Ghostly possession has proven to be a winning adventure game mechanic, and indie Irish developer Outsider Games is hoping to continue that success with Wailing Heights, a “supernatural, body-hopping adventure game” set to debut on PC with a mobile version to follow. Featuring offbeat characters like vegan werewolves, hipster vampires, and gossiping ghosts, the game promises to be “part point & click adventure, part sardonic crime thriller”.
Wailing Heights casts players in the role of Frances Finklestein, a has-been musician whose soul is forcefully removed from his body when he accepts a gig in the titular town, grasping at any opportunity to get back into the spotlight. Separated from your body, you must use the ability to “hop into” and control other creatures. Possessing the ghouls and ghosts of Wailing Heights will let you access specific, monster-only areas, and will ultimately aid you on your path to reclaiming your body and escaping.
As befits a game starring a musician, Wailing Heights places a heavy emphasis on music, and not just as jaunty background tunes, as the body-hopping mechanic incorporates completing song lyrics from the items and information you collect. But the developers also advise keeping your ears open at all times, as songs you hear will actually incorporate hints and clues to the game’s mysteries. You’re not the only one with a musical bent either; there are Motown Zombies, nightly performances at the Crematery, and werewolves favoring country-rock jukebox playlists.
While not strictly a comedy, with plenty of opportunity for adventure and drama in a game described as “Cluedo meets Professor Layton by way of Monkey Island”, the developers do promise plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and witty dialogue along the way. Helping to ensure a comic tone, Hector: Badge of Carnage writer Kevin Beimers is on board, and comic artists like Glenn Fabry and PJ Holden have been enlisted to lend their visual talents as well.
With another six months of planned development time remaining, we can look forward to unearthing all that this self-financed game holds in store when it arrives early next year. In the meantime, to give interested players a sense of what they’re all about (and keep abreast of breaking news), the developers have set up a production blog which includes videos, art previews, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the game.