One problem with mainstream science fiction is that it all winds up looking more or less the same. Drawing from the same set of big-name influences, new sci-fi films and games all wear their influences on their sleeves – Star Wars looms large, naturally, as do Halo and Doom.
So it’s refreshing to see a developer looking to another evolutionary path for inspiration. Aquamarine, which will launch a Kickstarter campaign October 2, draws from old, hand-drawn versions of sci-fi that were more common in the 1960s and ‘70s – the inks and watercolors and the pointillistic shading remind me a bit of R. Crumb, or of the first animated adaptation of the magazine Heavy Metal.
Rather than needing some technological explanation for what you’re seeing characters use on screen, here we have something following Arthur C. Clarke’s third rule: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Aquamarine is a turn-based game about exploring an aquatic alien world in a life-support bubble. You’ll have to find your way through an ocean and upgrade your pod, all the while working around a dynamic ecosystem rendered in a lovely hand-drawn visual style.
Here’s the Kickstarter trailer:
The game is a collaboration between former music journalist Patric Fallon and his partner, photographer Tonje Thilesen. Fallon tells me he began working on the project as a hobby, but it eventually grew into a full-time pursuit.
Also be sure to check out our list of excellent upcoming PC games for more on what to stay tuned for this year.