When life is at its hardest, sometimes dreams are the only places where one can find solace. This is certainly true in indie developer Robodev's Obscure: Challenge Your Mind, which is close to being released on Early Access.
The game puts players in the troubled first-person role of an orphan boy who can barely remember his parents. Bullied for years in the miserable old orphanage where he lives, one night the deeply despairing child dreamed of "a green meadow, covered in flowers on a sunny day. The birds were singing, there was a sound of running water nearby and a gentle, female voice was calling him from a white, wooden house." Though he barely dared believe it, the woman was his mother, "standing on the doorstep, looking for him." From that point on, each night he returned to same dream house, longing for the chance to speak to his parents and perhaps even learn why they gave him up as a baby. Only in these dreams could the young orphan find refuge, as "there he was free."
Obscure is a free-roaming 3D adventure set entirely within the child's dreams. Everything you see is "somehow related to this boy's life and imagination," and in order to proceed players will engage in exploration of the picturesque rustic environments, with some puzzle-solving and a little light platforming along the way, as teased in the gameplay trailer released. Even with the presence of some action elements, however, the game has been designed to be a "beautiful, relaxing adventure" that draws inspiration from games like The Witness, ABZÛ and Journey, while incorporating a variety of "subjects that come from different books, ancient texts, interesting theories and more."
Releasing for Windows and Mac exclusively on Steam, Obscure: Challenge Your Mind (not to be confused with the survival horror Obscure) currently offers the first three chapters of the game to explore and is expected to remain in Early Access for at least four months.