Magical books have long been transporting adventure gamers directly into fantastical worlds, and they're poised to do so once again in indie Swedish developer Nellie Johansson's upcoming Bookworms.
Bookworms stars an unlikely hero, a poor librarian named Laura who tends to her comatose grandmother in the outskirts of London with her cat Scruffy above their book restoration shop. The world around them is in trouble as well, society "slowly falling apart, with people disappearing, no new ideas and memories fading away, for reasons nobody knows." Fortunately, Laura is "optimistic and has a lively imagination," with "hundreds of dusty books" to fuel it with. Then one day, fantasy becomes reality when a book left by a mysterious old man teleports her to his library, where she learns that "there are far more worlds than ours, suffering from similar problems, each represented by a book." Something is "destroying the worlds from within," and it'll be up to Laura and Scruffy to "travel through the worlds searching for the cause of their decay."
The early screenshots for Bookworms show off the stylish hand-painted artwork that we can expect in the various book worlds we visit, though with different settings to explore in each. Along with the company and assistance of Scruffy the cat, there will be plenty of other characters to meet along the way, running the gamut from cute and cuddly to rough and tough (or as Johnansson teases it: "Want cute animals? There are bunnies! Want some muscles? There are bikers too!)
The only downside to discovering the game in such an early stage of production is that we'll have to wait so long for the finished product. With the developer working on the game herself, we're at least a few years' off from final launch. The good news is that she's working on a demo to whet our appetites while we wait, which should be released sometime this summer.