Sometimes when going into the “are video games art?” discussion, we neglect to remember that the graphics alone can resemble masterpieces. Polish OhNoo Studio’s newest game, Tormentum, is a point-and-click adventure with art you’d mistake for van Gogh’s in a museum.
A nameless amnesiac finds himself in a cage positioned under a flying contraption. With only a vague memory of a statue with human hands lingering in his mind, he wants to summon back his past. However, the flying ship lands in a mysterious, dark castle, entrapping him. Solving a variety of puzzles with locks, traps, and gates, he plans to travel this surreal, strange world to uncover the truth about himself. Journeying along the three different lands, he encounters various allies and foes, making moral choices that impact the ending of the game.
The gorgeous, surreal, hand-drawn art paints an atmospheric world full of mystery and darkness. The backdrops are inspired by Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński and Swiss H.R.Giger. Those speak for themselves, featuring macabre scenes combined with dreamy, surrealist architecture seemingly resembling a steampunk hell.
Interestingly enough, instead of controlling the protagonist directly, the camera moves and changes perspective. While on a given screen, players do not control the hero’s steps, but the camera that watches him. Moving the cursor in a given direction will move the plans by a certain distance.
“Thanks to that solution, a player can experience a 3D effect achieved from applying 2D illustrations,” the IndieGoGo page states. “In some of the instances the number of such illustrations will amount to 20! It is an idea which we’ve already successfully executed in our previous, smaller product. Now we’ve just made it better.”
OhNoo Studio is a team of three developers who are asking for funds on the just-launchedIndieGoGo campaign. Already a year and a half in the works, Tormentum needs more or less 20 weeks of work to finish it up, with release plans targeting PC, Mac, and Linux, as well as iOS and Android. Without additional funds, the game won’t be professionally translated into English, since it’s created in Polish.
As little as $9 nets a DRM-free copy of the game when it’s released. The picturesque, surreal dark world of Tormentum looks compelling, and the developers are eager to remove some of the frustrations that often creep into point-and-click adventures (like pixel-hunting for objects). Check out more details and gorgeous art on their funding page, as well as the game’swebsite.