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Holden Boyles' Spirit Becomes Qora, Releases New Demo

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It’s been all change since Adam had a good ol’ muse about Spirit back in March. All the Kickstarter stretch goals for the exploratory wanderer were smashed, with a final total of a little over ten thousand dollars. That added a whole other half to the game and guaranteed a sequel. Since then it’s been all quiet while, one would assume, the two man team of conceptualist Holden Boyles and programmer Ciprian Stanciu worked away. The fruits of their labour sprang forth as a Kickstarter update sends word that a new demo is available on Steam, as well as a trailer. They’ve even gone and changed the name to Qora, which Holden explains is “a name that means a lot more to the game and that I personally think sounds much cooler.”

I had a quick romp through the demo to completion and can confirm it’s well worth the scant fifteen minutes of play time. There’s some extraordinary dialogue, ranging from charming to hilarious to very slightly disturbing and all of it is superbly written. The chosen font is perhaps a little on the side of unreadable rather than mysterious, but I got used to it after a couple of minutes. There was some marvellous animation considering the pixel-art nature and the otherworldly filter used when viewing the spirit realm was really effective. The marriage of game to narrative is a little jagged, the rather randomly gifted items from total strangers and repetitive cutting through boulders and grass feeling less developed than the story and atmosphere elements. However, it did manage to keep the slow, calming pace and force me to appreciate some of the details put into the backgrounds.

Based on publisher Curve Studios’ fact sheet the original release date has pushed back from July to August, but given the length of the game has been doubled we’ll let them off just this once. Come that time you’ll be able to grab it for Mac, PC, Linux and whatever mobile device you’ve been issued.

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