Newly announced by Assemble Entertainment (the publisher that revived Larry last year), Encodya Is an adventure game that’s currently in development at Chaosmonger Studio. A classic point-and-click adventure with a cyberpunk theme, it’s scheduled for launch at the end of 2020. We took an early look at the game during Gamescom.
What we know
Influenced by Blade Runner in its setting and by Studio Ghibli in its look and feel, Encodya is the brainchild of Nicola Piovesan. Piovesan also produced short films, and Encodya overlaps with his 2019 production Robot Will Protect You as well. The game features two playable characters, with a nine year old orphan girl called Tina and her big robot friend SAM-53. Living on the streets of a futuristic city, Tina has to survive off of scraps and rely on her robotic friend for protection.
Both characters will be playable in the game, which is scheduled to be about six hours long with over 50 locations and 5,000 lines of dialogue spread across over thirty different in-game characters. The game also currently has a Kickstarter campaign going, which can be found at http://kck.st/2MgaV9f
What we saw
We met with Nicola Piovesan during this year’s Gamescom in Cologne and checked out some of the gameplay and art for the game while talking about the game’s development status and ambitions. We also went hands on with the playable demo for the game that’s been available on Itch for a while now: https://chaosmonger.itch.io/encodya
What we thought
Visually absolutely charming and oozing atmosphere, Encodya immediately instills feelings of nostalgia for the classic point and click era of adventure games. The interplay between Tina and SAM also evoked memories of other games that used multiple characters in a single adventure, including Maniac Mansion and Day the Tentacle.
Encodya’s implementation of the mechanic feels different though – more akin to something like Lost Vikings in the short term effect that character switches have. Tina is small and can crawl into narrow spaces, whereas SAM has the ability to (literally) do some heavy lifting. The two lead characters stay together, so the experience is cooperative rather than a switch in perspective.
The protagonists and game world are what really give Encodya a unique sense of character though – making it a game that adventure game fans can eagerly look forward to. For me personally, it felt a little like Daedalic’s Silence (sequel to The Whispered World) in its vibe, and that’s an adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed.