From the maw of Kickstarter – or as the case may be here, from the twisted pink tentacles – comes word of Octopus City Blues, a surreal new adventure game developed by Ghost in a Bottle, an independent team of six hailing from various parts of the globe.
Octopus City Blues follows the exploits of Kaf Kafkaryan as he explores both Octopus City and the vivid environs of his dreams. Kaf is an antihero: a coward; a gutless man with little self-confidence; an octopus blood junkie and trimmer of the tentacles overtaking the city. His personality directly affects how the game plays, as managing his stress and guilt during exploration will both expand and limit player options.
Kaf becomes entangled in a conspiracy with far-reaching consequences for the city – a city which takes its namesake from the giant octopus it is built upon. Octopus City is a dynamic environment that is frequently changing, so “you might visit the central plaza to find people gathered around the dead body of a homeless man. On another day, you might witness a musical performance in the same place. These small events are not part of the main plot, but serve to enrich the world”.
This game promises “the most lovely tentacles ever conceived.” (Though it's surely stepping on Day of the Tentacle’s toes with such a claim!) These are rendered in a retro pixel art design, recapturing the look of games of yore as you travel around Octopus City, the last human bastion and only remaining octopus city on the planet. As you explore, you'll take in the sights of this steampunk, aquatic-creature adventure – especially its bustling nightlife filled with wacky and twisted inhabitants, many of whom have a terrible addiction to octopus blood.
Much like its subject matter, the gameplay is certainly not like any traditional adventure. Although it will include a few basic puzzles, Octopus City Blues plans to largely avoid the genre's traditional sense of puzzle-solving. Instead, the environment itself, NPC interactions, and player choice and consequence form the basis of a larger narrative puzzle. With no combat involved, exploring, talking to secondary characters (each with their own personal schedules and relationships), learning new skills, and playing mini-games will be essential to progress in the demented Octopus City.
Octopus City Blues is on Kickstarter now, hoping to reach its goal of $7000 by September 26th in order to release the game on PC, Mac, and Linux in December 2014. A $10 pledge will net you the entirety of this addled adventure, DRM-free on the platform of your choice. There is also an official website with additional details about the game.