The ever-unpredictable Ice-Pick Lodge, the Russian studio behind Pathologic, have announced their next game. Know By Heart is set in a provincial Russian town and, as far as I can see, this one is not stricken by a plague so we shouldn't end up desperately rummaging in bins for bottles. Looks like it might just be a touch melancholy, a game about childhood friends reuniting then things going a bit pear-shaped. That's fine. I don't know if my heart could take another Pathologic right now. Come see the announcement trailer below.
Know By Heart stars Misha, a fella whose boring life is upended when his school crush returns to town and the old gang reunite. "It's up to them to journey down memory lanes and rekindle their friendship, but their memories of the past and the very bonds between them become threatened..." Ice-Pick say. They say it's about five hours long, and note: "Players will be immersed into the quiet life of a provincial Russian town, where traces and echoes of the Soviet era can still be seen and heard."
Know By Heart is coming to Steam this year, tentatively slated to arrive between April and June. I'm game. It might not look instantly recognisable as an Ice-Pick game but neither did Cargo, and I have a soft spot for that surprise's weird charms, despite the jank.
Ice-Pick have also been reimagining Pathologic, confusingly calling it Pathologic 2. The first of three planned parts launched in May 2019, with the other two to introduce the original's other playable characters. Pathologic is very much a game that's meant to be miserable but our former boy Brendy's Pathologic 2 review found juggling survival meters more tedious than moody. We talked with Ice-Pick about their decision to later add loads of difficulty options. But ye olde Quinns adored the misery of the original, as he shared with us all in his Butchering Pathologic series.