What Portal did with spatial gateways, indie British developer Dan Smith hopes to do with colours when his first-person 3D puzzler The Spectrum Retreat launches on PC and consoles this summer.
The Spectrum Retreat takes place in the not-too-distant future inside The Penrose, a "peaceful yet unsettling refuge from the outside world." Despite being treated as a "valued guest" of the hotel, you have no idea why you are there and seem unable to leave, as your "existence is embedded into the corridors and guest rooms." If you're to "uncover the mysteries of both The Penrose and the uncertainties surrounding your current stay," you will need to solve "an array of colour coded first-person puzzles, mind-bending physics challenges and the growing fear of exposing your true intentions" along the way.
Guided only by a mysterious woman's voice, players will be able to freely roam the "striking art-deco hotel" – at least insofar as the puzzling obstacles will allow. The secret to progressing through each labyrinthine stage is your ability to absorb colours that will help you bypass the colour-sensitive barriers blocking your path that gradually increasingly in complexity. While the game plays out in real-time 3D, the challenges do not rely on precision timing or dexterity, just an analytical mind to plot out strategy. The lengthy gameplay video with developer commentary shows off the early stages of The Spectrum Retreat and the types of puzzles that can be expected.
Created independently by Smith, who won the 2016 BAFTA Young Game Designers Award for his prototype, The Spectrum Retreat's production is now being supported by Ripstone for release on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch. While no firm release date has yet been revealed, the game is due to launch sometime this summer.