Maybe you’ve never heard of Aquaria. It’s okay; we don’t judge here.
Released in 2007, it’s a heady blend of tight side-scrolling action, melancholic exploration and melody set in an underwater wonderland. It made quite a splash when it first came out (o-ho).
And now Alec Holowka, Aquaria’s lead programmer, is looking to do it again. In a way, he already has. Teaming up with animator Scott Benson, the fresh-off-the-slab Kickstarter for their new game, Night In The Woods, met the required funding goal of $50,000 in just over 26 hours.
It’s not hard to see why – while its speedy success was no doubt due to Holowka’s and Benson’s past credentials, equal weight can be given to the oddly sincere, slightly irreverent and completely haunting trailer they’ve put together, which highlights Benson’s signature style.
There’s something going on in the woods of the decaying mining town, Possum Springs, and it’s up to Mae – a college-drop-out with unresolved anger issues and the ability to astral project – to find out what’s up while revisiting some of her old friends.
The game’s described as a “2D story-focused adventure / exploration game with many extracurricular activities to enjoy, characters to meet, and secrets to discover. Run, jump and use astral projection to explore the many sides of town of Possum Springs and the surrounding environs.”
The game balances just the right level of wackiness with eeriness to make Night In The Woods one to watch.