Where once there was bustling activity, now there is only silence. No, we're not talking about our once-thriving city streets during this unprecedented period of stay-at-home isolation, but rather the scenic locale in Lapso, an upcoming exploratory adventure from Tenerife-based indie developer islaOliva Games.
Story details are intentionally sparse, but players assume the first-person role of Ilai, a "scientific illustrator" on assignment in a remote region "backed by mountains and hemmed in by the sea." It's autumn in the 1970s, and the hiking trails of Rockrose once hosted many visitors, but that was before "the incident." Now it is "a place frozen in time," where even the animals have fled and no longer dare to return. In your attempt to figure out what happened here, you discover an "unmapped section of forest" and begin to search for "oddities" as you investigate the area's "abandoned places and discover its secrets."
Presented in free-roaming, first-person 3D, Lapso emphasizes open-world exploration and organic discovery over puzzle-based gameplay. Particular attention is being paid to the "environmental narrative and sound," as the world itself is being designed to conceal a mystery that only careful observation and a sharp ear for spatial audio can hope to unravel. The largely natural Rockrose landscape will even feature "dynamic climatology," which promises to have a certain degree of impact on gameplay.
While no firm release date has yet been announced by the two-man development team, Lapso is currently on pace to be launched on Steam for Windows PC by the end of this year. There's no need to wait for a free first taste, however, as a playable prologue called "NIMBO" is available now on Steam and itch.io.