A prolific New Zealand studio has dated its next release, a reflective puzzle game called Samsara.
Auckland-based Marker has more than 75 games out, including major contract titles such as Disney puzzler Crash, Boom, Ham! and its own like popular word game AlphaJax.
Samsara is described as a reflective puzzle game of contrasts and echoes, in which players guide an innocent child, Zee, safely to the exit of each level by dropping blocks with different shapes and properties into a world of two dimensions separated by a pool.
According to Marker, the game's deceptively simple mechanics conceal rich and complex interactions that involve positioning, pathfinding, gravity, balance, timing, redirection and teleportation, with Samsara’s significant twist: everything added in the upside down world of Zee’s mysterious shadow below reflects in the world above.
The game's setup cleverly acknowledges and involves the player:
While playing in the park, Zee follows a squirrel through a portal to a world of echoes, inhabited by a shadow child. Surrounded by the unknown and trapped in a series of realms both confusing and dangerous, the youngsters must avoid slipping into the pool between dimensions, embarking on a voyage of discovery and awakening they share with the player, up and down staircases, through light and dark, across the upside-down and the right side-up to their eventual freedom.
"What makes Samsara so compelling is that the player uses very simple mechanics to solve increasingly intricate problems that involve all kinds of interactions between Zee, Zee’s echo and the detailed, interactive environments," said senior producer Alex Humphries.
"Progression has been carefully tuned to ensure players experience the same awakening as Zee and the shadow as they escape from Samsara."
Samsara is in its final stages of development, and will release on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam (PC and Mac) in early 2018, and iOS and Android versions will follow shortly thereafter.
You can check out its Steam page here.