If you've been crying on the inside at the dearth of surreal, open world adventures, you'll probably want to step right up and support a new Kickstarter campaign for Dropsy.
Dropsy is named after a "hand-less, unintelligible, and questionably human hero" whose ability to speak to animals was exploited by his parents at an early age. Dropsy's circus clown act gained widespread celebrity until a fire resulted in "the tarnishing of his image as a local hero. Their tent now serving as a dilapidated makeshift home, Dropsy and his father struggle to survive by collecting scrap metal and taking (occasionally humorous) odd jobs." Following Dropsy and his dog Eughh, a series of "bizarre, otherworldly events unfold as you discover more about the fateful fire and Dropsy's nebulous past."
As you guide the "sweet but accident-prone clown through strange worlds in a fresh take on the classic point and click adventure"," the game's emphasis is on "surreal atmospheric elements and environmental storytelling" that involves almost no text. There is dialogue with a cast of colourful characters, but conversation occurs visually through a series of icon-based speech bubbles. You can also explore Dropsy's dream world – an "amalgamation of events from his past, opinions, interests, and desires" – when he sleeps to uncover even more of the story, but this is entirely optional.
Beginning life as a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' game thread on a message board, Dropsy was expanded into an interactive adventure game by indie designer Jay Tholen in 2008. To help cover the cost of development software along the way, Tholen launched a very small, successful first Kickstarter campaign back in 2011. Now seeking to ramp up production considerably in order to finish the game by April 2014, Tholen is asking for $25,000 by July 25th in the latest crowdfunding appeal. A $10 donation will result in a free download of the game for PC (and possibly Mac and Linux), but there are a variety of other tiers for added rewards above and beyond that.
To learn more about the game and to contribute to the campaign, visit Dropsy's Kickstarter page for complete details.