With the advent of virtual reality, it seems like the artificial world is more lifelike than ever, and that goes double for Chiaro and the Elixir of Life, an upcoming VR-exclusive sci-fi/fantasy adventure that was recently funded through Kickstarter.
Players step into the titular first-person role of Chiaro, a "young engineer returning home to the forest of Neverain to build a machine called Boka and bring him to life with Elixir, a powerful ancient fuel." It will be up to you, with the help of your new "tea-loving steam-powered penguin" sidekick, to build more "alive machines" and decipher the "riddles left behind by the Alchemists, the mysterious and powerful founders of Neverain." Only by doing so can you "unlock the enigma at the heart of Neverain – the Fountain of Elixir. Will you get there before it's too late?"
Inspired by "the aesthetics of Studio Ghibli and the gameplay of Zelda (minus the fighting)," Chiaro and the Elixir of Life has been designed from the ground up as a virtual reality experience. Throughout the adventure, Chiaro (voiced by Taylor Gray of Star Wars Rebels) will need to build relationships with an esoteric cast of characters, including "Scoria, an alive machine from the past; Ellary, iron-willed proprietor of the Neverain Tool Co; and the Peanut Butter Pig, a forlorn swine who wanders the land in search of peanut butter." At your disposal to assist in overcoming challenges are numerous "enchanted tools" like the Janus Knife, an ancient blade that can "cut portals open or explode incendiary bombs" and the Salamander's Breath, a "flaming lantern that can bring Elixir to its boiling point."
Having worked independently on the game for over two years, indie French Canadian developer Martov Co. took to Kickstarter to finance the home stretch, successfully raising over $10,000 to help the game reach the finish line. It should take about another three months of production before the game's release on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with a possible PSVR launch further down the line.