Non-Vanilla Ice-Pick Lodge: Cargo!

They’re back. Ice-Pick Lodge, creators of previous art-pop-powerhouses like Pathologic and The Void return, with a new game that should be with us before the end of the year. With only a press-release and some art, it’s hard to get a handle on it – but it’s a radical aesthetic inversion from its none-more-gloomy predecessors. It promises to blend a game with a musical-featuring carnival and hint of the resource-management of some of their previous games, centering around collecting the concentrated happiness element known as FUN. And if that isn’t a meta-gag about people’s usual critique of their games – “Where’s the fun!?!” – I’ll be very surprised. I’m showing the whole press-release below, because it’s a work of art and ambition. Can’t wait to see more, Ice-Pick.

Lace Mamba Global joins forces with Ice-Pick Lodge and announce Lace Mamba Global joins forces with Ice-Pick Lodge and announce Cargo! for worldwide release!

After the resounding success of Ice-Pick Lodge’s The Void released in 2009, Lace Mamba Global and Ice-Pick Lodge have once again united for the release of brand new PC game, Cargo!, a beautiful and innovative third person game which is due to hit shelves in Q4 2010.

Cargo! is an unusual genre of videogame, an absurd comedy with musical numbers and dancing in the atmosphere of a mad carnival! An original game which boasts a unique and distinctive visual style and an interesting plot with a “false bottom”. Players will explore a fantastical world as new locations are revealed as the player advances in storyline. The only limit is your own imagination!

Ice-Pick Lodge founded in 2001, is well known amongst the gaming community for its innovative and artistic style and for creating deeply intellectual games. Ice Pick Lodge CEO Nikolay Dybowski describes their determination “to transform video games in to, essentially a new form of art, deserving to take its proper place among literature, cinema and drama.”

Jason Codd of Lace Mamba Global is thrilled to have Cargo! in their catalogue for 2010 and comments Lace Mamba Global is dedicated to innovation in gaming which is why we love working with developers like Ice Pick Lodge. There are some real gems out there and Lace Mamba Global has a great track record of finding them! We’re pleased to announce that our newest gem comes in the form of Cargo! and we can’t wait for the world to experience the unique, beautiful world that Ice Pick Lodge have created.


Cargo! storyline:

Our world is beginning to drift apart in all directions, like balloons. People, buildings, mountains, trees and entire islands rise into the sky. Items with weight become the most valuable on the planet. But there is hope! FUN, the magical extract of concentrated happiness, returns weight to items.

The source of FUN is suddenly discovered on a mysterious archipelago. Two reckless smugglers head there with a cargo of priceless machine parts that by miracle retained their weight, to trade them for FUN.

The Archipelago was created as a base for a new world after the Gods decided that the human race should be replaced after the human egoism led the planet to collapse. The Gods main task now is to inject more happiness into the world!

Since then however, the gods’ skills have become out dated, their calculations were misguided and their goals have became unclear. They wanted the world to be held together with happiness… but forgot about FUN!

The gods were confused and frustrated, but haven’t lost hope. Now they want to fix their mistakes and start again and turn Archipelago into the world they had dreamed of, with the help of a hero.

Unfortunately, our hero’s mechanical brain needs some maintenance and she is now taking the new world and its Gods further into the depths of despair!

In order to stop them and aid our hero you must invent and build contraptions from the junk yards that litter the land. You must save the world by land, air and sea. By completing engineering tasks, set by a varied cast of pleasant and unpleasant characters, the hero will advance through the storyline and try to discover:

-Where the FUN comes from and what is it for?

-Why everything on Earth began to lose its weight?

-Who are the brats and what they’re worthy for?

-Who are the Gods are and what was their plan?

-How to fix our world!

Let’s hope that it’s not cargo! pants.


  1. Turin Turambar says:

    Ohh i will pick up FUN in this game, unlike in Pathologic!

    har har har!
    Meta-commentary indeed. But let’s see how Ice-Pick lodge uses the theme, i am sure it will be much less direct and more smart.

  2. Taillefer says:

    Aha. I love them so.

  3. Vinraith says:

    Anything Ice Pick does is worth keeping an eye on.

    On that note, has there been any movement on the re-translation of Pathologic? It’s such a neat game, but I can’t understand what’s being said well enough to actually play the thing.

    • Malleus says:

      The re-translation project has been started, but it progresses very slowly.

      link to

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      ‘The Haruspex storyline status (0 of 197)
      — not started —

      The Devotress storyline status (0 of 174)
      — not started —

      Common storyline status (5 of 130) ‘

      Very, VERY slowly.

      How do you join up to help? I can’t translate, but hell, I’m doing a degree in English Literature, so lets hope I would at least be a help with proof-reading or developing the raw translations in to something smoother.

    • The LxR says:

      @ HexagonalBolts

      Skype me at “thelxr” – we always need editors and proof-readers.
      The slow speed is explained by the shortage of translators and of me getting my diploma in a week or so… And some other very secret reasons. ;o)
      Anyhow, things will go faster soon, and we’re planning on releasing the patch on a per-character basis – i.e. when the Bachelor is done, it’ll be released. Also, we might make a resolution patch to support som of the widescreen resolutions.

  4. Nova says:

    Now if the finished game looks anyway like that screen it’s gonna be awesome.

    • Taillefer says:

      I’m fairly sure that’s an in-game shot. There’s a larger version around, and it has memory stats and such in the corner.

  5. PleasingFungus says:

    Wow, this is good news. Ice Pick Lodge is one of my favorite studios. (Though I’ve never finished any of their games.) Will be looking forward to this one!

  6. Divebomb says:

    hopefully not a joke version of thevoid. as that’s what it sounds like heh

  7. terry says:

    What the!

  8. James G says:

    Icepick’s previous stuff hasn’t really appealed to me as despite the promise of innovation, the games themselves have just looked a bit impenetrable, as well as a touch overbearing. (Which might sound like an odd criticism coming from someone who enjoys Dwarf Fortress, but I think I’m talking artistic inaccessibility, rather than a technical one.)

    This however looks like there won’t be that overbearing bleakness to crawl through first, and hopefully will be a bit less punishing to play than my reading has lead me to believe other Icepick games are.

  9. Heliocentric says:

    Here is my $5 bet. This game will be very dark if you read between the lines.

  10. Grey Cap says:

    Squeee! This is going to be great. And yes, I agree that it will probably have a dark flavor under a (forced?) shell of cheer, Heliocentric. But it’ll be great!

  11. luphisto says:

    I agree, just from whats been said in the release it seems quite thematically dark. I shall definitely be picking this up when released. My only hope is that it is not quite as unforgiving as the void but still challenging.

  12. Mistabashi says:

    Also agree, I would bet my balls this’ll be every bit as dark as their previous games once you peer beneath the bright, shiny surface. Colour me interested.

  13. Grey Cap says:

    Also, does anybody else feel that picture looks similar to Zeno Clash?

  14. Pijama says:

    Ice-Pick Lodge will become gaming’s Dostoevsky.


  15. dadioflex says:

    Anything to do with 18/19th century cargo cults, I wonder? Hmm.

  16. Tei says:

    Imagine this, made as a videogame. THIS game.

    Niet, niet, bla bla bla. I lied to you.

  17. DMJ says:

    I have no idea what the heck this is all about. All I know is that I endorse it.

  18. Dagda says:

    Sounds like a safe bet that the “false bottom” implies not-so-lighthearted goings-on that the player can finish the game without catching onto.

  19. Jimbo says:

    They had me at “false bottom”.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    Stalker had a nice one of them, indeed i had more than one friend who took that the false ending was real and were satisfied.

    But the beauty of stalkers method of applying it was if you were the type to look harder for truth you could find it, but it wasn’t needed.

  21. vanarbulax says:

    Yay, incredibly excited about anything Icepick-lodge does, after finishing The Void and admiring Pathologic from a distance (couldn’t get into the demo/ devote the time or willpower but found Butchering Pathologic enthralling). I can’t shake the feeling that this is a joke though, while it would be awesome for them to pull off such a dramatic style change it reads too much like a parody of The Void, replacing colour with fun. Anyway, here’s hoping.

  22. The LxR says:

    Oh wow, we’re anounced and I again haven’t heard about it.
    I love our studio. :3

    RPS, we’ll be sending a cooler and bigger press release for you personally and exclusively, be mentally prepared!

  23. Personoic says:

    Does this imply that this game is not DREARY and DEPRESSING and SOULCRUSHING? Or that it is but, the aesthetics are more colorful.

  24. JackShandy says:

    I’m getting a real Dr. Seus vibe from this image. This is so unexpected- I’m just finishing The Void, and it’s fantastic. What an incredible departure…

  25. Wedge says:

    I actually just started trying to play my copy of The Void I picked up on the steam holiday sale… I was pretty disappointed to find the focus on resource management in the game. Not really something I dig, but I might tool with it some more just to look at the pretties.

  26. Galen says:

    I was wondering about cargo cults too. In fact, it might be taking the meta-gag a bit further and be about imitating the superficial exterior of games expecting it to be fun.

  27. Daniel Adamov says:

    I suspect that the aesthetic in this one is a joke on all the people who couldn’t stop talking about how RUSSIANDARKDEPRESSIONDEATH their previous games were.

    Anyway, this looks pretty interesting; looks like a more magitech/MacGuyver-esque engineering focus as opposed to the art/gardening of the Void, but really too early to say anything about where they’re going with this exactly.

  28. Meat Circus says:

    Oh, I love Ice Pick Lodge so. And I love Quinns for making me love them.

    Brightly coloured musical meta-commentary from the existentialists what gave me Pathologic and The Void? YES THANK YOU PLEASE.

  29. Name says:

    @The LxR:

    Proof-readers? What you really need is at least one decent writer.

  30. Gabbo says:

    I’ve enjoyed both of their previous games (though I am admittedly not finished either). Even if the tone of the game is dark and gloomy like Patholgic and The Void (which I had a hell of a time actually getting a hold of), the added colour palette is a nice change. I’ll be watching this and any other game they create closely. Hopefully RPS will be helpful with that.

  31. Ruffles says:

    Oh man, these guys are the best. Can’t wait to hear a bit more about this one; although I still need to get around to finishing off Pathologic.