Numbers stations are one of the more curious relics of Cold War spycraft, consisting simply of numerical sequences broadcast over shortwave radio. Seemingly random to outsiders and intriguing to ham radio enthusiasts, they were nonetheless a crucial way of distributing information to agents in the field. To Polish studio Sons of Welder, this search for meaning in the apparently meaningless is an apt metaphor for modern life and represents the core of their newly released puzzle adventure Magnus Failure, the first in a planned series.
Your character has become isolated from humanity, spending his days in a lonely quest for life's deeper meaning. Driven by a need to uncover secrets, he has become obsessed with numbers stations, searching for hidden messages. One day he finally uncovers one, not by some clever decryption technique but simply by opening himself up to the universe. Thus begins his quest, not just for the sender of the message but the truth about himself and his world.
The isometric 3D graphics have a striking comic book hand-drawn aesthetic meant to give the "overwhelming impression of being in a different reality," with a largely monochromatic look that helps the occasional coloured item to pop. If the premise sounds a bit strange and ambiguous, that's by design: the story is rich in symbology but open to interpretation, intended to "guide the player towards deeper philosophical reflection." Even your character is a Kabuki-mask-wearing cipher. The gameplay promises to be far more intuitive, however, consisting of object manipulation puzzles and logic-based minigames that open up more of this strange world as you progress.
For those feeling receptive to this unique kind of adventure, Magnus Failure has already begun broadcasting on Steam for Windows and Linux.