PsychoDev's retro-styled Chronicle of Innsmouth proved to be a delightful blend of comedy and horror when it was launched last year. Now the indie Italian developer is back with more Lovecraft-inspired fun in Mountains of Madness, but a little more serious and looking bigger and better than ever. Assuming, that is, that its upcoming Kickstarter is successful.
Set in the 1930s, the new game "traces the events narrated in the novel At The Mountains Of Madness, which tells the story of an expedition of scientists bound for the South Pole only to come across a shocking discovery." In this prequel taking place ten years before the events of its predecessor, players will reprise their role of Private Investigator Lone Carter (playable only in black-and-white flashbacks last time). Awaking on a beach in Massachusetts, his body "ripped apart" and near death, he miraculously recovers but "ever since this rebirth, Carter has been haunted by horrible nightmares." His subsequent investigations uncover the expedition to the Antarctic, where "the alien bodies of hithertofore unknown creatures" are found frozen. It turns out that here in these mountains "hide the ruins of an alien civilization that, having come to the earth eons before, made it their home with the aid of their shapeshifting slaves: the Shoggoths."
Carter isn't the only protagonist, however, nor is his the only timeline explored, as Mountains of Madness promises to touch on the stories of "different characters in different eras, all entwined and linked by a common thread." While embarking on an "epic journey in which discovering the truth behind its terrible mysteries is but a passport to madness," players will find themselve traveling back to ancient Yemen in the role of Abdul Alhazred (aka "The Mad Arab" who created the Necronomicon) and "even step into the shoes of H.P. Lovecraft himself, guiding him along the path to unveil the mysteries of his bloodline."
There will be other changes to the original formula as well, most notably a significant increase in resolution in the pixel art presentation this time around, as teased in the first screenshots and trailer released. The game will also have a more serious tone that's "oozing with twisty dread," though there will still be comedic moments to help lighten the mood on occasion. There's been no scaling back on challenge, fortunately, with "dozens of puzzles to solve" and many characters to interact with along the way.
The goal is to release Chronicle of Innsmouth: Mountains of Madness on PC, Switch, iOS and Android devices beginning November 2019, but in order to do that, PsychoDev will be launching a Kickstarter campaign at the end of the month to help secure the finances required to see it through to fruition. To learn more about the game before then, drop by the official website for additonal details.