Journey Beyond the Edge of the World draws closer to release
Surreal first-person, black-and-white, low-poly mystery at sea unveiled for Windows, Mac and Linux
Surreal adventures with minimalist presentations set aboard deserted ships have proven to be a winning combination before (think Return of the Obra Dinn). Now solo developer Markus Koepke is tapping into a similar vein for his upcoming black-and-white mystery, Journey Beyond the Edge of the World, only this time adding a distinct musical component as well.
In 1953, an old decommissioned fishing trawler sets out from the port of Hamburg, Germany to embark on an "expedition into the unknown." The crew consists of an unusual collection of "fishermen, small time criminals, scientists [and] artists," led by a "mysterious and secretive stranger from out of town – who is keeping the true nature of the journey from everyone else." Soon, however, a series of strange events culminates in a storm that claims the lives of everyone on board except for a lone unnamed fisherman, who awakens with no recollection of who he is or how he got here. What's worse, the ship is adrift and badly in need of repair. Stepping directly into the fisherman's shoes, you must explore the damaged boat, plug a leak and fix broken equipment, and solve a variety of increasingly challenging environmental puzzles if you're to survive long enough to piece together what happened and hopefully "uncover the true intentions behind the trip" in the process.
While Journey Beyond the Edge of the World plays much like a conventional free-roaming, first-person 3D adventure, it has a few particular elements to make it stand out. The most obvious is its low-poly, pixelated black-and-white presentation, but it's sound, not graphics, that makes the game truly distinct, as the story is told through a "unique combination of narrative, music and spatial audio." As you investigate the ship for clues, you can "interact with almost anything," while three-dimensional sound will help focus your attention on particular memories to be unlocked, allowing you to step back through time. The story itself, a tale of "loss, hope, and facing oneself," is conveyed through "ambient music tracks" locked behind their own individual puzzles. Once you've solved a puzzle you'll unlock its music, revealing more narrative fragments about the ship's many secrets. And each time you do, the "ship and its surroundings change, adapting to the events that take place in the music."
There is no target release date yet, but Journey Beyond the Edge of the World is already available for wishlisting on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux, with an official website sharing various other links where you can follow its progress in the meantime.
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