Demo sampler offers early slice of Abscission
Full version of Lovecraftian retro-styled detective mystery coming to PC later this year
There’s something about the graphical limitations of pixel art horror games that enable them to tap into a Lovecraftian sense of existential dread and make them particularly unsettling. It’s precisely this kind of disturbing atmosphere that indie developer Beyond Booleans is aiming for in their upcoming supernatural detective mystery, Abscission.
The city where Detective Stanhope lives was once a normal place, a “direct reflection of the humanity that clustered within it,” complete with all the flaws and virtues that entails. But then something “infected” it, and now it’s beset by a series of gruesome murders and mutilations that seem almost otherworldly in origin. As the detective assigned to these grisly homicides, the player’s job involves the usual investigative work of “searching crime scenes for evidence, combining clues and questioning suspects.” But how you approach the investigation is important too, as your choices impact both the puzzles and relationships you develop with persons of interest.
Described as a “Lovecraftian, story-driven horror point-and-click investigation game,” Abscission is a traditional AGS-style adventure with retro pixel art and cycling cursors. What makes it stand out from most – apart from some particularly gory scenes – is that not only do some puzzles have multiple solutions, but you can tailor your interrogations according to four different temperaments: “Melancholic (detail oriented), Phlegmatic (calm), Sanguine (sociable), Choleric (driven).” It’s up to you to decide what temperament best suits each conversation, as “Stanhope will need to use all of them in order to be the best he can be.” There are real consequences, too, as the game “adapts to your choices,” with people responding differently to you later on depending on your prior interactions.
There is no current target release date, but Abscission is on pace to be released sometime before the end of the year for Windows PC on Steam. No need to wait for your first brutal murder investigation, however, as a playable demo is already available to download.