Naps. Once a dreaded hour of preschool restlessness spent on mildewed yoga mats, now an ever-present craving suppressed only by cheap coffee and sugar rushes. Naps are dangerous though. You might collapse into the couch, intending to rest your eyes for ten minutes, only to wake up three hours later feeling like death incarnate and wondering what century you’re in.
Meet Rook, the aging (but classically handsome) star of genre-blending RPG/platformer Wanderer. A convict on death row, Rook expected to be put down for a quick cryogenic snooze before his execution, only to wake up and find his interstellar prison crash landed back onto the Earth humanity had abandoned long ago. It’s enough to make anyone a little cranky. Like all rugged anti-heroes, Rook has a dark past that he can’t remember because, naturally, he’s also an amnesiac. Apparently having your neural implants hacked while in cold sleep doesn’t do wonders for your cognition.
Rook and Jin, the offbeat hacker that (rudely) woke him, immediately set off to assemble their #squad of survivors, explore the other fragmented cells of the space prison, and get the hell off the planet. And fast.
For whatever reason, Earth isn’t doing so hot. Maybe no one took climate change that seriously. Or gay marriage really did destroy the very fabric of society. Or Donald Trump got elected president. Who knows? Because of this mysterious cataclysmic event, almost everyone ditched the planet to form colonies across the solar system. Those who didn’t relocate were forced to band together in the form of powerful factions that can help or hinder Rook, depending on the choices he makes during branching interactions that unfold in real time.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra allies while stranded on a planet crawling with enemies. Earth is now populated by mysterious alien parasites called “Phantoms.” While they come in all shapes in sizes, all Phantoms have one thing in common: they hate you. Engage them in a pseudo turn-based combat system in which you control all three current party members at once. Taking a page out of RPGs like Paper Mario, Valkyrie Profile, and Rogue Galaxy, these encounters demand strategy and skill, meaning you can’t mosey through the battle relying on stats alone.
Combining combat, platforming, puzzle-solving, and interactive decision-making, Wanderer aims to immerse players in a dynamic world bound to a dead planet. If funded, Red Cloak Games has set September 2016 as a tentative launch date for the first episode, releasing each of the four subsequent episodes three to four months apart afterward. The gaming community might have beaten us to the punch on Steam Greenlight, but there’s still plenty of time to support Wanderer on Kickstarter.