Taking its cues from films like My Neighbour Totoro and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and games like Ico, Atomhawk Design hope The Realm will be an engaging point’n’click game that will ensnare you with its wonderful artwork and the relationship between its two protagonists.
Of course, as is the style of the time, they’ve taken to Kickstarter to achieve this.
The Realm takes place in a future version of our world where society as we know it is a rusting mass, overgrown with forests and vines, and humanity has returned to a more disparate, village community way of life. You play as both Sarina, a young girl who starts the game by leaving her small village to find a cure for her ill mother, she soon meets Toru and golem-like creature.
The pitch for The Realm doesn’t betray any major departures from the adventure genre, certainly nothing we haven’t seen at work in games like Machinarium, but that’s not a reason to dismiss what is an artistically brilliant looking project. There’s so much green on display in the concept art, and the brief snippet of game that we see - albeit, in an over-the-shoulder view - looks distinctly painterly.
I particularly like the clean UI they have at work. It’s clearly been designed in a manner which is friendly for touch devices but, still, it looks like it would work a treat on the PC.
Of course, games like these live and die on the quality of their puzzles and their writing, neither of which we can sample from the material offered.
This definitely looks like a project to follow. Hopefully future updates will detail more of the game’s mechanics.
You can read a more in-depth gloss of the story and the art design over here on the Kickstarter pitch page.