Playable demo represents first step of The Pilgrimage
The threat of apocalypse is no laughing matter... unless you're sci-fi author Nicholas Brakespear, whose upcoming text adventure The Pilgrimage takes place a thousand years after Earth as we know it was destroyed. If that doesn't sound funny, wait 'til you get a load of the details of this interactive "hangover odyssey."
While most end-of-the-world stories take place in the immediate aftermath, in The Pilgrimage mankind has begun to rebuild (or at least, get on with things). The planet is still a mess – a literal "burning sea" – but you have more important things to worry about: namely, that "you woke up in the pub with a massive hangover; that the landlord claims you owe him money... and that you don't have any. Oh, and the police think you murdered someone." And so begins a tale that blends comedy and tragedy and includes "incompetent heists, murder investigations, pirate attacks, ancient tomb ships, vast cities... and the nightmarish resurgence of repressed memories."
The Pilgrimage aims to find the sweet spot between pure choose-your-own-adventure-style gameplay and old school text adventures. You'll still type in commands using a "forgiving text parser" to proceed, but the experience promises to be a "more streamlined and plot-driven experience than traditional Zork-clones." Navigation will rely solely on environmental clues, rather than the usual "dungeon-like grid of rooms. How do you know which way is north? You don't. There is no north. Go through the door instead, or look at a signpost to follow directions." Character interactions will include branching dialogues, the ability to ask questions, and a more RPG-inspired "personal reputation" system. Other features include an inventory that lets you combine items, a journal chronicling events along the way, and a quasi-real-time clock, with "certain events and NPCs appearing only at certain times of day, and others happening to the player if they take too long."
If you think you have what it takes to tackle a "fully-fledged interactive novel," you can get an early sample from the playable demo that's already available. Those who like what they see can support The Pilgrimage on Steam Greenlight, and if the response is sufficient, there's a chance the game will get "voice-overs for major narrative elements."
The release date for The Pilgrimage is still undecided, but Brakespear is "hoping" to complete it sometime in 2018. That's a long time to wait, but in the meantime you can follow its progress through the developer's blog.