Despite the rather dismal 55/100 score we awarded Primordia in our 2013 review, I thought it was excellent. It's an old-school point-and-click adventure about an android and his companion who travel to a crumbling robotic metropolis in search of a power core for their derelict spacecraft. Complex and beautiful, it suffered from occasionally uneven pacing and frustrating puzzles, but my biggest complaint was simply that it didn't delve deeply enough into the desolate, post-human world in which the game takes place.
All of which is relevant because the developer, Wormwood Studios, has announced that it's working on a new project called Strangeland. It's "not quite a spiritual successor to Primordia," but it features art by Victor Pflug, the artist behind that game, and "a similarly layered story" written by studio founder and Primordia writer and designer Mark Yohalem.
And in case the trailer left any doubt, the synopsis at wormwoodstudios.com suggests that it will indeed be a rather strange experience:
"A man awakes in an otherworldly carnival and watches a gold-haired woman hurl herself down a bottomless well for his sake. He seeks empty answers from mocking ravens, an eyeless scribe, a living furnace, a mismade mermaid, and many more who dwell within the park. All the while, something awful screeches from the top of a towering roller-coaster, and he knows that until he destroys this Dark Thing, the woman will keep jumping, falling, and dying, over and over again..."
Strangeland was intended to be a relatively small project, requiring a development time of only a few weeks, but it's been almost a year and it's still not quite finished. But it's getting close.
"We are well past the clunk-a-clunk-a-clunk uphill part of the roller-coaster and onto the omigod-im-going-to-die downhill part," the studio wrote. "As we bring the project to completion, we’ll be exploring publishing and distribution options, but our hope is to find a way to share it with as many people as possible. Strangeland is a smaller game than Primordia, but as with our last offering, we hope that it will hold some of the pain and dreams and fun that went into making it."
If you'd like a no-risk sample of Wormwood's style, a free demo of Primordia and more information about the game is available at primordia-game.com.