I often wish I had the mind for puzzle games. Alan "Draknek" Hazelden's catalogue of deceptively hard brainteasers look bleedin' lovely, but I simply can't be screaming at my monitor with strangers in the office. After solving lunar train dilemmas with Cosmic Express and teaching us that A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build, Draknek And Friends are returning with A Monster's Expedition - pushing over trees to explore a water-logged museum of human ruin on Steam and Itch.io later this year.
In all the confusion surrounding the apocalypse and subsequent rise of cute fuzzy monsters, bridge-making seems to have vanished from the cultural consciousness. Fortunately, a tree will do the job just as well.
A Monster's Expedition (Through Human Exhibitions) seems to be an island-hopping open-world exercise in Sokoban - that most popular of block-pushing puzzle archetype. Plopped into an ocean filled with hundreds of islands, your little backpack-toting bigfoot will be knocking down trees to traverse new paths for some puzzle-driven exploration. Thankfully, the trees have been pre-weakened by experts, and are very easy to push over and roll around.
They'd better be, because you'll be knocking around plenty of timber. A Monster's Expedition promises "simple but deep mechanics", so I'd expect to see the depths of tree-pushing explored rather than, say, the game introducing absurd new mechanics like grass-munching or leaf-blowing. It all seems quite Stephen's Sausage Roll, if not quite as outwardly intimidating - though potentially a fair bit more educational.
See, A Monster's Expedition is some sort of puzzle-based school trip for the supernatural. Solving puzzles puts you one furry step closer to discovering a lost relic of "Human Englandland" - whether that's an old red postbox, or the, uh, reverse mermaid demonstrated above. Perfectly well-researched and accurate exhibits, I'm assured.
A Monster's Expedition sets off on Steam and Itch.io later this year.
Disclosure: Former RPS-er Pip Warr is doing all the words for A Monster's Expedition.