Victor Wise, a restless soul whom you may recognise from such hit films as Frankenstein vs Moreau, Elementary, Dr Jekyll or The Bride of Abomination, has a new project to present to us today: The Weird Story of Waldemar the Warlock. Okay, maybe it owes more to new Spanish developer enComplot than the imaginary Mr Wise, but lovers of sinister deeds on dark and stormy nights may find much to cackle manically over in the playable demo of the upcoming adventure, currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.
Once upon a time Waldemar Gorobec – warlock, necromancer, sinister castle-owner and possessor of an imposing-yet-fluffy beard – ruled Groldavia with an iron fist and a penchant for cruelty. Amazingly, this didn't make him popular or universally loved, and he was betrayed, burned at the stake by his serfs and slowly forgotten. At least until Lord Alistair Ainsworth – writer, historian, occultist and all-around Victorian dilettante – moves into Waldemar's old castle and notices a rather peculiar portrait. Peculiar in the sense that most portraits don't come with an errant soul bent on vengeance...
Steeped in the gothic horror tradition, it's clear that the developers of The Weird Story of Waldemar the Warlock are both fans of the genre (naming Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft and Roger Corman among their influences) and well aware of its camp ridiculousness, taking every opportunity for a send-up. The demo is full of suitably purple prose, delivered in Alistair's measured and serious baritone, and he's wonderfully oblivious to all the con artists who have taken advantage of his wealth and naivete to sell him magical artefacts of dubious provenance.
Based on the demo, the HD graphics are rich and painterly and the music swooping and orchestral, both contributing nicely to the B-movie feel. The character animation could use a little work, but then this is an early work-in-progress. Gameplay is standard point-and-click, but there will be two different paths through the game, depending on whether you choose to side with Waldemar or against him.
If all this sounds interesting, you have until April 29 to back the game on Kickstarter. Various rewards are available, including vintage B-movie posters, an oil painting and even a horror-themed cookbook, but a pledge of £9 or more (about $15, or €11) will get you a digital copy if the campaign meets its funding target of £40,000.
The Weird Story of Waldemar the Warlock is scheduled to haunt PCs and Macs in October 2014, with hints that it may be ported to Android, iOS and Linux down the line. The early demo is publicly available now, and you can find out more at the game's official website, or vote for it on Steam Greenlight.