The reality for Myst lovers is that there just haven't been all that many solitary exploration games in recent years. But perhaps virtual reality will open up whole new worlds once again, this time in a way never experienced before. That's certainly the plan for The Gallery: Six Elements, which is is one of first adventures (if not THE first) to be designed for the Oculus Rift, the highly acclaimed upcoming VR device.
This first-person game, inspired by Cyan's classic series, is described as a "transcendental adventure with a heavy emphasis on environmental immersion, exploration and path-finding, physical challenges, puzzle solving, and emotional depth." Players control an "urban explorer" who must "physically journey into six painted portals, individual realities with their own rules, representing the six core elements of life: Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Love, and Death." But as you do, you must beware, because "you are not alone."
As you travel these diverse worlds in pursuit of six sacred keys, a "large portion of your explorations will occur in randomly generated environments." Fortunately, you'll have several useful tools in helping you to orient yourself and overcome the obstacles in your path, including "a notepad for dynamically charting your location, taking notes and interacting with context sensitive items, a spraycan for tagging areas of interest, a headlamp for much needed light, glowsticks for when the light fails, and a rope for traversing the untraversable."
Although The Gallery is being designed specifically for the Oculus Rift with the potential for motion controller support, for those who aren't early adopters of cutting-edge technologies, this free-roaming, real-time 3D adventure will also be playable with a standard mouse/keyboard or gamepad setup on PC.
In order to make all this happen by their target date of the first quarter of 2014, developers CloudHead Games are seeking $65,000 through Kickstarter by April 17th. The minimum contribution to include a DRM-free download of the game as a reward is $25, with a wide variety of additional perks offered at higher tiers. To learn more about the game and to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details. You can also vote for the game to be released on Steam through the Greenlight program.