It's been over five years since we last heard from Dane Krams, the designer behind 2015's acclaimed fantasy adventure Anna's Quest. But now Krams is back with a brand new project still in its early stages of development, a point-and-click mystery called The Big Hollow.
The story is based in the "sleepy mining town of Culditch Creek, where it's up to you to solve the murder of the young and seemingly innocent Josie-May." It's been a year since her death, and players control Logan, a "woman with a mysterious connection to the ill-fated girl," who arrives in town "determined to finish the investigation which has been suspiciously abandoned." To succeed you'll need to "travel to numerous shady locations ... and meet many different residents" to uncover clues. Then at the end of each day, back in your hotel room you'll "piece together new evidence, including audio recordings, photographs, security tapes and more" to produce still more leads to pursue.
As with its predecessor, The Big Hollow will be a stylishly hand-painted point-and-click adventure with full voice acting. Rather than witches and towers and talking bears, however, this game is set very much in a contemporary setting with real-world problems. During your investigation, the game promises a "mature storyline that delves deep into the nature of its characters and the quiet mining community they live in." Only by probing the "dark recesses of human behaviour" will you finally be able to "find the truths of Culditch Creek." Along the way, the narrative will touch on "themes of depression, patriarchy, grief and redundancy, particularly the great challenges of industry change in rural communities."
Unfortunately, we probably won't see the full version of The Big Hollow until the first half of 2023 for Windows, Mac and Linux (with console and mobile versions possibly to follow), but the good news is that we can expect a demo to be released sometime later this year to help tide us over. To follow its progress, be sure to drop by the developer's website, where you can register for a newsletter about the game.