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Trüberbrook's hand-crafted miniature world is a wonder

Truberbrook

That, up there, is a screenshot. It’s okay to stare. Now consider that it looks just as good in motion, if not better. After seeing some footage of the hand-crafted world of Trüberbrook in action, it’s easy to forget that this is a point-and-click adventure, rather than an Aardman-rivalling work of hyper-detailed miniature animation. But it is, and it sounds rather brill.

A production of German art collective btf, Trüberbrook is their first game project, although they seem to have found some degree of fame over in Germany with a pair of late-night TV shows to their name. Production seems to be going smoothly, with the game already fully funded on Kickstarter after just a few days. Take a look at the trailer and pitch video (featuring some great production scenes) within.

Aesthetically, there’s very little else like this. While some more avant-garde indies such as Dujanah and The Dream Machine and puzzle-platformer The Swapper have experimented with clay and miniatures as a medium for game graphics, these hyper-detailed miniature sets, filled with character models carefully textured to look like claymation figures are on a whole different level. It’s an enticing visual hook.

Beyond that, I can’t think of any other games set in 1960s rural Germany, which makes it an especially refreshing backdrop to an interesting-sounding story. You control Tannhauser, an American physics student visiting the hamlet after winning a trip in a contest, only to discover that things are a lot weirder than they should be, even by old rural town standards.

There’s apparently some world-threatening transdimensional weirdness going on in this sleepy little burg, and it’s up to an awkward nerd who’s good at inventory management and slightly sassy conversation to save the day, in classic adventure fashion. The developers cite a curious bundle of direct inspirations, from Twin Peaks to Star Trek, and of course some classic adventures such as Monkey Island.

Trüberbrook is already fully funded on Kickstarter, sitting at just under €120k at the time of writing, although still a ways short of the €180k stretch goal to begin making a standalone prelude chapter. €25 will be treated as a preorder, and the developers estimate that the game will be out in September 2018, assuming all goes to plan.

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Dominic Tarason

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