If you're an astronaut, crash landing on an alien planet is about the worst thing that could happen. If you're a player behind a computer screen controlling said astronaut, however, it's a whole lot more fun, as we'll find out next year when two-man indie German developer ArtFactory Jalokivi release their debut adventure, AC-0209.
The game stars a diminutive space explorer who is forced to land on a "foreign and strange planet." With no idea where he is or how to escape, unexpected hope arrives in the form of another spacecraft he witnesses crashing in the distance. And so he sets out to "follow the trail to this landing spot," but to reach it he'll need to solve a variety of puzzles to overcome the obstacles in his path.
Promising an experience that is "colorful and funny, but also kind of mysterious," AC-0209 is inspired by the genre greats like Monkey Island and Myst, asking players to "interact with the environment, combine objects and solve puzzles" in the "best adventure game tradition." Perhaps the game it resembles most, however, is Machinarium, and not just in its distinctive hand-painted art style. Like Amanita Design's classic, AC-0209 conveys its story entirely without words, putting players "in the same position as the astronaut" in having to figuring everything out on their own.
There is currently no firm release date just yet, but AC-0209 is on track to be completed for Windows, Mac and Linux by the end of 2020, with possible mobile and Switch ports to follow. There's good news coming sooner than that, however, as the developers are hoping to release a demo sometime late this year.