To be or not to be? That will be the question answered by the Kickstarter campaign for Elsinore, a new "time-looping narrative adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet."
Elsinore casts players in the familiar role of Ophelia, with a very unfamiliar opportunity to avert tragedy. You are a "young noblewoman of Denmark, who awakes from a terrible vision: in four days, everyone in Elsinore Castle will be dead." Rather than being resigned to this fate, however, you find yourself caught in a time loop that allows you to "relive the same four days over and over again." You must use your time wisely if you're to alter the bleak future you've foreseen.
Described as "Shakespeare meets Majora's Mask/Groundhog Day", Elsinore is a hand-painted, third-person point-and-click adventure that uses its time-looping mechanic to provide a host of story branches. Player choice is paramount, as you can "lie, forgive, assassinate, befriend, or destroy", and the story will react according to your actions. There are life-and-death decisions to be made, but "even the smallest interaction has an impact on the world around you." Trial is encouraged, even if it ends in error, as you can "explore dozens of different outcomes for even minor actions, each time learning new information." The more you experiment, the more you discover about the motivations of complex characters, all of them keeping secrets.
Rather than being a conventional adventure, Elsinore tasks players with collecting information, from "gossip, rumors, stories, lies, journal entries, bloody daggers, bottles of poison, and more" and then presenting it as hearsay or evidence in an attempt to influence the actions of other characters. You'll need to make good use of your time as well. Not only are you unable to see and hear everything going on in Elsinore Castle in a single time loop, as key events play out simultaneously, but "giving the right piece of information to a character at the wrong time can have disastrous results."
Indie developer Golden Glitch Studios, working on the game in their spare time, is currently seeking $12,000 through Kickstarter by May 26th in order to fully fund production. The team's goal is to complete Elsinore by September 2016 for PC, Mac, and Linux, and a minimum $15 pledge is required to secure a DRM-free download of the game upon release. Response has been enthusiastic so far, with the target amount already in sight, but there is a wide variety of stretch goals still to reach that promise to provide a better overall experience.
To learn more about Elsinore and/or contribute to its fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for complete details, and follow its progress through the official website.