Remigiusz Michalski’s Downfall remains by far the curiousest adventure title of yesteryear, a psycho-horror point and click that I personally spent considerable time with, trying to adequately wrap my head around its subtleties and twists. In delightful if surprising news, the Russian publisher Akella has picked up the game for release in mid-January.
After completing his first game, Michalski quickly turned his attention onto a thematic follow-up to his first game. The new game, then, is titled The Cat Lady and looks to be, once again, an atmospheric, macabre adventure game developed on the AGS platform.
Susan Ashworth has woken up to a beautiful dream… She’s in a field of barley, at a strike of dawn. Warm wind blows in her face, her hair waving as she stares at the sunrise. She’s dead. Through her dream she can barely hear the sounds of reality breaking through- the screaming of a friend who found Susan’s body on her bedroom’s floor, the ambulance crew resuscitating her on the way to the hospital.1
A life-after-death game this is not, nevertheless, as Susan – an ageing woman in her 40s, better known to her neighbours as “the cat lady” – gets miraculously wooed back to life and appointed with a suicide watch. She eventually comes to accept being alive, but lives her life with newfound baggage: She has returned from death with the knowledge that she will come to meet five people, “One of them will change her life and make it better. But the other four have nothing but cruel intentions. They’ll have their own reasons to hurt her…”
The game will tout a new style of graphics, according to Michalski, “a mixture of photography, digital painting and rendering.” While I am personally very much a fan of traditional pixel art, I have also read that the game looks extremely fluid in motion and that these early screenshots below do not fully do justice to the look and feel of the game.
This is not at all surprising – after all, the first game largely benefited from its eccentric look, its ambience and its soundtrack; in fact, the game’s official website already contains a player that culls music from the forthcoming game. Highly recommended listening.
The Cat Lady is tentatively scheduled for a 2010 release. To learn more about Downfall, do read our in-depth interview with Michalski and check out the rest of our articles on the topic by aiming for the Downfall tag or checking out the related posts below.