Each new announcement shines a little light on an upcoming adventure, but rarely quite so literally as in the case of indie developer Gossamer Games' upcoming Sole.
While story details are intentionally sparse for the "heavily atmospheric and emotionally engaging" Sole, players directly control "the only source of light in a world shrouded in darkness." As you "wander uninhabited environments, painting the land with light" purely by your presence, you will "explore the remnants of great cities and discover the history of an ancient civilization on your journey to restore life to an abandoned world."
Designed to expand on "the ideas of aesthetic-driven games like Flower, The Unfinished Swan, and Proteus," the game's surreal watercolour-like visuals match its abstract premise in order to "create a dreamlike adventure that captures the sensation of being lost in an unfamiliar place." The labyrinthine environments spring to life in your wake, becoming increasingly (and permanently) illuminated as you pass through them. Rather than straightforward puzzle-solving, the ultimate objective is "less about thinking and more about finding your way through the world." As a result, the game should be "accessible to audiences of all backgrounds and skill levels."
I had the opportunity to put a press demo for Sole through its early paces, and I can definitely attest to what a serene, almost meditative experience it is. There's no danger, even if you fall from great heights, and you don't even need to control the camera, simply steer the little ball of light via either keyboard or gamepad in the direction you wish to go. In a world awash largely in black and varying shades of purple, grass and trees bloomed as I passed, and obelisks lit up with mysterious symbols and images hinting at a forgotten culture. Backed by a soothing orchestral score, I wouldn't even say the goal is so much to get where you need to go (presumably a tower pinpointed by a ray of light piercing the night sky), but rather to simply enjoy exploring and the transformative experience along the way.
Originally begun as an "ambitious side-project by a group of bright-eyed university undergrads" for mobile devices, Sole has since increased in scope with the help of a successful Kickstarter. Now the game is nearly complete, with a target launch date sometime next spring for both Xbox One and PC on Steam and itch.io, with iOS and Android versions to follow later on.