Harold Halibut and Carried Away – Gamescom 2018 Preview
Last but not least, I paid Curve Digital´s booth a visit at Gamescom 2018 and checked out two of their upcoming titles. One of them quite similar to another already previewed one, the other resembling more of a cool new twist to an existing genre.
Starting with Harold Halibut, it´s another indie adventure game from Germany, similar to Trüberbrook. Well, there are a lot of similarities, to be honest, like the fact both studios build their sets rather than model them digitally. However, Slow Bros’ is going all out in pretty much-building everything, from the figures to every single important set. Drawing heavy inspiration from Wes Andersons’ stop-motion movies and alike, they aim to recreate a truly organic feeling artistic, able to portray the details present in the mentioned cinematic examples. And yeah, it does so pretty damn great. Even though the animations still looked a bit stiff, I fell in love with the detailed environments and unique feel thy gained from the procedure of building them.
ANother huge part of my sensation was due to the fact Harold Halibut plays in a spaceship, stranded on a planet solel consisting of water. Obviously, this translates to an atmosphere similar to the Bioshock games, with some slight humorous twists naturally. Playing as young lab assistant Harold, we explore the quite huge ship from many different angles. Actually, it´s even desired to get lost while trying to figure out where to go. The game might provide enough clues like “head to the market” but actually finding the locations can be quite difficult the first time around, since there are so few limitations and restrictions. It really feels like a giant, unknown ship, which was a truly great thing combined with the neat design choices found throughout the demo. Gameplay-wise though, it´s more of a dialogue-driven game with a few, very slight puzzles on the way, mostly consisting of finding an item, so nothing too special.
Harold Halibut will release 2019 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Carried Away tries, well, to carry you away with its physics-based puzzles similar to bridge constructor. This time though, it´s far more than simply building bridges. Set in the alpine landscape, perfect for vacations, it throws numerous challenges at us. First and foremost: Building ski-lifts for the visitors, ranging from classic cabin ones to all kinds of specialized ones. Those need pillars, strong enough the carry enough wait, while also providing enough space for the passengers to get transported. On the one hand, building pillars is similar to most another title sin the genre, this time introducing the factor of effective placing as well. Yet, you have to connect the rope for the lift too, which is a rather unique system, where you can actually wind the rope around the wheels and so on with whole new difficulties.
On top of all this, comes another type of levels, like ones where you control a skier or snow mobile over gaps and so on. Those rely far more on the more classic bridges or ramps, in order to guide them safely over obstacles. Naturally, though, they offer a new twist by forcing you to control them after building everything, with a gameplay similar to the Trials series. Manoeuvring through those previously built things is actually really fun and works surprisingly well in adding another new layer of challenge. I just don´t know how much I like the fact a level can easily be impossible if you´re not good at this.
Carried Away will release Early 2019 on PC
And so it ends, hopes you liked my Gamescom coverage over the last days! See you in the next article and it would be great to let me know how you enjoyed your Gamescom trip (if there was one) 🙂