Intergalactic travel may still seem far off in the future, but what if the technology was really developed here on earth back in 20,000 BC? Adventure gamers will soon have the chance to go back and see what the history books definitely do NOT tell us in indie developer Anas Abdin's upcoming Tardigrades.
In a story that promises to touch on issues like "slavery, secrecy, [and] espionage," three major civilizations inhabit the planet at a time when "the deserts of South Egypt and Ethiopia are green." Far from being primitive, the world is highly advanced, with each civilization having discovered one part of a technology that they are unable to stabilize alone. Meanwhile, aboard the space station Marsi-3 orbiting Jupiter, a botanist named Carter and his girlfriend Alex recognize that Earth is on the cusp of a major breakthrough but will need a little help. As Carter, players will need to gather elements from all three civilizations if he's to help his native planet achieve space travel.
Much like the developer's previous Anastronaut games, Tardigrades is a retro-styled third-person point-and-click adventure. Conversations occur through an icon-based interface, and players will even get to employ sign language at times. There will be plenty of puzzles to solve along the way, but not only does the experience promise to be non-linear with two different endings, there will be many possible ways to overcome the obstacles in your path. Adding further to its replayability are "events and puzzles triggered randomly" each time you begin a new game.
Tardigrades was originally announced back in May 2014 under the name Epoch, before being rebranded the following February. The new title is based on the story's (fictional) giant blue creatures who are instrumental in facilitating space travel – a fact that raised some controversy when CBS's new Star Trek: Discovery unveiled strikingly similar creatures serving a remarkably similar purpose when it launched late last year. While the developer is still pondering the possible legal ramifications of the similarities, it's clear that the game's premise was well documented long before the new TV series appeared.
While no specific launch date has yet been determined, at least in part due to the potential copyright conflict, production on Tardigrades is nearing completion for Windows and Linux, with a Mac port planned to follow. To learn more about the game in the meantime, you can follow its progress through the developer's blog.