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Amanita announce Creaks, a different sort of puzzle adventure

Don't you open that trap door

Creaks has the look of an Amanita puzzler, with its lushly detailed, painterly subterranean world of strange monsters, but the studio say it's a departure from their usual point-and-click style. Looking at the teaser trailer below, I can see why - there's a more rigid, tactile kind of puzzling going on here. The mechanical kind with pressure plates, switches, doors and ladders as standard. Developed by a new team within the studio, there's no release date for Creaks yet, but Amanita reckon it'll be making its first delve into the underground next year. Take your first peek below.

While Amanita haven't revealed much beyond the trailer and a mention that this isn't a traditional point-and-click adventure, Creaks looks a little more Oddworld than Samorost in its systems. The trailer gives us a brief peek at the themes and mechanics that make up this new world of puzzling - light and darkness are obviously key, with the door to this strange underworld discovered in darkness and the player character turning lights on and off through the trailer. My best guess is that the strange creatures that you encounter can't move through bright light.

The creatures themselves seem to be the key puzzle pieces. The blocky guard dog-things appear to protect locations and chase the player if provoked. The scarecrow-like humanoid figures appear to mimic the players movement. I don't think we see enough of what the jellyfish-like things do, but I'm intrigued and eager to see more of its systems and its beautifully detailed backdrops. Amanita tell us that artist and designer Radim Jurda is heading up Creaks, with composer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Acheson on soundtrack, both in-game and for the trailer.

While not quite as lethal-looking as an Oddworld game, there's already a sense of danger and menace to Creaks that other Amanita games lacked. Its world seems ramshackle and crumbling in a way that not even the rusty and creaky Machinarium was. Even from the brief glimpse we've had of it, this feels like a world where the player character could get hurt, and not in Chuchel's slapstick style. Thematically and mechanically, it's a departure from Amanita's easygoing style, and I'm excited to see if they can pull it off.

Creaks is due in 2019, and you can see a couple more screenshots on its official page here.

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Dominic Tarason


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