I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for creepy but strangely cute things. I enjoy Tim Burton movies, Scarygirl is some of my favorite artwork, I liked Alice: Madness Returns based on the graphics alone, and I think cuttlefish are cool. So when I heard about a new adventure game with the creepy aesthetic that I’m into, I was immediately eager to check it out.
The Weird Story of Waldermar the Warlock by enComplot is currently in development, and so far I like what I see. The art is charming, the writing is amusing, and from the little I can tell about the gameplay it seems entertaining enough. They currently have a demo available to play, and after about fifteen minutes with it, I knew that this is a game I want to play when it is released.
You play as Lord Alistair Ainsworth, a historian with a flair for the dramatic. Lord Alistair is obsessed with the occult. It’s his life’s work to study Waldemar Gorobec, a mythical warlock from the land of Grodavia. The game promises an adventure inside Waldemar’s old castle that is filled with dark secrets and supernatural shenanigans. You get to choose if you want to take the path of darkness or to fight against it, promising two unique play experiences. With the goal being to provide an engaging play experience without becoming overly tedious, Waldermar certainly shows promise.
I enjoyed my time in the demo. It’s short, but it gives you enough to get the flavor of the game. The characters are stylized and the backgrounds are richly detailed with a beautiful and dark illustration style. While the animations don’t feel very smooth at the moment, I didn’t find that it detracted from the overall appearance of the game.
The dialogue made me smile, especially Lord Alistair’s quips when I would try to do something particularly stupid. It also seems like there’s a rich story and background for the character. Plus, any video game that throws SAT words like “Esoteric” into the first moments of play is seriously going after my nerdy little heart.
The gameplay is fairly standard for a point and click game. You click on items to learn more about them, and some you can take into your inventory or interact with. In the demo, it’s all about combining items to solve a little puzzle, and then you go on your way. Nothing terribly innovative, but I think that’s okay, especially if the story continues to hold up. In an adventure game, I care far more about the storytelling and character development. As long as the gameplay stays fun, I think this game could be a gem.
Poking around their website shows you more about characters in the game, get a better feel for the story and artwork, and learn about the studio’s inspirations and influences. It’s no surprise that they’re influenced by the works of Lovecraft and Poe and classic horror films from the 50s to the 70s. They sum up their game nicely when they say:
“Imagine a blender. You take a dark and truculent story, for example something written by Lovecraft… you stick it in the blender. Then you pour in a fun adventure, filled with gags, something a bit like Monkey Island. You add a sprinkling of references to movies and tales, a little lemon to sour it up, a little tomato sauce for colour, and you press the button. Add a generous helping of lovingly painted and sculpted artwork, and voilá! it is ready to serve and enjoy.”
I’m looking forward to seeing more of what this game has to offer. It’s definitely received my vote on Greenlight, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting more news on its development in the future.