Tall Story’s game jam entry to be reborn as Heir of the Dog
Jekyll and Hyde freeware spoof from the creator of Lucy Dreaming to get full commercial expansion
Before Lucy Dreaming, Tall Story Games helped honed their craft on a free AdvXJam 2020 entry called Hair of the Dog, created in just two weeks. The follow-up is going to take a little longer than that, as the acclaimed indie UK developer plans to enhance and significantly expand the original game for full commercial release as Heir of the Dog.
Both games begin with the same general premise that parodies Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It’s 1859 London, and a “a likeable, if dim-witted twit” named Cummerbund Bandersnatch visits his Uncle Roderick the day after a mysterious explosion. There’s no sign of Roderick, but from his notes it’s clear that he’s been exerimenting with a formula designed to grant its user a “good time,” with heightened senses and increased animal magnetism specifically between the hours of 8pm and 8am. Similarly enticed by the allure of its promises, Cummerbund drinks the potion himself and undergoes a “monsterous transformation.” At first all appears fine, but once the clock strikes 8:00 that evening, he quickly discovers that “his life will no longer be the same again.”
As with Lucy Dreaming, Heir of the Dog is a “thoroughly British” comedy adventure with classic pixel art and a streamlined form of SCUMM-style action interface, fully voiced and filled with “irreverent, sarcastic humour.” Your travels will take you through the fog-shrouded Victorian-era streets, where you’ll encounter plenty of items to collect, puzzles to solve, period-specific pop culture references to spot, and “dubious” characters to interact with. You’ll experience all this in both the normal human form of Cummerbund during the day, and the stronger, hairier, more animalistic version of his persona that roams the streets at night. Each character has his own unique strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll need to strategically manipulate time in order to get the best out of both. Along the way, the expanded game will open up into a “thrilling, love-torn adventure through the back alleys of Old London Town as [Cummerbund] uncovers a sinister plot involving a secret society, the royal family, copious amounts of dog hair and his uncle at the very centre.”
There is no target release date for Heir of the Dog just yet, but it’s already available for wishlisting on Steam for Windows and Mac. In the meantime, the original freeware game jam version is still widely available on Steam, itch.io, the App Store and Google Play. Or you could wait a little while longer, as a playable demo for the new game will be available soon, presenting much the same content as Hair of the Dog but with “improved UI, controller support and artwork.”