Andalusian have done it: surrealist stealth game Tangiers has hit its £35,000 Kickstarter goal, securing the team the funds they need to turn it from a promising project into a fully-fledged game. We’ve kept a close eye on the game since it was first announced and a lot of details about Tangiers have come out in the Kickstarter which you should know about.
It’s a far more beautiful game than you may have expected. It’s early screens suggested a bleak, monochromatic world. That was only a half-truth.
Tangier’s world is torn between two states: dark industrial cities patrolled by invasive, alien guards and the open colourful landscape that surrounds them.
We had only seen the cities before but the outer regions are a soft, colourful haze. They’re quite stunning:
“Much of Tangiers takes place within tightly controlled, oppressive urban districts,” explains developer Alex Harvey. But between those, we expose you to the world outside. Open horizons, sometimes brightly coloured, sometimes touching on the hallucinogenic. It’s an escape from the bricks and bitumen of the city but an uncomfortable, jarring one.”
The world isn’t a Skyrim, full of dungeons and secrets to be discovered, but it will still be dotted with things of interest. “Exploration tilts slightly away from getting to know an environment to traversing one,” says Harvey. “Using dispersed, unique features that dot the landscape as milestones, you navigate over the world, searching for the shards of urban district that you must infiltrate. Climbing to the higher ground to get the lay of the land.”
I liked the early images of Tangiers but I’m glad to see it has colourful areas to match its black and white cities. If the entire game were that oppressive it could become tiring in its depression.
The developers have also come up with a novel idea to avoid spoiling the game with a beta access program.
Harvey lays out the issues he has with a beta program: “The problem with beta access is whether I expose you to a half complete version of this world, where surprises and narrative arcs lie frayed, unfinished? A gradual, bit by bit expansion of the world with each successive update over the year’s development that feels spread out and episodic? That is not what I’m aiming for with the game.
“Because of this, I took the decision to make Tangiers’ beta access a standalone offering.
“Set up as a prequel to the main game, a self-contained experience that leads directly onto the main of Tangiers. A tightly-nit cross section of Tangiers, an opportunity to showcase, test and garner feedback without impacting upon the experience of the main game.
“The areas, narrative and majority of the characters involved will be unique to the prequel – it won’t just be a demo, it will be it’s own “adventure” within the Tangiers setting. About a fifth of the size of the main game, it’ll be set around two smaller city areas and the surrounding landscape.”
The campaign also saw the reveal of some of Tangiers’ non-humanoid enemies. They’re creepy things that are built to force you to learn new stealth skills. When you aren’t dealing with humans and human limitations you’re put on the backfoot:
Now that the Kickstarter target has been reached Andalusian are free to talk about stretch goals. You can read them in full here but I’ve put a quick summary below. Some of them are an excellent prospect.
£40,000 – audio commentary
£45,000 – extra difficulty mode
£52,000 – reality tears
These tears take a leaf out of Bioshock Infinite’s book. They’re rips in the seams of the world. Sometimes they act as a bridge between parts of the map, sometimes they can be use to trap enemies. They’re “built from stitched together memories of already visited places.”
£58,000 – Reactive music
£64,000 – Enhanced character dynamics
Two warring factions will be acting within the game’s world. You can spread disinformation to create paranoia between them. This can flare into open conflict.
You can still pledge to support Tangiers through Kickstarter but there only three days left to do so. Another way to show support is giving it the nod on Steam Greenlight.