Surreal claymation RPG Hylics 2 looks amazing

Mason Lindroth’s 2015 RPG Hylics is a game I want people to see. I want you to warm you eyes with its surreal and meaty clay-ish world, fill you ears with its warbling guitar, tingle your brain with its frozen burritos and ablative holopleather, move your hands in sync with the spellcasting gestures, and chill your spine with the claymation flesh melting off your weird crescent head when your fella dies. Encountering it is a delight. And now aw heck, come on, come watch this new trailer for the sequel I’d forgotten was coming. What a treat to be reminded of Hylics 2!

Amazing scenes.

Hylics resembles a JRPG: you engage in turn-based combat, collect items, level up, gather party members, move your fella around an overworld map, and all that. It also does not remotely resemble a JRPG, being built from clay, digitised video (I think?), and other media.

God, Hylics 2 looks gorgeous. Its surreal style also makes everything surprising because it’s so far beyond the genre’s usual terminology and visual language. Who knows what a Poolman enemy will do? And what should I expect from the Poolwine ability where I see my character’s leather-clad hands swirling a glass of wine? I have no idea but am excited to find out.

The sequel seems more elaborate too. I am delighted by everything I see. What a game!

Hylics 2 is due out some time in 2018. In the meantime, you can follow Mason Lindroth’s progress on his dev blog and the first Hylics is £2/€3/$3 on Steam and Itch.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    These things make me feel like a grumpy old man. You damn kids with your purposefully ugly garbage, and your lolsorandumb humor. Get off my lawn.

    • Chuckaluphagus says:

      I am nearly a grumpy old man, and I thought the trailer was fascinating and weirdly pretty. Do kids never encounter psychedalia anymore?

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        Well I can’t watch videos here at work. But the screenshot is a bunch of ugly nonsense and wackiness. Like I said, I’m a grumpy old man and I just don’t get it.

        • durrbluh says:

          If you were the sort of grumpy old man who avoided the psychedelic media of the 60s and 70s, you might not have a nostalgia twinge upon seeing the trailer. But in the event that you were exposed to some of that and have fond memories as such, it’s worth watching the trailer when you’re not at work. I’m not sure I’d enjoy the game, but I’d probably enjoy watching a youtube video of a playthrough (sans commentary, of course, being a grumpy old man myself).

          • milligna says:

            Doesn’t look remotely like anything psychedelic from the 60s or 70s. 80s and early 90s surely.

          • poliovaccine says:

            I donno man, to me it definitely reminds most immediately of something like Fantastic Planet or Yellow Submarine or The Point! and other psychedelic cartoons from that older school of animation… To be fair the header image does look more like a 90s music video haha

          • Premium User Badge

            subdog says:

            Yeah, definitely getting Rene Laloux vibes from this. Fantastic Planet especially. 1970’s all the way. Maybe early 80’s.

          • Synesthesia says:

            Strong Bruce Bickford vibes in this, too. Love it love it love it.

        • blankname says:

          The trailer sells it better. It’s more of a Dali vibe than randumb.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          Maybe watch the video next time before shitting on something you don’t understand?

      • poliovaccine says:

        Oh believe me, they still do if I can help it..!

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      You’re right: this is a grumpy reaction.

      • wraithgr says:

        If “gorgeous” can apply, then so can “ugly”. I think it is ugly, and would not want to play it. Not begrudging or begrumping anyone who would want to, but that mess is definitely not getting anywhere near my “lawn” (as in, my PC screen, at least not while I am playing)

        Edit: ok, having watched the trailer I have to add it is not as ugly as I thought, more the endearing kind of ugly like a bulldog or bull terrier. The music is grating though, so still wouldn’t play it.

    • K_Sezegedin says:

      Pretend its made by a dadaist, and the guy you’re ordering off your lawn is a 130 year old man, but give him plenty of time to vacate ’cause he’s probably most definitely dead – that’ll make you feel young.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      There’s an ambitious and seemingly well thought-out, consistent aesthetic going on in the video. As a somewhat grumpy middle-aged person, could I suggest you wouldn’t have got it when you were 20, either? :) Which is totes fine, by the way. Just… it’s not as though surrealism was invented recently.

      I know this wasn’t your intention, but offhand comments like this are a small part of what helps keep mainstream gaming hostile to people trying anything remotely experimental or challenging.

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        I don’t know that expressing a dislike toward something is inherently the kind of hostility you’re talking about. Also, it was couched in the awareness and statement that other people like it, but it’s just not for me.

    • Turkey says:

      I know. I can’t believe I fought in the second world war only to come home to this.

      Yesterday I saw a young man with hair down to his shoulders.

      What’s the world coming to?

    • swigg says:

      It’s very easy to make ‘lolsorandumb’ (like family guy or Jake Paul) but a game like this is not easy to make or imagine. It’s the exact opposite of comfort media, almost ascetic really. Without recognizable icons or drama or clear emotional cues, you’re forced to directly process everything that is being shown to you. Of course, that means it won’t appeal to someone with a short attention span who just wants satisfaction.

  2. clarpus says:

    These games look awesome, thanks for the heads up. What other surreal games are out there that I shouldn’t miss?

    • plugmonkey says:

      Dead End Road is a fun trip.

    • b00p says:

      dujanah has a similarly bizarro lo-fi vibe

      • Premium User Badge

        Waltorious says:

        I thought I’d played Dujanah but it turns out I actually played another game from the same developer (Jack King-Spooner) called Blues for Mittavinda. That one is great, it has similar style but is perhaps less surreal.

    • R. Totale says:


    • ChatterLumps says:

      If you want to go the more surreal art collage route, you may want to look into Middens, Gingeva, and Where They Cremate the Roadkill (all by the same developer).

    • Turkey says:

      OFF and LISA: The Painful RPG.

    • and its man says:

      You may also enjoy Baobabs Mausoleum Ep.1 : Ovnifagos Don’t Eat Flamingos, Californium, Bucket Detective, Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, NO THING, Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel (hoping its english translation has been improved), NORTH, good ol’ Vangers, F J O R D S, SABBAT: DIRECTOR’S KVT, Midnight Ultra, EMPORIUM,…

      Some not available on Steam. Find ’em on

  3. ye-ole-PK says:

    Monty Python: RPG GO SUPER HAI EXTREME X20!

    I’lll pass.

  4. Synesthesia says:

    This is just. Gorgeous. Thanks for the heads up! I had no idea this existed.

  5. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Honestly, I dunno. While creativity is always refreshing – and this is indisputably creative – “random” plus “created while high” does not necessarily equal “worth playing”. Unless there’s some strong and meaningful thematic connections underpinning all the weirdness, I don’t see much appeal to a game that goes out of its way to be aggressively bizarre.

    • GreasyChops says:

      Man, “made while high” is such an irritating phrase. I hate when people go “Whoa, they must’ve been really stoned when they made this!” as if making a full game or animation is something you can just pull out of your hat while you’re having a spliff.

  6. cpt_freakout says:

    This looks absolutely great. Grumpy old men can go back to playing Pong while listening to The Eagles or whatever. Leave the new world to us ;D

  7. and its man says:

    oh I’m happy.

  8. Caldorosso says:

    Very interesting. I’ve always been a fan of surrealism… not because they’re random, but they seem to be the mind trying to grasp ethereal concepts and coming up with strange results. But then turn that onnits head and younget modern surrealism, which examines real life from an odd point of view. I’ll keep an eye on this.

  9. jesuisunesaucisse says:

    Hylics was already amazing but this one looks so next-level, it feels touched by grace. Maybe we’re right to think that the gameplay won’t be as beautiful as these visuals (and music) because they are truly wonderful and so unique, I can understand it will be hard to match such quality. Some may find it random (I don’t) but I’m surprised about the angry comments. “Agressively bizarre…” Is this really hurting your feelings ? Well ! That’s interesting … (does it looks pretentious ?… like ‘you won’t get it’ .. or something ..)
    Anyway, this developer has been working on surreal aesthetics for a while and I’m so happy he’s not giving up and that he’s now reaching really professionnal results. This kind of art really change my mind and enlight my vision. And I’m not using drugs (I hate those patronizing comments too) .. I just like painting (Dali has been mentionned), Sci-fi that is not just lasers killing aliens … It just feels beautiful and inspiring. I’ll play to it, and if I don’t reach the end, I’ll watch a longplay, but I’ll be definitively happy to support it !

    • Shazbut says:

      I appreciate stuff that takes such a bold aesthetic as this, but it does seem to be sacrificing a lot for it. I have no idea what I’m looking at, so how can I relate to any of it or be surprised by anything, except to say “oh that looks pretty”?

      My enjoyment of something like this seems dependent on how much I enjoy art movements or am on the zeitgeist; like Space Funeral, which looks like dogshit, but looks like it in a cool postmodern way or something which means it’s really good.

      I love the fact that this type of thing exists and has a devoted audience, but I don’t think I’m part of that audience sadly.

  10. and its man says:

    I’m glad three people in the comments section prefered the “psychedelic” adjective to “surreal”.