Most sci-fi stories involving long space travel begin with astronauts waking up from cryosleep, but what's actually happening with them while they sleep? Are they suspended in unconscious oblivion? Can they dream? In indie developer Epsilon's successfully-Kickstarted episodic sci-fi adventure Destination: Primus Vita, we'll discover there's much more going on than meets the eye.
The game is set in the 3040s, nearly seven centuries after aliens invaded Earth and "within five days, stole almost all of our water, and left us for dead." But mankind survived, rebuilt, and at long last is ready to venture back out into space. Leading the way is the six-person Crew 121, with a course plotted for Primus Vita to finally reclaim the planet's stolen water. Inside their cryo chambers, however, their training is still ongoing through a simulation constructed by the ship's A.I., NIM, designed to "keep the mind fully stimulated during the space trip." To complete the challenges laid out in these mental constructs, players will need to "explore the environment and find clues, collect items that tell stories, and talk with the other characters to deepen and strengthen their relationships."
Described by the developers as "first-person narrative puzzle game" (aka an adventure game as we know it), Destination: Primus Vita takes place in various 3D settings based on each protagonist’s experiences, thoughts and feelings. The series will feature one main crew member per each of the six planned episodes, the first involving Austin Blair, the "quantum physics scientist working hard to find a way to confront the Primevitans." The respective main characters are far from alone in these simulations, though. As you attempt to solve a sequence of challenging puzzles, each of which has a set of 1-5 clue cards to reduce the difficulty if needed, you must also develop relationships with your colleagues. A stronger connection with others not only unlocks character lore, but is integral to the experience itself, as "the goal of the simulation is to enhance both the cognitive and emotive side of our protagonists."
If all that sounds a little much to wrap your head around, you can check it out firsthand through the playable prologue available through Steam (or alternately, watch as it's played out in the walkthrough video). Fortunately, that won't need to tide you over for too long thanks to the game's successful Kickstarter, which puts the first episode on track for release in March, with new episodes to follow quarterly if all goes well.