The Black Cube universe is expanding at an exponential rate that even Einstein couldn't have predicted! That's because there are not one, not two, but THREE new PC games coming from the group known as The Icehouse collective over the course of this year and next, building on the worlds first introduced by French developer Simon Mesnard with ASA: A Space Adventure, and Catyph: The Kunci Experiment.
Blue Moon: The Lucium Project
In the year 2057, an astronaut returns from his mission in an alien spaceship, bringing back with him a "fragment from a Black Cube never seen before, and emitting strange radiations." The discovery was classified as top secret, and a governmental research project was established on the blue moon of Terra's neighbouring planet, Mapk. Led by your "brilliant scientist" sister, the Lucium labratory operated for a year with a great deal of money invested. However, now you have lost contact with her, and your inquiries are dismissed. According to official reports, it would seem that "she and the others never existed, so you decide to conduct your own investigation."
A "short adventure/exploration game" by Juanjo Barcelo Molina – no stranger to the genre as part of Luminy Studios (Bloodwood Reload, Green Mirror) – under the supervision of Mesnard, Blue Moon is being created entirely in high resolution 3D using the Unity engine. Focusing more on "exploration and a dark immersion than complex puzzles," as you explore the moon where your sister disappeared, you will unravel the truth of what happened to her by collecting pages of her diary, and in the process will "discover the secrets of creation of the Blue Matter, a major evolution in the Terran technology."
While there is currently no firm timeline for the release of Blue Moon: The Lucium Project, hopefully we don't have to wait for the next real blue moon here on Earth to play it, as the developers are hoping to be done by the end of this year. The plan, however, is to release a playable demo first, in order to gain input from players before the final version is complete. To learn more about it while you wait, the official website has additional details.
Boïnihi: The K'i Codex
The adventure most closely aligned with the previous games, and developed by Simon Mesnard himself, is Boïnihi: The K'i Codex. Set in the year 2062, the people of Terra have discovered the "Blue Matter System," an advanced technology that has allowed them to "explore the galaxy in search for signs of intelligent life." Players control an astronaut who has been traveling through space for four years when he lands on "a moon with no name, where a mysterious man used to live alone." The name of the man, long since deceased, is Boïnihi, a "solitary Talifan who had luckily survived the terrible events of Day Zero, long, long ago."
Like ASA and Caytph before it, Boïnihi is a point-and-click first-person adventure with 360-degree panning, packed full of puzzles to solve. Unlike those games, however, Boïnihi is meant to be shorter, easier, and more accessible than its large-scale predecessors, though as anyone who has played those games can attest, "easier" is a relative term. Puzzle fans can still rest assured that the game will be "challenging enough" as you journey through another "exotic" faraway land. With four different regions "inspired by Asian countries and mythologies" to explore plus the "K'i codex to translate, inspired by the famous Voynich manuscript" along the way, the experience should provide more than three hours of gameplay.
Boïnihi: The K'i Codex is the nearest of the three games to completion, with a target launch sometime in either April or May as a budget release on itch.io. To learn more while you wait, check out the game's official website.
In RealMYHA, players control a Tongolian cosmonaut from the planet Terra, who is sent to the moon to investigate when an unknown distress beacon is received. Upon your arrival, however, the only thing you find is a mysterious Black Cube that suddenly teleports you to "an island in a faraway world: a moon named Myha."
If the name Myha sounds familiar, that's because it was originally developed in just ten days by Mesnard for the Myst Game Jam and publicly released for free last year. Like Myst gave way to realMyst, Myha is now being converted to a full 3D adventure from its original node-based incarnation. RealMYHA promises "more realistic graphics, new textures, dynamic lighting, [and] day/night cycles." But this is not simply a mechanical upgrade to the Unreal4 engine. The remake, spearheaded by RoonSehv's Denis Martin, will also include an original new soundrack, plus "new puzzles and ideas [to] make the game longer and more impressive, and you'll have once again to rely on your precious notes and ingeniousness to discover the secrets of this world."
The goal is to release RealMYHA sometime in 2018, but a Kickstarter is planned in order to bring the game to fruition. To learn more about the project, visit the official website for additional details.