Introversion’s Scanner Sombre surfacing on Wednesday

First-person spelunker Scanner Sombre [official site] will launch this very Wednesday, April 26th, developers Introversion Software announced today. They’re sending us to explore a deep and dark cave network with the aid of a LIDAR scanner that visualises the world with squillions of coloured dots. It’s a curious game to see from Introversion, who are known far more for exploring systems than places in games like Prison Architect, Uplink, and Defcon. I like the concept and look but I have premonitions of lurking horrors and do not want to know.

Here’s what Introversion say about Scanner:

“Using a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner to aid navigation, players must make their way through a complex network of underground caves in complete darkness in an attempt to make it back to the surface. Your LIDAR scanner produces millions of individual  light­points, painting a static, neon 3D image of the environments as you trek through the  darkness. But not all is as it seems, and you might not be alone.”

That bit. Right at the end there. Get out. Right out, Introversion. I’ll not be fooled by your colourful dots and promises of subterranean swimming spots. Once I’ve happily settled into exploring, I’ll surely scan a figure or creature who then vanishes. No thank you. Out.

Scanner Sombre will cost $11.99 but launch with a 20% discount. It’s coming to Windows and Mac via to Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store at 3pm on Wednesday.

You can see a bit of an early prototype in this video from a year ago (skip to the 26-minute mark):



  1. Eraysor says:

    Nope nope nope.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Oh hey, another neat-looking game about something I’d enjoy doing, except that I’m a huge baby scaredy-pants and I’ll never be able to play it through.

  3. brucethemoose says:

    So… No pre-launch review?

  4. Fitzmogwai says:

    Maybe they don’t show up on LIDAR at all…

  5. Shazbut says:

    Please don’t encourage them to take out the things that move and interact with the player. I’m afraid they’ll listen

    • MrBehemoth says:

      This, this and also this. There are walking Sims, which are great, and there are horror games, which are also great. I need both.

      Frictional Games almost listened and took the monsters out of Soma, and that would have blown.

      • oueddy says:

        Really? SOMA was a fantastic ‘walking sim’ and a pretty rubbish horror game. The actual execution of the horror elements ended up being annoying and not very fun to play. SOMA had easily the strongest story in its year, one that’s stuck with me since I played it. Hence why its still great in ‘wuss mode’ :)

  6. poliovaccine says:

    Eeeeeyyeah I am way too claustrophobic for a spelunking game, even if it didnt have any creepy figures a’lurkin. Yknow how, in The Forest, sometimes instead of getting outright killed, you wake up in the cannibals’ cave system and have to find your way out with a Bic lighter? Yeah, I’d rather just die. I made it to the surface once just to tell myself I could do it, and it seriously got my blood up. Now I just fuggin restart.

    Vague, creepy figures I can actually deal with. Even pitch darkness, I can do. But something about the confinement of a cave “system” – and I put it in quotes because a “system” of caves has no reliable design to it, no humanoid architectural standards to guide you, it’s as arbitrary and unpredictable as anything in nature – yeah, that is so not my bag.

    Then again, that may be exactly why I give this a go, cus I think it’s healthy to let yourself into uncomfortable situations… at least in such a way where, if you cant make your way out of it, you can at least turn off the simulation…

    • Rainshine says:

      I’m with you there. Caves — well, deep underground stuff, basically any point where the entrance is not visible and/or more than ten seconds away — are not happy places for me. In related news, I’m not a fan of undersea stuff in reality for those sort of reasons, and I’ve been playing Subnautica. It’s an interesting experience, and one made easier for me by precisely the fact I can pause and stand up or quit for a while and I’M OUT OF AIR AHHHHHHHHH

  7. legopirate27 says:

    Awesome! I tried the prototype version at Rezzed 2016 and it was a really cool mechanic for environmental exploration. Great news that it comes out so soon!

  8. montfalcon says:

    Am I the only one thinking that this just screams to be done in a VR facebox?

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Nope! I was thinking the same, although I also have zero interest if there is a moving scary thing.

      Static perspective trick scary things? Sure. Collapsing cave? Why not. Scanner fails and you have to navigate out using only an excellent audio implementation? Heck yeah! Loud noises or intermittent dot-painting due to a creature moving about? NOPE. I don’t even care if it’s someone’s pet cat stuck down there. Instantly not my kind of game.

      Unless it makes friendly cat noises.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Nope seems like it would be great in VR, especially with a wavy wand thing controller for the scanner. Maybe not having to worry about shovelling fancy textures around would make development a bit cheaper/easier for a VR version later on.

      Either way I’m glad to see this coming out already, I’ll probably even ignore my general rule of not buying stuff at launch since I both want to play it, and even though they’re probably still rolling around in squillions from Prison Architect the world needs more developers like Introversion delivering on interesting/different ideas so I’m happy to support them a bit more.