Let it be no god awful secret that game narrative is on the rise; this is not a proven fact, just a statement presented as one. Though given the peek under the duvet we’ve had so far of Denby Raze‘s upcoming adventure title Richard & Alice, it’s safe to say they’re at least packing something of note. What that might be is anyone’s guess, but I’m going to tell you it’s an engaging tale and one that has the potential to grip your fragile emotions should you let it. But let’s forget that for a minute.
Instead, let’s take a moment to reflect on what it is we might be looking for in this supposed mature adventure game, as that is what Richard & Alice will hopefully be. Should it be full of those naughty trinkets hidden behind the staples of porno magazines? That’s for a mature demographic, after all. Okay, so scrap that, then. Blood and gore is mature and for adults only, says my local town crier, just before he slaughters piglets for their tender, juicy bacon. Can we include bodily innards while they’re on the outwards as ‘mature’ content? Bah, it’s all a bit primitive, isn’t it?
“A mystery story about family, desperation and the weather, set to the beat of an indie adventure game.”
This will not do at all. We need something proper mature. Something that can not only be appreciated by us maturitans, but that can also touch us and warm us. That latter point being especially desired considering the cost of heating and the bitterness of the weather upon our toes at the moment. Denby, Raze, please enlighten us to what we should strive for!
To my surprise they actually answered me with that new story trailer above. And, by golly, I’m quite enthralled with the delightfully conversational piece that this seems to be. Spreading from tundra to prison cell, Richard & Alice surely ticks all of the boxes on this list in my hand I’ve named “Places that are mature”. Wink. Yet we haven’t even touched on the nature and drive of the characters until this point, and if that polygonal platformer, Thomas Was Alone, has taught us anything, it’s that personality and relationships can really pull you into a game. And with this form of immersion there’s no need for screen shake, bloom or even bloody screens.
Surely, then, we’re on to a right winner considering that Richard & Alice is touted as being about characters that feel real and end up existing through dire conditions but hold strong due to the strength of their love for each other. Oh, yes, I think I might go and get myself one of these ‘matures’ and lather myself in it. Okay, time out, time out.
Let me just have one serious moment here, read this:
“Outside, the snow falls. It has done for some time. Elsewhere, they say, parts of the world have been rendered an inhospitable desert, the earth parched and cracked. People live in the zones now. The lucky ones, anyway.”
Are your bones chilled yet? Those couple of sentences induce a feeling in me. One partly of adjective-lust but also of a genuine desire to play the game even more. If the writing style matches this within the real game, then I do believe the gaps that our imaginations have to fill will have an easy ride providing us with epic imagery and conveying the emotional weight behind the eyes of the game’s characters. Anticipate this game at your own will, but do consider chipping in towards its development on Indiegogo now, won’t you?