Who says political games can’t be adorable?
Fans of narrative point-and-clicks have had a pretty good run of things recently. We had the gem that was NORCO earlier this year, Monkey Island is coming back, and now another beautiful-looking adventure game has been announced and subsequently landed on my Steam wishlist. It’s called Phonopolis, a political narrative title developed by Czech indie collective Amanita Design, best known for Machinarium, Botanicula, and Samorost.
In Phonopolis, players will take on the role of Felix, a young man living in a dystopian city that is threatened by the imminent rule of an authoritarian ruler. As Felix seems to be the only one who is aware of the looming danger of the situation, he tasks himself with stopping the leader and saving his fellow citizens.
Phonopolis will take on themes of manipulation and individualism, and is “strongly influenced by avant-garde artistic trends of the interwar period such as constructivism, futurism, or suprematism, and their societal impact as a tool of propaganda.”
It’s sad that this game feels incredibly relevant to the current state of the world, but here we are. At the very least, Amanita has promised to keep “the overall experience playful and lighthearted.”
Phonopolis will also be Amanita’s first game with a 3D art style, and this style is certainly one of the selling points for me. Every environment, character, and asset is made to look as though it’s made of paper, and set pieces look as though they were made in miniature. It’s one of the most unique art styles I’ve ever seen in a game, and I can’t see what else they do with it. As far as gameplay goes, Phonopolis will also have exploration and puzzle mechanics on top of its narrative focus.
The game is being developed on multiple platforms, although the developer has not disclosed just what those are yet beyond PC and Mac. We also don’t have a release date, but Amanita doesn’t expect the game to be ready in the next year. Either way, this looks like a game worth waiting for.