By all accounts, Once Upon A Coma is well on its way to becoming a standout Kickstarter hit.
Currently sitting at $50,753 raised toward its $28,000 goal – and only a week into its campaign – the latest title from Pinstripe creator Thomas Brush has more than a few people eager to see what it has in store. And who could blame them? The campaign offers hints at a haunting and nostalgic art style mixed with charming dialogue and an intriguing story. There’s plenty of reasons to be interested in this upcoming adventure platformer.
Into The Waking World
The story follows Pete, a young boy who has been in a coma for a year. He awakens to find the world he once knew changed. Devoid of adults, his hometown is now beset by massive insects and ghoulish creatures. Forts he remembers building with his friends have transformed into labyrinthine fortresses. Not only that, but he quickly learns that his sister has been snatched away. With no other option decides to strike out into this strange new reality and uncover the culprit.
The gameplay promises to be fairly straight forward. Players help Pete make his way through levels by solving puzzles, climbing obstacles, and battling through enemies with the weapon, Occam’s Razor. As the game progresses, new allies and friends will emerge. Both to assist Pete and be assisted by him through a variety of side missions.
Expecting the Unexpected
How the game distinguishes itself, though, is the clashing style Brush injects into every aspect of the title. The game’s art strikes a balance between hauntingly nostalgic landscapes and a muted character color palette. As Pete slashes his way through monochrome monstrosities, the soft yellow hue of the sun bathes his surroundings in a relaxing summer’s eve glow.
Likewise, the title’s story and dialogue blend dire stakes and the fear of the unknown with top-notch gallows humor. Sure, it’s jarring for Pete’s talking pet bird to cut straight to his sister being kidnapped, but isn’t it better to rip the band-aid off early? You can always catch up afterward, right?
Set against these elements is some excellent audio work, with eerily calm melodies floating through the air. The echo-like quality of certain notes makes the world seem like a distant nightmare, even as unknown creatures bear down on you from all sides. The audio also plays a deeper role in the story, with piano melodies composed by Pete’s sister unlocking new passageways and areas to explore.
Becoming More Lucid
Though still a few months out from its intended release, the game already has live footage available through popular YouTubers like Jacksepticeye. As it stands, the game’s animation looks seamless and smooth with more than a few enticing elements to dive into.
Set to end March 17, Once Upon A Coma still has plenty of stretch goals Brush hopes to reach, not least of which being a port for Nintendo Switch. Until then, fans can look forward to a planned PC beta for backers of the game coming in July.
Want to learn more about Brush’s past works? Check our coverage of Pinstripe and its very open development process.