The untextured, low-poly-ish, neo-primitive 3D look of games like The Official (and Skipping Stones, Kyoto Wild, and…) spark a curious nostalgia in me. They don’t remind me of the games I played growing up, but the games I wished I could have played–those I only saw in magazines and heard friends talk about. Jumping from a slow 386 to a 3D-crippled Cyrix system, I missed TIE Fighter, Alone in the Dark, and so many others that looked astonishing on the pages of PC Gamer and were so exciting inside my head. It’s nostalgia for that dreaming and imagining.
The Official is also a bit of a throwback to those days in how it controls: it’s a first-person adventure game where you’ll need to click on arrows to take a few steps between scenes.
I saw a bit of The Official at Radius Festival earlier this month and was hugely excited by its look and setting, all eerie and dreamy and so very untextured. Then I was a bit sorry to discover it’s inspired by that sort of classic adventure game, which simply isn’t my bag. However, it may very well be yours. You can see what I saw by skipping to 3:42:00 in the archived Twitch stream.
“I want to create an atmospheric 3D game which plays a bit like old point and click adventure games – you only use your mouse and your brain, one hand supporting your head, elbow on the table,” creator Tymon Zgainski told us. “I want to tell a story but tell it in a way only computer games can do it. Every interaction, every puzzle and every area is part of the story which players unfold and understand (or don’t) bit by bit until it just might make sense.”