Single-player horror adventure Saturnalia is inviting you to a very creepy Sardinian party just in time for Halloween, exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC. It’s been created by Santa Ragione, the Italian development studio behind visual novel road trip Wheels Of Aurelia and endless runner Fotonica. Check out the trailer below and try to think what music video it reminds you of.
Saturnalia’s set on Sardinia in 1989. Its mystery revolves around a ritual that’s taken place in the village of Gravoi over centuries, on the night of every winter solstice. Santa Ragione say Saturnalia’s been inspired by the island’s real-life folklore, along with Italy’s famed giallo horror movies. You won’t be able to fight anything that leaps out at you, only run and hide.
You’ll have to find your way around a “maze-like” village with no guidance, escaping from a creature stalking you with only matches to light your way. There’ll be four characters to inhabit the Eighties sneakers of, each with their own abilities and personal hang-ups to work through over the course of the night. Saturnalia adapts to your choices, and Santa Ragione say there’ll be “unique endgames” that are influenced by what you do.
I’m very much digging the Italian horror meets Aha’s Take On Me look to Saturnalia. It’s an unusual blending of Eighties neon with ancient Bacchanalian creepiness. Saturnalia’s already picked up a few awards during its development, including the Seamus McNally Grand Prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival. One to watch out for, methinks.
Alice Bee previewed Saturnalia recently, calling it a "horrible gem". "Saturnalia doesn't hold your hand, it beckons you," she said. "Its long languid fingers reach out of the shadows, before pulling back just a little further as you approach. And oh! Oh! It's dangerous! But you want to meet it!"
Saturnalia releases on the Epic Games Store on October 27th. It’s also coming to Nintendo Switch, Xboxes and PlayStations.