Light and shadow are often important artistic elements in a game, but they're even more important in NEXT Studio's upcoming Iris.Fall, as they actually make up the core puzzle-solving component as well.
Like a darker Alice in Wonderland, the game centers around a young girl who finds herself in a strange and mysterious world. Rather than a white rabbit leading her into a surreal adventure, here the eponymous heroine "awakens from her dreams and follows a black cat into a dilapidated theater." Once there Iris begins "traveling back and forth through a strange labyrinth of light and shadow," and the more she explores, the more she comes to realize that "everything in this theater seems to have some kind of hidden connection to herself."
Blending 3D and hand-drawn 2D backdrops, the beautifully designed Iris.Fall is presented in largely monochromatic graphics with just a splash of colour. Lighting is crucial not only to the aesthetic, but to the story and puzzles themselves, as players find themselves transitioning between the "two worlds of reality and shadow." Along the way, there will be numerous environmental puzzles to solve as you attempt to "uncover an intriguing story full of mystery and wonder."
There is no firm launch date scheduled just yet, but Iris.Fall isn't too far off, with an expected release on Steam for Windows PC sometime in November.