A few weeks back I played an early build of Caretaker – a stealth puzzle game where you float your way through a paneled maze towards what was then a glowing head but I think may have been placeholder art. Since then a few more details have been announced concerning the narrative and the voice actor so I thought I’d pop up a quick info post about it.
The premise is that the stars are going out and humanity decides to investigate. According to developer, Byron Atkinson-Jones, “What they find is an ancient alien structure that is manufacturing a weapon so powerful it’s absorbing all the energy from existence.” The culprit is an embittered alien who fancies rebooting the universe but has, in a fit of hubris, failed to secure its own facility.
“The game starts 20,000 years after the device was meant to go off. Something has gone wrong. The player plays a consciousness downloaded into the only functional unit left in the facility – a Caretaker unit and has to go through the facility and correct what’s gone wrong, guided by the only other consciousness left (played by David Hewlett), and collect the control crystals to the ‘Alpha device’ and set off the big bang – only they are not alone. The weapons the alien used to suck life out of the universe are now in the structure too”
David Hewlett is a name you might know as he played Rodney McKay in the Stargate TV shows although I was interested because of his involvement in the movie Cube. He was the guy who designed the outer bit of the cube that they’re trying to escape and Caretaker has an echo of that claustrophobic trap avoidance. It’s entirely avoidance-based meaning you float around this maze of tunnels and openings while either trying not to get spotted or trying to draw them away from a space you need to get to.
The level I played I think I did the latter by accident and ended up careening through the space with a spiky thing in hot pursuit before crashing into the glowing head. I’ve not played beyond that but Atkinson-Jones adds that “This game is very much narrative based and the level structure is coming out of the script written for the game”. On tablet it takes advantage of the gyroscope/accelerometer combo so you’re moving the screen around you and there was a real sense of being able to be snuck up on, whereas the PC version felt a lot easier and less immersive. With that in mind I was asking about whether a VR version was on the cards for PC. The response:
“I have a DK2 here and if I can figure out a way to play Caretaker that doesn’t immediately cause people to empty the contents of their stomach then yes I want it on VR – it would be amazing in VR. Those with touch based PCs that also have gyroscopic motion sensors can already have a VR like experience with it.”
Caretaker will be out later this year.