So many survival/exploration style games get off on gritty realism. What if they could be beautiful instead? Perhaps this was the thinking that lead to the minimalist graphic style of Holden Boyles newest Kickstarter project, Torla.
Boyles had previously found success in crowdfuding for his pixel art platformer, Spirit. The project was 267% funding on Kickstarter back in 2014 before releasing on Steam under the title, Qora. Despite a predominately positive reception, some Steam users felt that there wasn’t enough gameplay mechanics and wrote the title off as a glorified walking simulator. Torla takes the spirit of Qora and finds new ways to reward players for their curiosity.
Much like the proposed premise of Torla, the first game featured players exploring a surreal landscape to uncover hidden mysteries. Unlike its predecessor though, Torla makes use of several popular RPG mechanics to keep players engaged with gameplay between unraveling its mysteries.
Players take on the role of a nondescript stick figure who wakes up on a strange island. A mysterious cloaked figure appears and gifts the player some supplies before promptly vanishing once more. From here on out it’s up to the player to explore, inhabit, and survive in this strange world.
The inhabitants of Torla are both surreal and whimsical. Players can craft objects, harvest supplies, and solve puzzles as they experience changing weather, living biomes, and disconnected dimensions that make up their new world.
All Part of Something Greater
Boyles has spent the last 6 months working with programmer Amir Uqdah to complete the foundation for their vision of Torla. The project will be episodic with the $36,000 Kickstarter goal being used to fund the first chapter of the story. Once chapter one is ready to launch they hope it will do well enough on the market to fund the remaining chapters. The team estimates that all 3 chapters will be completed in about a year.
The campaign barely teases the surface of the game’s story. Even so, the promise of survival gamplay set in a surreal world where nothing is quite as it seems is intriguing enough for more than a passing glance.