The say that dead men tell no tales, and normally that's true. But what if technology allowed us to tap into the minds of the deceased and find out what happened to them right before the moment of death? This is the basis of Invasive Recall, an upcoming SCUMM-style mystery from Springbeam Studio which is currently raising funding through Kickstarter.
It's 2086, and "advances in neurological science and artificial intelligence gives birth to a new technology by which it is possible to scan and interpret thoughts of the human mind." The problem is that the procedure is "soon discovered to wreak havoc on the minds of test subjects, rendering them severely demented or insane." Subsequently outlawed outside of law enforcement, the eponymous process is now used only by detectives known as "Mind Readers." Tapping into the final memories of "recently deceased victims of crime" sheds valuable light on such cases, often even revealing the "identity of the perpetrator right at the crime scene."
John Landon and Rachel Hapley are both Recall detectives, the former a "rookie detective for the city police" and the latter "working for a tech-savvy, well-funded privatized organization." They are familiar with each other only by reputation, and "little do they know that their paths are about to cross, and that they soon will face a vastly more sinister truth than the everyday crime and corruption of the city." Collectively they will need to discover the answers to questions such as, "why are a handful of prominent scientists turning up dead? Why are ordinary people vanishing into thin air, never to be seen again?"
Despite its futuristic setting, the experience promises to be decidedly retro in most other respects. Inspired by "classic noir and cyberpunk movies as well as the early adventure games of the 80s and 90s," Invasive Recall features a traditional point-and-click pixel art presentation, classic nine-verb method of interaction, and "lots" of puzzles to solve along the way. Throughout a "tense, funny and atmospheric adventure with a lot of twists and turns," players can switch freely between the two protagonists, both for variety and because there are certain puzzles where "character collaboration is the only solution." As well as freely exploring a "vast" city from its "slums (to) more high-end establishments" via police responders, players will also get to activate the Invasive Recall mechanic on a number of corpses and "play through memories" in order to "uncover clues in the past that help you solve puzzles in the present."
To help finance the rest of the game's production, its indie Swedish developer has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise €33,500 by May 6th. If all goes well, we could see Invasive Recall released for Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile platforms as early as next May, though the second half of the year seems more likely.