For the last several months we’ve brought you news and updates for a game known as The Official. A mysterious, deliberately low-polygon 3D world, set inside a banal, but somehow creepy office block where… you just know something peculiar is going down.
Since then the game has been updated, completed and now released, with a new name: Rituals.
Among Pixels, aka Tymon Zgainski, the lone developer behind the game, told us:
Rituals is a 3D puzzle-exploration-adventure about the relation between civilisation and nature. It aims to be a gripping, memorable and meaningful experience with story told through gameplay and interaction.
I wanted to create a game which tells a story in a fashion only possible for video games, but, which doesn’t compromise gameplay by using it in a way that feels detached from the story or that is artificial, reminding players that they are just playing a video game.
I see computer games as a very powerful device for conveying a message. I wanted to deliver a gripping and unsettling experience that stays with the players long after they finish playing and causes them to ponder on subjects the game tackles.
The game is played from the first person perspective and it uses adventure game mechanics, updated to meet modern stylistic sensibilities. I believe this allows for design of very intricate environments with interaction that feels natural to players, hence increasing their immersion in the game’s world. Every puzzle and location in the game is designed to cause a certain flow of thoughts which in turn should lead to conclusions pushing the story forward. This way players can directly experience the narrative and feel very connected to it.
Rituals uses a simple low polygonal look to create its unsettling atmosphere. Its minimalism helps to remove distractions and allows for better control over what players are experiencing visually. Its eeriness reinforces the message of the game which contrasts the cold, modern world with nature that is desperate to survive the progress of our civilisation.
I decided to tackle the subject of the relation between modern civilisation and nature because of how much I feel a modern human being is disconnected from his original environment. This feeling also creates fear – fear for our future and the future of our planet. And this very fear and uneasiness is what I want players to feel when playing Rituals.
If you like your games to be eerie, polygonal and low-res, or if you’re ever wondered what Twin Peaks would have been like, had it been a virtual reality experience from 1992, Rituals is absolutely for you.
If, alternatively, you want to support your local indie developers and try something entirely (and eerily) different from the usual run of the mill bubble-bursting, princess-rescuing experiences, then try Rituals. It may suck you into an alternate reality of confusion (and eeriness) but we think it’s worth the risk.
Light a candle, roll up one trouser leg, fashion yourself a spear out of office supplies and dive in.
Rituals (Windows/OSX/Linux/Steam OS) – £5.99