The latest in Samorost-style games

Things are looking good. First of all, there is a new project from Samorost creator Amanita Design: it's not Samorost 3, but a new game, called Machinarium. And boy, does it look good.

It's due in late 2008, and you can hang out at the new Machinarium forum for a dose of hype to hold you over until then.

I realize I haven't actually presented any of Amanita's non-Samorost games here before, so in case you've missed them, you'll want to check these out:

The Quest for the Rest is a promotional game created for the band The Polyphonic Spree, in which members of the band go questing for their missing fellows. It's a lovely little game, with all the ethereal beauty and whimsy of the Samorost series.

Rocketman VC is a very short game promotional game made for Nike, in which pair of scientists work to power up a pair of basketball shoes. Despite the un-magical premise, Amanita's signature style and flair make it worthwhile.

The Pantry is not a game, but an interactive toy. Play with the things on the shelves to trigger strange effects.

Now that those are out of the way, some games that are actually new:

Haluz Games, the development studio of Tomas K., who brought us the delightful Samorost-inspired Haluz (see my original post on Haluz here), is back with a nicely redone site and a splendid sequel: Haluz2. Samorost's influence is even more apparent in this game, which is a little less cartoony and more magical than its predecessor. Fans of Samorost will feel right at home among its photorealistic mossy, mushroomy landscapes (drawn from photos of sites in the Carpathian mountains), drippy caves, growing flowers and assortment of birds, bugs, and woodland creatures. Other influences the creator has named include Shift and Wogger.

Taking another page from Samorost, Haluz Games has adopted Amanita's Samorost 2 distribution model -- the first few levels of Haluz2 are available to play online for free, with the remaining levels and soundtrack available to purchase. The full game can be downloaded for offline play with or without the soundtrack, and the soundtrack is also available for purchase as a CD. (Unfortunately, there is no game and soundtrack CD package.) I bought the full bundle, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Haluz is a worthy newcomer to the burgeoning Samorost-style genre, and deserves support. I'd love to see a Haluz3 someday.

Haluz2 walkthrough at Games on the Web.

Automaton is a very cool steampunk game that follows the adventures of a telekinetic automaton and his creator. Nice plot and scenery, and great steampunk atmosphere, including a nice historical montage by way of exposition. The text could have used a good editor, though. The game can either be played online or downloaded for offline play.
There is a walkthrough at Jay is Games if you don't like the one that comes with the game.
Via Brass Goggles.

Curious certainly is. It's a promotional game for the University of Salford in Manchester, and it's a nonsensical, kind of cartoonish photo collage of random events set vaguely in and around the Salford campus. Except for the pictures, it doesn't seem to have much to do with the university, except I suppose the spirit of playful discovery desirable in a prospective student ("limitless possibilities" is the tagline). Typical Samorost-style gameplay: help the character progress from one side of the screen to the other through a series of levels. It's quite cute. Just curious, is all.
The game provides its own hints, but you may want this walkthrough at Free Games News.

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Blogger dkaufman1:

Great article! I linked to it for my syndicated column and blog write up of Samorost. I will have to check out some of the other games reviewed here.

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