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Crypt Underworld is looking as gloriously weird as ever

Pilgrim harvest looks good this year.

Crypt Underworld may have missed its original December 2017 release date a tad, but the extra time in development has done wonders for Lily Zone’s interactive fever-dream. In a chunk of footage released today, we get to see some more of its strange nightmare environment, full of mismatched textures, odd sculpted polygons and sprawling mega-structures. It honestly makes me a little uncomfortable, like I’m seeing someone’s videogame nightmare, somehow immortalised in code. Below, ten and a half minutes of bounding through this uncanny virtual space and meeting the locals.

Crypt Underworld is the sequel to Crypt World, a surreal exploration adventure about a fragmented, nonsensical universe that runs on piss, meat and bones. Somehow, this already decaying nonsense world ended at the end of the first game, and the sequel picks up shortly afterwards, giving you a warped and self-aware nightmare double-apocalypse to wander. The sequel’s aesthetic stands in stark contrast against the PSX-era polygons of the first game. This time it’s dense with stretched-out bump-maps, giving the world a rubbery, oily look full of asymmetrical, lumpen sculpted characters.

Crypt Underworld was originally Kickstarted back in 2015, billed as “the future of futile piss sim”. While that date has been and gone, and updates have been few and far between on the developer’s YouTube channel and official site, today’s video shows the horrible fruits of the extra development time. The combination of far-too-huge environments, floaty bunny-hopping movement and a slightly too wide field of vision makes me uncomfortable for reasons I can’t quite put into words. It’s a horrible, broken world I’m excited to explore and probably piss all over, too.

I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess at when Crypt Underworld will be finished, but until then, I highly recommend playing the original Crypt Worlds, which is free here. If you’re still hungry for weird, fractured exploratory games, Magic Wand by thecatamites ($4 on Itch) and the baffling Goblet Grotto by thecatamites & J Chastain (also free) are rich with queasy half-coherent adventures.

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Dominic Tarason

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