
Originally starting as a project for the TyranoBuilder Spring Game Jam (where it won first place), Dome-King Cabbage also won IGN Japan's Media Showcase Award. It's being developed solo by Joe Buchholz, aka Cobysoft Joe.
Ostensibly, Dome-King Cabbage is about a cloud dude named Mush nervously making his way to a job interview. Aside from giving Mush some advice to relax and be himself, I'm curious to see how all these elements tie together. Who's the guy driving the bug, what's with the eyeballs floating in the library, and what's Mush so nervous about? Who's the girl with the slime running around in the 16-bit RPG sequence, and will we actually get to collect monsters? Why is he being drawn to Crumb Island, and what does it mean to be the Dome-King?
Questions abound, but we'll have to wait a little while for answers. Dome-King Cabbage is going to be released for PC and Switch, but we don't have a release date just yet.