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Foramina Shows Stunning Nightmare Pen And Ink World

Pen and ink puzzling

More of a straight news post than a pondery look at a thing, EGX also introduced me to Foramina [official site] which seems to be a point and click game that's a monochrome, creepy point and click sort of like Botanicula meets The Nightmare Before Christmas via gothic horror story illustrations.

I spent my time with the demo trying to get an elongated, bony fox to climb onto light fixture and then crawl along a tunnel for a credit sequence. There were also glimpses of mysterious dream-like/nightmarish absurdities which I assume tell you of some of the tone and motifs of the full game.

Here's an early production still:

Mostly I spent my time working out an interaction which would gradually weigh the light fixture down and pull it towards me so I could clamber up onto it via a riduclously, and disproportionately small stool. It was minimalist in the sense of the scope of objects and interactions available, but there were lots of little details to gradually become aware of or wonder about - what that strange bird/robot/thing was doing up on the light fitting being one, and how the mechanical contraptions he has instead of feet work being another.

As per the website:

"Foramina is a pen-and-ink, single player adventure game set in the surreal, biomechanical world of artist and character designer, Mr. Mead.

"You play as a fox-masked protagonist who, with mysterious motivation, compels himself through a nightmare world of drone-like natives, reassembled freaks and dream moulders—you will experience clearly drawn acts in a narrative of offbeat, cinematic variety."

A test scene online shows a creepy stretch of path through a forest with monstrous creatures punctuating the darkness.

And here's a video focusing in on that bird which has a beak full of grasping arms:

I think the game is still pretty early in development and has only recently been introduced to the public, but it feels like because it's set within an existing world by dint of being linked with Mead's existing body of work and personal style, it already has such a strong visual identity which is cool.

Between this and The Collage Atlas, it's nice to see some cool pen and ink gaming coming on the horizon. Oh, and if you were curious, foramina is the plural form of foramen which means an opening or hole, particularly in bone. When searching for "Foramina game" I came across a lot of medical/biology quizzes and did better at them than I'd thought I might!

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About the Author

Philippa Warr


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