Epanalepsis is an upcoming narrative-driven point-and-click adventure game from Cameron Kunzelman, a games critic and designer. This is his third successful Kickstarter; he asked for $4,000 and, as of this writing, has raised $4,645 with the help of 145 backers. Since the project is already funded, stretch goals have been established:
- $6,500 – expanded narrative interludes between the main chapter segments
- $8,000 – more animations, more music tracks, and a better-realized game world
- $10,000 – more choices, more NPC interactions, and more plot threads that extend through time
Gameplay is not puzzle-based, but rather focuses on exploring the three main narratives, which take place in the 1990s, 2010s, and 2030s. Computer gaming and cyberpunk are the driving themes, and it sounds like a game that many will be able to strongly relate to. Other influences include Philip K. Dick, Eternal Darkness, Cloud Atlas, Kicking and Screaming, Burning Chrome, the comics work of Emily Carroll, Planetary, Joanna Russ’s writing, Less Than Zero, The Shivah, Primordia, and Hugo’s House of Horrors. John Fio will be composing the music. The story is as follows:
In 1993, Rachel moves to an apartment in a run-down building on a run-down block. She goes to the same bar every day. She sees Vanessa every day. She sees the streets changing, new groups moving in and out, but sometimes it seems like something is peeking out of the shadows. Other times, when she’s asleep, she meets someone from long ago in a forest.
In 2013, Anthony is living in an apartment in part of town that’s just past trendy. Every day he sees old signs come down only to be replaced by chain restaurants that caters to the families who turned the gritty apartments into concrete-reinforced condos. He works in his office. He comes home. He plays his games. Sometimes he has a coffee to break up the monotony. He dreads when the sun goes down.
In 2033, the city has sprawled up into the sky. Megastructures have sprouted, casting long shadows over the apartment buildings that have now become fortresses. The city is a cyberpunk hellscape where the black market enhancement dealers avoid the private police corps who protect the growing “Lower City tourism” trade. Signals scatter through the streets, and those with their finger to the datapulse keep feeling like they’re missing something.
Backer rewards include the game, design documents, the soundtrack, postcards, and becoming an NPC in the game.
As a huge point and click adventure fan, I’m excited to play Epanalepsis. Cameron also tweeted that the entire first section of the game is completely about women, which is another big draw. The game is expected to be ready to play in December 2014. You can find Cameron’s blog here, follow him on Twitter here, play his games here, and back the Kickstarter here between now and August 10, 2014 at 11:04am EST.