Female Lead? Check. Sci-Fi Adventure? Check. Non-Violent? Check. Welcome to Lacuna Passage. This new title from Random Seed Games is the true, through and through definition of indie. The young developers have no historical game development clout but they're working to bring this very original emergent survival game to the market.
The team is working hard to bring this new kind of game to life, which combines many of the same kind of survival elements found in popular titles like DayZ and Minecraft, while enhancing and enriching the experience with a new take on the now popular method of tension-based survival gameplay. Adding in specific nutrient intake and oxygen monitors means that there is a limited amount of resources available over the initial span of the game and players will be required to play smart, play savvy and think slightly outside the box in order to survive in the harsh environments of the red planet.
The basic premise of the game revolves around the Hermes mission to Mars that doesn't quite go as planned. Things get bungled like a typical Hollywood movie production and it's up to players to salvage the mess like a third-tier screen writer brought in at the last minute to turn a summer burnt-buster into a mid-year blockbuster.
In addition to simply surviving, gamers will also have to uncover crew and mission logs while gathering information and evidence on what exactly transpired and how the mission turned into the kind of debacle one might find in Congress whenever a healthcare reform bill is presented.
Logs and mission manifests aside, players will also have to deal with puzzles that will both progress the story and help the lead character, Jessica Rainer, survive.
Majority of the game is played as a non-violent, tension-ridden experience where the science is put first before the fiction. The entire map layout is based on actual topography mapped out from the missions and telescopic data, so the game shares a lot in common with DayZ regarding its design philosophy, which will probably appeal greatly to space exploration enthusiasts and aspiring scientific minds alike.
It's not all boredom and humdrum brain flexing, though. The game still maintains an element of fun and the team at Random Seed Games has explained that Lacuna Passage is a mix between Pokemon, Dear Esther and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
You can pledge funds toward this original, exploratory adventure game right now over on the official Kickstarter page. The goal is pretty meager to be so ambitious, as the team is only asking for $40,000 and they're already at the $5,498 mark, as of the writing of this article. With 28 days to go, I hope they hit their mark. They only need a little bit of exposure on the big sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Eurogamer and maybe they'll stride through to the finish line.
Oh yeah, and the game's music is completely off the hook. Be sure to check out some of the sample tracks from Clark Abound, who did an amazing job with the theme song and ambient sound for the game.