As Snowpiercer reminded us last year, surreal sci-fi train journeys involving challenging natural elements can make for some pretty compelling drama. Paperash Studio thinks so too, as the indie Czech developer has just revealed its upcoming adventure, Dark Train.
Players are cast in the unusual role of a mechanical squid named ANN 2.35f who controls the titular locomotive, the final and most important invention of the famed D. W. Tagrezbung. This is no ordinary train, to be sure. In order to fulfill his last contract for a client, separated by inhospitable territory connected only by rail, Tagrezbung decided to build a self-sufficient train whose four wagons each contain "one familiar environment from his world", comprising forest, city, graveyard, and pool, all with their own appropriate weather effects. As ANN 2.35f, it is your job to solve the "secrets of Tagrezbung's invention and deliver DARK TRAIN successfully to the unimaginable finish."
Dark Train's unique presentation is created entirely from paper and handmade papercuts, promising a "strong narrative adventure" that's more about the journey and dark atmosphere than reaching the destination. As you explore the train structure and diverse internal environments, you will piece more of the story together. Maneuvering the mechanical squid directly by either gamepad or mouse, along the way you will also need to solve puzzles, micro-manage resources, and maintain the train's functionality for the duration of its trip, tasks that involve both movement and spatial control to complete. (Or, as the developers refer to it: “more than point-and-click.”)
There is no firm release date for Dark Train, but Paperash is currently targeting the summer of 2016 for completion on PC, Mac, and Linux, with crowdfunding a possibility before the end. To learn more about the game, visit the official website or developer's blog for additional details. You can also watch a pair of character and gameplay videos to see the game in early action.