Demo crops up up for Wildwood Down
Comedic 2D/3D point-and-click murder mystery stars young man with Down syndrome
Popular entertainment has started doing a better job of including minorities, but perhaps the one area where it lags behind the rest is its representation of people with physical or mental disabilities. Wildwood Down, an upcoming new comedic murder mystery from Crashable Studios, creators of 2015’s Alum, aims to break through that glass ceiling with a vengeance when it’s launched for PC in 2024.
By no means is this a token diversity issue. The game stars a young man named Daniel, who is based on and voiced by a good friend of the developers who has Down’s himself, a man with “a fantastic sense of humor and loves video games,” who is fully deserving of being the lead character in his own game. Here he plays a “quirky high school senior” who’s out with his sister Becca, their surfer dude friend Dakota and the “wild jerk” Josh on a day trip to the boardwalk of Wildwood, New Jersey. At first it’s all fun and frivolity, but things take a dark turn when the “Boardwalk Butcher” strikes again and Becca goes missing. Now Dan finds himself “making donuts, winning an underground wrestling tournament, and getting thrown out of bars in order to unveil the murderer of his good friend and hopefully save his sister.”
Along with its unique protagonist, Wildwood Down features a distinct look as well, blending 2D pixel art with 3D environmental graphics, although it’s still navigated with a traditional point-and-click interface. Described as a “side-splitting comedy horror,” the game promises a “humorous dichotomy” of “bubble gum pop scenery mixed with a dark murder” in a setting “where every corner hides a blend of mystery and laughter.” As you progress, there will be a wide range of eccentric characters to interact with, clues to find, unexpected twists to navigate and “cheeky puzzles” to solve, all with Dan’s “own unique perspective” on the unfolding events, including the occasional contribution from the protagonist’s conscience to keep you on track.
The full version of Wildwood Down is due out on Steam for Windows PC sometime next year, followed by consoles later on, with a percentage of proceeds to be donated to a Down syndrome awareness organization. In the meantime, a downloadable alpha demo is already available to all those who register, with the developers welcoming player feedback to further refine the game.