Who says Central Europe has the market cornered on Samorost-style adventures? While Amanita Design and other regional developers may have helped popularized the style of animated adventures among photorealistic natural environments, the land Down Under can do it too, as we can see in the first details for indie Australian developer Matthew Petrak's upcoming Tala.
Tala is named after its "boisterous" protagonist, a young woman whose mentor, the Town Guardian, "gets stranded out in the deep woods." Taking control of Tala in an effort to free him, players must seek the assistance of the other local townsfolk and explore the surrounding environs to "help collect parts for the old dingy town airplane and repair it." But beware that you "don't venture too far into the deep woods..."
The game follows the now-familiar technique of using hand-drawn (and often miniaturized) character animations set against unusual organic environments, as seen in the first screenshots and trailer released. Tala will communicate with others using a non-verbal dialog system, and players are encouraged to experiment in their travels, as "lots of the background features have superfluous animations that help the world feel alive." Along the way, you'll also need to solve puzzles to proceed, though the developer claims that they'll be accessible enough to figure out without resorting to "moon logic."
Created entirely by Petrak, along with music by Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Cody Rueger, Tala still has a fair way to go in its development, with a projected release date sometime in 2019 for Windows and Mac. In the meantime, you can follow its progress thought the official website, and look forward to a playable demo that's in its "final stage of polish."