Trüberbrook, Textorcist and Tied Together – Gamescom 2018 Preview
Another publisher I paid a visit during Gamescom was Headup Games, who graciously provided me with a ton of assistance and review copies the past months, on top of having a quite diverse, interesting line-up. I mean, who wouldn´t want to see games with awful pun titles like Textorcist or crazy ones like Trüberbrook? Well, I certainly was both interested and not disappointed.
First up is Tied Together, a fun little couch coop game. While the visuals are certainly nothing too unique or outstanding, somewhat at the border to looking like a flash game. However, the actual core gameplay is really fun. Basically, up to four players are playing as monsters Tied Together by a long rope, effectively forcing them to cooperate, in order to overcome the various levels. Additionally, every one of them has the ability to dig into the ground and become a pillar for the others.
With this simple new feature, the game does a surprising amount of cool things. While the early levels started out with pretty basic stuff like jumping over holes without dying etc, a few ones later, things got a bit more tactical. For example, getting a key without getting crushed by the force field below it. Every level consists of one key aspect they want to teach, in order to expand on them, at least in the short snippet I saw. So, if the level design can keep that short but smart structure, Tied Together may be one fine couch coop game, anyone can get into and have fun.
Tied Together will release very soon on Nintendo Switch
Next up, another quite fun title called Textorcist. Besides the almost unbearably punny name, it´s quite obviously a typing game where we´re playing an exorcist, killing ghosts through typing his spells. Presented in a dark pixel art style, it´s certainly a unique blend of between those two aspects. Especially since, once you succeed, the game delivers quite a brutal finisher for those nasty ghosts. Though it better do, due to the fact Textorcist isn´t an easy game … really.
After all, being an exorcist isn´t easy with all those huge, complicated spells. At the same time, the ghosts never grant you the time to actually type in the 20-40 words required for each spell, constantly firing bullets at you. Yes, it´s also a bullet hell game, where the screen is littered with projectiles and you have to stare at both the text you need to type and the bullets that are about to hit you. Given, the game saves every finished word but reaching even the end of one can get quite complicated for those not accustomed to the ten finger writing system. Topped off with the dark, self-aware humour a lot of indie games have nowadays, it seems like a neat little title for those typing game lovers. If you will, it´s practically the Dark Souls of those (yes, I had to say it 🙂 )
Textorcist will release 2018 on PC
However, the biggest upcoming title for Headup Games is Trüberbrook, a German adventure game with some truly great ideas. Centring around a professor who´s invited to the little German town Trüberbrook, even though he never heard nro signed up for it. Yet, once arrived, he quickly becomes suspicious of the people and their behaviour. Not only is he confronted with a police scared he might not be human but also by more than creepy citizens and their crazy experiments. So he begins to find himself in a story, where not everything is as it seems and where most likely not everyone is a human. Slowly he begins to explore the town in classic adventure manner, discovering huge, futuristic laboratories, fins himself in creepy interrogations and much more.
As already hinted, it´s an adventure game, though a very simplified one. Ditching giant inventories for a few key items here and then, that have quite clear purposes. In the puzzle demo ,it became clear, how much the game relies on the dialogue hints instead. Often it was all depending on the way a conversation flowed and how much I asked, making exploration a far greater asset than experience in the genre.
What impressed me the most were the unique approach to its style. Rather than building everything digitally, but actually builds all the stuff physically first, before scanning them into the engine, giving Trüberbrook a really unique look. Unfortunately, as amazing as the setpieces look like, my previous showing of Harold Halibut from Curve Digital had a similar approach, letting this one have a far lesser impact than deserved. Still, the unique graphic style paired with the high-quality voice acting surely creates a very immersive experience I´m really looking forward to!
Trüberbrook will release (hopefully) in December 2018 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Next up will be my final preview of Curve Digital. Look forward to that!