Death is rare in adventure games, and when it does happen it often seems to be not an end but rather just the beginning of a whole new adventure. And that's equally true for animals as well as humans, as we're about to find out once again in indie developer Captilight's upcoming Path of Kami.
The game stars the spirit of a young wolf named Kazeyo, who was tragically killed along with his family in snowstorm. Now, with the help of a wisp who appears to him when he awakens, Kazeyo "sets off on an adventure to the spirit world to find his mother and ascend." It won't be an easy journey, however, as it's a "treacherous one filled with danger," and there are plenty of puzzles to solve along the way. The latter involves lighting lanterns to achieve various environmental purposes, but this uses up the young lupine protagonist's "spirit energy," the level of which is reflected in "how ghostly he looks and the number of energy balls he has around his neck." And so Kazeyo will need to explore thoroughly to collect more to sustain himself, even as the narrative becomes an increasingly personal one as he begins to learn more about his past.
Path of Kami is a free-roaming, third-mammal adventure set in an Eastern-inspired "handcrafted 3D painterly world." At first the action is set in the snow-covered mortal world, but the ultimate destination is the spirit realm, sending players "across vast worlds of mountains, forests, and spiritual environments" in the process. The game will contain elements of "traditional Japanese folktales (Momotaro, Issun-Boushi)," and the developers have been working with a Japanese cultural consultant to ensure storytelling authenticity.
While the full commercial version of Path of Kami isn't yet even on the horizon, there is plenty to look forward to in the meantime. A demo is expected shortly, containing five levels from the mortal realm, followed by a full-fledged prologue to be launched on Steam, as well as itch.io, Game Jolt, and possibly GOG as early as this summer. In order to complete the latter, Captilight has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15,000 USD by May 31st.