A Naked Truth: Cargo Released, Impressions

By Quintin Smith on April 22nd, 2011 at 11:19 am.

Alec's family reunions were never pretty affairs.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in, tweeted and MSNed me about this. I’d also like to thank you guys for stopping short of throwing rocks through my window.

So, Ice-Pick Lodge, the legendarily high-minded Russian developer behind Pathologic and The Void have just released Cargo, a game I’ve been looking forward to for almost a year. More so ever since I read Tom Jubert’s account of his business trip to visit Ice-Pick’s offices (which is a two bedroom apartment in a Moscow high rise) and I fell that much more in love with the guys. If you haven’t read it yet, do so immediately.

Anyway, Cargo – The Quest for Gravity (previously “Cargo!”), which you can see above and buy here, is a game about… it’s… the… OK, it’s probably best if you just read my account of my first hour of play. It’s after the jump.

Cargo opens on the above patchwork zepplin, drifting slowly across a flooded world. The crew of the zepplin consists of (1) A captain with a voice like a boot in a blender, dressed like Napoleon except with a Hawaiian shirt and (2) You, a plucky pirate engineer-type lady with, again, an improbably deep voice.

Below is a strange race of people, every one of which looks like a failed attempt at cloning Richard O’Brien. Are they having some kind of celebration for you?

“They’ve come out to meet us!” cries your Captain. “An offer like this comes once in a lifetime!” It turns out that yourself and your captain represent some kind of post-apocalyptic delivery service, and are delivering some cargo to this very island.

On cue, a stray firework shoots your zepplin down.

Washed up on the shore below you find the band, which on closer inspection I think I saw live once while I was at university. The band’s vocalist doesn’t sing, instead speaking only in poor quality poems.

“The crash landing was a great success / Our finest, most important minds came to greet our honoured guest
Yet somehow they miscalculated / Your position wasn’t triangulated
You landed far from the festivities / And made a horrible mess”

From here, you’re prompted to start physically kicking these strange, nude creatures around. Each time you do so they squeal with joy and produce a certain amount of “Fun”, which your character collects.

Then it’s time to meet the Gods of this strange world.

“I am Manipu,” booms the first. “The creator. And your client. We cannot accept delivery! The cargo is only technically here.”

Fair enough. Who’s next?

“I am Manipu, too,” calls the second. “Deus Ex Machina. I assert: the engineer is lousy. She doesn’t build or fix a thing – she just kicks arse and chews gum.”

Is he talking about you? And wait, he’s called Manipu as well? Isn’t that a bit confu–

“And I am Manipu,” interrupts the third. “Deus Ex Machina, three in one. And I agree to compromise, for I am so full of mercy.”

Finally there’s this guy. It’s not made clear whether he’s called Manipu or not, but you’re immediately distracted from who he is because by this point the strange bald creatures have found a jet intake that fell off the zepplin. They’re walking towards it and getting sucked up and churned into nothing, one after another. You get the sense that this is a bad thing.

Since the Richard-O’Brien-icide is happening on a different island, it’s up to you to build a vehicle to get there, a process which plays a bit like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts if you removed every other line of code.

On the other island you discover there’s no way to actively disable the jet engine, and so instead must distract the horrible monsters from wandering off to their doom. Mostly by kicking their arses, but you can also drop the music that can be found floating throughout the game, causing the strange little mutants to assemble for the ugliest dance party.

Before long you’ll have amassed enough fun that the game prompts you to bring up the “Stratosphere” menu, and it’s here that things start becoming a bit more clear.

Look at this strange rock thing! No idea what it does, but I literally summoned it out of thin air!

In Cargo, the stratosphere is full of strange items and landmarks, and at a cost of fun you can return gravity to them, dropping them into this open world of yours. From the Gods’ incoherent jabber, you piece together the fact that the world, our world, has undergone some kind of apocalypse, and gravity has become sporadic, and fun is the only thing that anchors people to the ground, and these Gods created a new form a mankind but it is a bit shit. Or something? Hey, look! One of the items you can pull down is an iceberg!

Pulling down the iceberg triggers an immediate and inexplicable winter across the landscape. All of the water freezes over and the world is covered in snow. But your creatures are either too noble or too stupid to be scared. They immediately set to climbing their new plaything.

Except it turns out iceberg is populated by furious, 14-feet tall penguins! I watch in horror as a penguin devours one of my tiny, smiling fun factories through its anus. Something must be done!

It turns out that “something” is gathering various abandoned crates of cargo, building a car, and driving at the penguins at speed in order to remove the fun that is tethering them to the ground. Of course!

So, that’s your first hour of Cargo. It’s certainly something, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’ll be posting a full-bodied Wot I Think early next week, but if this sounds like your cup of tea/absinthe/bleach then the Steam page is right here. Godspeed, gents!

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191 Comments »

  1. jalf says:

    Wait what?

    I want!

  2. talon03 says:

    So does the LSD come free with the game or did you provide that yourself?

    • killmachine says:

      i think drugs have done some good things for us, i really do. and if you dont believe drugs have done some good things for us, do me a favor. take all your discs, cds and dvd’s and burn em. coze you know what, the developers who made all that great games that enhanced your life throughout the years … really fucking high on drugs. (by bill hicks, sort of)

    • thelxr says:

      Check your manual on page 23, there should be a sticker with a bicylce on it it. Remove the sticker and lick the contents. If you own a digital copy, just lick the screen, when Steam promts you during install.

  3. Loix says:

    What the fuck just happened?

    • McDan says:

      Precisely what I was about to say, I have no idea what’s going on now. My entire day has just turned upside down. Are you meant to put cheese up your nose? I have no idea! Logic has gone.

      No, no you are not meant to put cheese there.

      Brilliant read though, must be said.

  4. Teddy Leach says:

    What the… This looks awesome!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I can’t stop laughing at the banner image. It’s like they got RubberFruit to make the character models. (It’s kind of a shame to see tha there’s duplicates in there, so they’re probably not procedural.)

      Also suddenly I am reminded of late-’90s odd strategy thing Baldies.

  5. gorgol says:

    WTF. I can’t tell if this game is something mundane disguising itself with wierd cosmetics, or if it is innovative design obscured by unfamiliarity. My natural gaming cynicism makes me settle on the former.

    • jalf says:

      Yeah, when faced with something that might be interesting, always assume that it isn’t. That’s a recipe for a life full of excitement if I ever heard one.

      ;)

    • CoyoteTheClever says:

      Icepick Lodge games are definitely not mundane, though they do seem to me to feel somewhat unpolished, which is forgivable because of how unique they are and the amazingly grotesque artistry.

  6. Jimmy Z says:

    Somehow, my mind feels violated only after reading that. O__o

  7. Robert says:

    I’m confused.

  8. Dominic White says:

    It really does look like a lunatic Russian take on Banjo: Nuts & Bolts, which was a terribly poorly recieved but actually rather ace little game.

    Strange that they just kinda released it without telling anyone, though.

  9. Alex Bakke says:

    I… Just….

    Wh….

    How….

    Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

  10. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Ok, those little people… that’s just too disturbing for my own taste. The game artists hit my personal uncanny valley right on the mark.

    • suibhne says:

      That’s not what “uncanny valley” means. I think you intended to just say “the uncanny”. ;)

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Interesting. What do you think uncanny valley means?

    • Chaz says:

      I don’t know but it sounded quite painful.

    • dadioflex says:

      Yep. Mario nailed it.

    • Halfgild Wynac says:

      “Uncanny valley” is the concept of realistic human models becoming more and more appealing the more realistic they get, and then suddenly looking ugly just before the “very realistic” zone. The reasoning behind such a strange preferences people have is usually as follows: the more realistic the models become, the better their human-like features become people can sympathize with. However, when the model becomes very realistic yet “not quite real”, it suddenly looks less like a cute creature with human behaviour and more like a deranged human or a living corpse that looks real and still you feek something is wrong about them.

      Hardly applies to Cargo!, though, where the models are nowhere near realistic.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      My apologies. But that’s only telling half of the story. It can (and does) apply to unrealistic depictions. The Uncanny Valley theory doesn’t pretend to know anything about realism/fantasy, simply about human perception and response to likeness. It’s for this reason that zombies were described by the author himself as being in the lower end of the graph. And zombies are hardly realistic, would you agree? Yet they are like humans.

      What the Uncanny Valley graph describes on its horizontal axis is the likeness to human beings. Likeness is not a factor of realism. The models on this game have a striking similarity to a real human being and yet are depicted in a deforming fashion. Unrealistic, but with faces very much like human beings. So close in fact, they can become unnerving due to the obvious similarity coupled with the obvious differences. The overall composition may become disturbing. That is, hit the uncanny valley region.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I dunno, I think you are confusing characters that have been modelled to be intentionally weird and disturbing with Uncanny Valley.

    • Muzman says:

      What the Uncanny Valley graph describes on its horizontal axis is the likeness to human beings. Likeness is not a factor of realism.

      And the uncanny valley notion doesn’t concern Realism. I concerns Naturalism. Likeness in that context describes an increasing level of detail and accuracy in the representation (the higher it goes, the harder it is to give the representation ‘life’) .
      What you’re describing fits better in the common usage of Surrealism.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t see it as Uncanny Valley either. The Valley isn’t a “region” that can incorporate many things. It’s a very narrow gap — the gap between something that seems like a real human and something that’s very close but just a hair off. That failure to close the small gap triggers a subconscious reaction that tells you something is wrong. It’s probably related to the ability to detect disease, deformity, or just the “Other” from a different tribe.

      You get a “that’s wrong” reaction looking at the Buddies, but I think it’s more just straight-up Uncanny without the Valley part, because it’s so far off the norm.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I dunno, I think you are confusing characters that have been modelled to be intentionally weird and disturbing with Uncanny Valley.

      Oh, I sure am. Throughout history artists have gone to great lengths to depict just the right amount of disturbing/pleasant images. Zombies are intentionally disturbing, as teddy bears are intentionally cute. Experimenting with shape and movement intentionally placed things in or to the right of the uncanny valley, depending on the desires. Expressionists were masters at creating all sorts of disturbing imagery, sometimes by simply making someone smile. There’s often intentionality. And, concerning games, praise the artist who can create on the gamers the effect they desired when modeling something.

      The uncanny valley is not something which applicability only exists on a certain domain like some of you folks are trying to make it look like. The shape of the curve (narrow, wide, tall, short), even its placement is merely a matter of which culture is seeing what image, what person is seeing it, and even what’s emotional predisposition of the person seeing it. For an interesting read on this very matter, I suggest a 2005 paper by Dr. David Hanson, et al, Upending the Uncanny Valley (warning: pdf link). Although a direct reply to Masahiro Mori, and thus pretty much centered around the field of robotics, it tries to demonstrate the fact that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people, as well as highly plastic (the curves shape can be influenced in all directions) and even that over the horizontal axis there can be more than one uncanny valley.

    • Muzman says:

      Yes but it still only concerns would be depictions of people as people, not distortions based on people designed to weird you out in the first place. You’re misapplying the concept.
      ( I think their “data” in that article is pretty terrible too, even if their over all point is harmless enough. Asking people to grade the expressiveness of obvious robots and which still image they like best completely misses the point)

      I would add that nitpicking the Uncanny Valley to death is pretty easy to do. Since it’s a plot of measures of nothing in particular at all, concerned with vague groupings made up of arguably thousands of variables it falls over pretty easy. But it’s just because no one knows how to measure it.

    • Consumatopia says:

      it tries to demonstrate the fact that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people,

      No, it tried to show that Uncanny Valley theory did a bad job of predicting the way people reacted. It did not try to show that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people, because the term “uncanny valley” is a reference to the theory of the Uncanny Valley, so if you think the theory is wrong then you shouldn’t use the term. I don’t think I noticed any instance of that paper using the term “uncanny valley” to mean “things people find uncanny”.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      No, it tried to show that Uncanny Valley theory did a bad job of predicting the way people reacted. It did not try to show that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people, because the term “uncanny valley” is a reference to the theory of the Uncanny Valley, so if you think the theory is wrong then you shouldn’t use the term.

      So, you purposely ignored the second test in which he put to test a whole continuum and foundnd that for that case there is no valley? You also choose to ignore the following part: “Alternately, it may trigger “surreal” (dreamlike) feelings, rather than fear. Thus, people may find the robot strange but not frightening. As no “valley” is inherent; anthropomorphic depictions can be either disturbing or appealing at every level of abstraction or realism.”

      While Hanson and others tried to contest the Uncanny Valley theory in the particular field of robotics (for which it was created but eventually spilled into other visual arts), they do not reject the theory as a whole. Simply the simplicity of its formulation. They propose a revised theory, not that the theory is wrong. Again, a quote: “So if people are indeed more sensitive to realistic depictions, but there is no “valley”, then the theory needs a new name and a new framework. We suggest that any level of realism or can be socially engaging if one designs the aesthetic well. This, in effect, represents a bridge of good aesthetic, which inspires us to name the revised theory the “Path of Engagement” (POE).”

      Personally, I don’t take sides. The issue is clearly largely unresolved. But I can understand you didn’t take the time to fully read the paper. What I do find it slightly disturbing that you apparently want to believe that cultural differences, age, different sensitivities, and even occasional predispositions do not affect everyone’s personal graph. That everyone has the same graph. I can tell you for sure that is not the case.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      No, it tried to show that Uncanny Valley theory did a bad job of predicting the way people reacted. It did not try to show that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people, because the term “uncanny valley” is a reference to the theory of the Uncanny Valley, so if you think the theory is wrong then you shouldn’t use the term.

      So, you purposely ignored the second test in which he put to test a whole continuum and found that for that case there is no valley? A couple of quotes: “[...]no “valley” is inherent” and “anthropomorphic depictions can be either disturbing or appealing at every level of abstraction or realism.”

      While Hanson and others tried to contest the Uncanny Valley theory in the particular field of robotics (for which it was created but eventually spilled into other visual arts), they do not reject the theory as a whole. Simply the simplicity of its formulation. They propose a revised theory, not that the theory is wrong. Again, a quote: “So if people are indeed more sensitive to realistic depictions, but there is no “valley”, then the theory needs a new name and a new framework. We suggest that any level of realism or can be socially engaging if one designs the aesthetic well. This, in effect, represents a bridge of good aesthetic, which inspires us to name the revised theory the “Path of Engagement” (POE).”

      Personally, I don’t take sides. The issue is clearly largely unresolved. But I can understand you didn’t take the time to fully read the paper. What I do find it slightly disturbing that you apparently want to believe that cultural differences, age, different sensitivities, and even occasional predispositions do not affect everyone’s personal graph. That everyone has the same graph. I can tell you for sure that is not the case.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      No, it tried to show that Uncanny Valley theory did a bad job of predicting the way people reacted. It did not try to show that the Uncanny Valley is different things to different people, because the term “uncanny valley” is a reference to the theory of the Uncanny Valley, so if you think the theory is wrong then you shouldn’t use the term.

      So, you purposely ignored the second test in which he put to test a whole continuum and found that for that case there is no valley? A couple of quotes derived from their two tests:

      - “[...]no “valley” is inherent”
      - “anthropomorphic depictions can be either disturbing or appealing at every level of abstraction or realism.”

      While Hanson and others tried to contest the Uncanny Valley theory in the particular field of robotics (for which it was created but eventually spilled into other visual arts), they do not reject the theory as a whole. Simply the simplicity of its formulation. They propose a revised theory, not that the theory is wrong. Again, a quote: “So if people are indeed more sensitive to realistic depictions, but there is no “valley”, then the theory needs a new name and a new framework. We suggest that any level of realism or can be socially engaging if one designs the aesthetic well. This, in effect, represents a bridge of good aesthetic, which inspires us to name the revised theory the “Path of Engagement” (POE).”

      Personally, I don’t take sides. The issue is clearly largely unresolved. But I can understand you didn’t take the time to fully read the paper. What I do find it slightly disturbing that you apparently want to believe that cultural differences, age, different sensitivities, and even occasional predispositions do not affect everyone’s personal graph. That everyone has the same graph. I can tell you for sure that is not the case.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      @Consumatopia

      So, you purposely ignored the second test in which he put to test a whole continuum and found that for that case there is no valley? A couple of quotes derived from their two tests:

      - “[...]no “valley” is inherent”
      - “anthropomorphic depictions can be either disturbing or appealing at every level of abstraction or realism.”

      While Hanson and others tried to contest the Uncanny Valley theory in the particular field of robotics, they do not reject the theory as a whole. Simply the simplicity of its formulation. They propose a revised theory, not that the theory is wrong. They propose the newly revised theory to be called “Path of Engagement”.

      Personally, I don’t take sides. The issue is clearly unresolved. But I can understand you didn’t take the time to fully read the paper. What I do find it slightly disturbing that you apparently want to believe that cultural differences, age, different sensitivities, and even occasional predispositions do not affect everyone’s personal graph. That everyone has the same graph. I can tell you for sure that is not the case.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      @Consumatopia

      So, you purposely ignored the second test in which he put to test a whole continuum and found that for that case there is no valley? A couple of quotes derived from their two tests:

      - “[...]no “valley” is inherent”
      - “anthropomorphic depictions can be either disturbing or appealing at every level of abstraction or realism.”

      While Hanson and others tried to contest the Uncanny Valley theory in the particular field of robotics, they do not reject the theory as a whole. Simply the simplicity of its formulation. They propose a revised theory, not that the theory is wrong. They propose the newly revised theory to be called “Path of Engagement”.

      Personally, I don’t take sides. The issue is clearly unresolved. But I can understand you didn’t take the time to fully read the paper. What I do find it slightly disturbing that you apparently want to believe that cultural differences, age, different sensitivities, and even occasional predispositions do not affect everyone’s personal graph. That everyone has the same graph. I can tell you for sure that is not the case.

    • Muzman says:

      edit: huh. I swear there used to be a post here I was responding to. oh well.

      Argument from authority is never a good start, but anyway….
      I’ve not read any of the papers this summary refers to, but the two surveys they use as examples for refuting the uncanny valley are wanting. Pointing to animatronic faces and asking people if they feel disturbed by them has limited applications, since it’s obvious that they are not humans at all from the outset. Testing reactions to something like the nurse robot would be better (she sits right on the line for me, if it’s the one I’m thinking of, offering great expressiveness one moment and then just doing something…wrong when some solenoid locks onto place or something).
      The second one ranks still images mixing Mulan (I think) with the face of Jennifer Love Hewitt seems utterly pointless to me since animation is essential to the whole concept most of the time. It does exist in still art but a better test would be photographs versus hyperrealist artworks of the same people (which are often accused of triggering the effect).
      As openers for a whole raft of research into the notion they are harmless enough. But nothing you could draw any solid conclusions from by themselves. They haven’t shown the valley doesn’t exist, merely that it doesn’t seem to be where they looked (the Mulan survey appears to be in answer to another study that was trying to establish the valley using similar methods and I think that’s pretty shakey too). As I said, taking it apart is pretty easy. I don’t know anyone who treats it as a strict metric in the first place (except maybe the originator). The amount of things that go into the impression of humanity and life is massive and not easily reductive. Research to really figure out anything specific about it would be similarly large and complex.
      However, their purpose with this article is very specific. They are arguing against the idea that robotics should avoid human representation in too much detail, and for the idea that facsimiles of humans can help us understand expression better. There I would agree. Make what the heck you like. Our understanding, and ways of understanding, human perception has come a long way in fifty years. I find it weird the uncanny valley notion would stop them at all. Some sort of facial Turing Test would be the thing I would think.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      you guys are on crack this is the most feckless discussion I’ve ever seen; it’s almost Pre-Kalkanian

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yeah, there was a post Muzman. I got into all sorts of connection/database/something-else problems trying to edit it and eventually I got tagged as spam. The post, I think was deleted, when that happened.

      Anyways, good discussion. But I don’t pretend to take sides on the matter of Hanson vs. Mori. The issue is clearly unresolved. Neither it is very important to get into much detail about where/what/how/when the Uncanny Valley is in effect. That much we agree.

      I just find it curious that using the expression Uncanny Valley to refer to those fellas on the screenshot produced such discussion. Moreover that there are minds that actually don’t seem to think that people perceive uncanny things in different forms and degree depending on culture, age, history, even any emotional predisposition at the time. As such, every person has their one graph (certainly they can share many similarities with other people’s graphs).

      As for Hanson,
      If there is one thing Hanson demonstrated (on the second test) is that you can very well produce a continuum without that producing a valley. More than just demonstrating there can be situations in which no valley is present, it clearly illustrates that the graph shape isn’t something fixed. BTW, he doesn’t pretend to disprove the initial theory. By far. He just criticizes it and proposes a revision.

      PS: It wasn’t an appeal to authority. You claimed to know something that four PhDs on their respective fields don’t. That isn’t just something I can accept easily.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I just find it curious that using the expression Uncanny Valley to refer to those fellas on the screenshot produced such discussion.

      Because you said “Uncanny Valley” when you should have said “stuff I find uncanny”, and now you’re being defensive about it.

      Moreover that there are minds that actually don’t seem to think that people perceive uncanny things in different forms and degree depending on culture, age, history, even any emotional predisposition at the time. As such, every person has their one graph (certainly they can share many similarities with other people’s graphs).

      No, no one in this thread said this or gave any evidence that they were thinking this. No one denies that different people find different things uncanny. That you’re confused over this is all the more reason why you should start using words correctly–so you can understand what people are saying, so when someone refers to the uncanny valley you don’t think they’re talking about uncanniness in general.

  11. hosndosn says:

    So insane it’s good?

  12. terry says:

    Game of the year.

  13. Navagon says:

    Last Wednesday was a bit like this.

  14. The Sombrero Kid says:

    OMFG this is the most amazing surprise ever!

  15. Rii says:

    Oh dear. I laughed loudly enough at “I watch in horror as a penguin devours one of my tiny, smiling fun factories through its anus” that if there were any other human beings in my vicinity, verily they would have been disturbed and looked askance in my direction. For better or worse, mine is a lonely life.

    Registering interest.

  16. Batolemaeus says:

    What did I just read?

  17. MadTinkerer says:

    This looks a lot like a game I came up with when I was twelve… if I had also been taking copious amounts of LSD at the time.

    My hand is involuntarily reaching for the “add to cart” button. Must… maintain… calm… reason… and… read… reviews… first!

  18. James Allen says:

    I’m halfway through the game since getting a review copy Wednesday. Here are my impressions.
    + Vehicle variety and design is nice. Boats, cars, submarines, helicopters, plus plenty of parts to attach (propellers, wings, wheels, etc)
    + Generate fun by: kicking the naked midgets, towing them behind your vehicle and doing stunts, or finding music notes and then placing a dance party (you can import custom MP3 and even customize the dance moves). Spend fun on new parts or bringing down objects from orbit.
    - However, the three methods of generating fun is all you get (plus some mini-games), so it becomes a bit repetitive after an hour or two.
    + Plausible physics for your weird contraptions
    - Vague objectives. There is no mini-map or HUD indication of where to go, or even step-by-step instructions to provide assistance. The big mission in the winter level says to “swim to the volcanoes and turn them on.” This actually means “build a sub at a crack in the ice, follow the train tracks under water to two different volcanoes, attach naked midgets to your sub, and bring them to each volcano and do a mini-game”. Took me a while to figure that out.
    - Obviously linear with such specific instructions like that
    - The mandatory mini-games are not fun and are generally annoying rather than challenging.
    So there you go.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Haha. Dude, if you worked any harder at eliminating mystique you would be the X-Men.

    • James Allen says:

      Insanity can only go so far.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Thanks for the interesting points, but isn’t there a little contradiction in them?
      You complaing about the gameplay being a bit repetitive after a while, but i am reading well, there is also exploration and puzzles… it’s just that you are putting that areas as a negative point (the vague objective minus point). Maybe they could be less vague, i agree that it can be a flaw, but there is a positive side you aren’t considering it. Part of the gameplay seems also doing what you are complaining: exploring the enviroment and trying stuff.

      In the other hand, that volcano puzzle was really vague :S

  19. James G says:

    I’m sorely tempted, it sounds like the kind of game the phrase ‘batshit insane’ was invented for. Also, its quite reasonably priced. Main problem being I already have a hell of a backlog.

  20. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Mmmmm, Wodka. Is there anything it can’t do?

  21. Longrat says:

    So erm, what sort of game IS this?

  22. TJ says:

    Glad you’re enjoying the game, and the ‘trip report’ Quins. Although ‘high-rise’ is probably pushing it ;-)

    This was an eye opening project to be involved with. Mostly because of the vodka.

  23. catmorbid says:

    Wow, this actually seems interesting… Might be me has to buy this. Oh, you should link the trailer there as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0rR5qx32ZY

  24. magnus says:

    Sold, Steam, you are a harsh mistess, just take ALL my money why don’t you?!

  25. konrad_ha says:

    Im 30 years old and what is this?

  26. Conor says:

    Holy…what the…is…what?!

    I want this a lot. A LOT.

  27. CMaster says:

    Watching the video, especially with the really, really cheesy american voiceover makes me wonder:

    Is this a serious attempt at making an interesting game, or is it just one giant satire of well, every other game ever?

    Also, quick question, as I really want to play the Ice-Pick Lodge games but have been waiting for a really cheap deal or Pathologic to be fixed: This or The Void? (to start obviously).

  28. RagingLion says:

    I want to play whatever comes from these minds but the colourful nature of the game will genuinely help me to finish this as opposed to The Void which I intend to go back to but need a decent amount of emotional energy to do so each time.

    I confess that I’m very much expecting there to be some kind of clever message that comes from this. I hope that turns out to be the case so I’ll be interested when that ‘Wot I think’ comes around.

    • opel says:

      Emotionally draining. Yes, that’s exactly what The Void is. It’s an incredibly unique experience, but it can really wear you out.

  29. Wulf says:

    This is like mindrape in the form of a game. It’s a game that rapes your mind, and then vicariously you get your mind raped just by reading the experiences others have had with this game. From there, the mindrape spreads virally.

    I am so buying this game.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ll also add that I now know what would happen if the computer running the simulation that our reality is housed in got a virus. This would happen.

  30. Zagzagovich says:

    Not available in my region. Which is Russia… What? Why? SADFACE

  31. thebigJ_A says:

    So it’s basically Pathologic 2, then?

  32. clippa says:

    Ouch, made the mistake of watching the trailer. Is the narrator in the game? If so, can you change it to the original language and have subtitles?

  33. Cynic says:

    For reminding me so very much of Giants: Citizen Kabuto, I will have to get this.

    • Wulf says:

      I’m currently replaying that, now! Buddies do kind of look like Smarties, don’t they?

      Giants, such an incredible little game.

    • Urael says:

      Giants. Kabuto. Delphi. Smarties. Exploding ‘Potatoes (no Portal ARG love??).

      BEST. GAME. EVER.

    • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

      Agreed. Just from reading about it I can taste the same sort of bizarre comedic antilogic that infused Giants. I must get this.

    • Citizen Kabuto says:

      Damn! Any game that reminds me of my most favourite game has to be good! Off to try now!

      Oh, and PlaneMoon – if you’re listening – we REALLY DO NEED another Giants! Plz ;-)

  34. suibhne says:

    This sounds like a fever dream.

  35. Chris D says:

    My download finishes in about three minutes. Wish me luck.

  36. Urael says:

    I wonder how many people here equating the somewhat ‘wacky’ premise of this game to an LSD trip have actually experienced one? Lazy, journalistic shorthand for anything unconventional (people said the same thing about the creation of the Teletubbies, and have been doing so about certain games since the early 80′s) is now a lazy commenting meme. It’s called CREATIVITY. And it’s what happens when you stop trying so hard to emulate real life, and free yourself to explore the potential of a truly digital space. However, considering the stale, prosaic nature of modern (commercial) gaming, you could be excused for not realising this.

    Game looks AWESOME. £15? Sold!

    • Wulf says:

      I wholeheartedly endorse and agree with your viewpoint and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Urael says:

      :D Yep, on this you and I are completely in accordance. I’m tired of military shooter X – we need moar games like this, Giants, Dungeon Keeper, Sacrifice, MDK, From Dust, Fract, The Witness….

    • GenBanks says:

      hallucinogens vividly unleash the imagination and give you realistic experiences which would normally seem very strange and unusual. So i think the analogy is correct when dealing with a highly unusual, dream like and creative game. I don’t think the comparison to an lsd trip is intended to be negative as you make it out to be.

    • Wulf says:

      @GenBanks

      I don’t think Ureal was speaking of drugs in a negative way (I certainly don’t think of them as such) but rather saying that one doesn’t actually need drugs for creativity.

      If that was true, with the crazy WTF shit that my mind cranks out on a daily basis, I should be on drugs all the time, but I don’t need them. It’s fun, though, because I get the most bizarre ideas and sometimes explaining them to friends just stalls their brains, it screws them up, and leaves them wondering how I do it, why my brain dreams up the stuff it does, and where it gets it from.

      And speaking of drugs, this reminds me of something an exploration party of one of my favourite races and what they found on one world, an almost-tree (more of a flora/fauna mix than purely flora) that had evolved a defence mechanism against being chopped down, it had sacs which gave off chemicals that induced euphoria and hallucinations in all those around, essentially leading to Garden of Eden scenarios where all your dreams became true. However, only one in one hundred trees actually had active sacs on them, the rest were vestigial, but it was found that a broad forest was required for trees with active sacs to pop up, if they tried to group small numbers of trees in an orchard, all the sacs grown would be vestigial. The race on that planet started harvesting this for their own use, since it was the most powerful drug they’d ever encountered, buuut unfortunately this proved to be the downfall of their civilisation. Everyone was far more interested in the incredibly believable and real fantasy scenarios presented by the trees than their own reality.

      Beware trees, they’ll do you in eventually. That or they’ll turn you into bees, metaphorically speaking.

    • Dominic White says:

      It is fairly undeniable that the production of the game DID involve large quantities of vodka, maybe some absinthe, and it probably wouldn’t be stretching to say a few illicit substances as well. This is Ice-Pick Lodge we’re talking about.

      That said, chemical assistance or not, they’re damn creative people.

    • Urael says:

      @soon. Awesome! God, I miss that show. And bang on the nail I was trying to hammer into people’s heads, good sir. Thanks. :)

  37. Pew pew LAZORS says:

    Yes, a new game by Ice Pick, best news in a long time.
    Shame about the game not being available in my region :(

  38. JuJuCam says:

    I’ll maybe wait for the full WIT but I’m pretty much sold anyhow. Like someone above, I haven’t completed any IPL game before but this looks like one I could just stomp around and have fun in without worrying too much about various pressures.

  39. hamster says:

    One question, and one question only:

    Is it fun?

  40. Soon says:

    Your words are wasted. The screenshots are enough.

  41. Fwiffo says:

    Well, if Ice-Pick deserve kudos for anything, it’s for designing something absoutely nobody in the world will want to see porn of.

  42. thurzday says:

    From the Tom Jubert files:

    “12:30am – We talk about Ice Pick’s next project (Cargo’s deadline is in the next few weeks). It’s a kind of bildungsroman charting the lives of a large number of characters over a great space of time. This alone makes it fascinating. There’s unsubstantiated talk of applying the dynamic interaction of something like Minecraft to narrative. There’s also reference to a great play as central inspiration. And I could tell you more – Ice Pick is the only professional developer I know not to bother with NDAs – but I’m not going to.”

    All of my money–take it.

  43. shoptroll says:

    This sounds like the bastard child of Myst and Garry’s Mod. Intriguing.

  44. nuh uh no way says:

    so basically, it’s numberwang?

  45. Maykael says:

    And to think I wasn’t going to smoke pot today… Damn you Quinns!

  46. BillyIII says:

    “Not Available in your Region”
    Good job, Ice-Pick…

  47. ZIGS says:

    I wonder what would happen if I played this while listening to I-Doser

  48. Wedge says:

    So… this sounds like their most accessible game yet then? Couldn’t get into The Void at all, when I realized it was a rather boring resource management simulator. Kicking naked mans and tethering them to vehicles sounds more fun than growing plants!

    • terry says:

      You’re right – this game could be a gesture to those who complained about Icepick Lodge’s concept of difficulty in their previous games. It’s pure pressure-free exploration, even when there is a timer nothing fatal seems to occur (yet).

  49. Freud says:

    Nice water effects.

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