You’re back! Welcome 🙂 For today’s post, we wanted to share some titles (some of which you might’ve already played,) that inspired us when making Spiral. If you’ve played one of these, then we think you may love Spiral as well! Narrative adventure games have been blowing up in the past few years and there are so many great stories out there that have done something unique and meaningful with the genre. We know that for us, the minute we finish one, we try and find something similar; new characters to love, a new story to experience. If that’s you right now, then look no further!
Life is Strange
The feeling of returning home always comes with a mixed bag of conflicting emotions. Familiarity. Strangeness. Joy. Sadness. Old ghosts and new friends. Life is Strange made huge waves in the gaming community when Dontnod released it in 2015, making players feel a tornado of emotions (see what I did there?) as they played through all five episodes of Chloe and Max’s strange and harrowing adventure in Arcadia Bay.
Spiral is all about remembering the people who make you who you are. Looking back on his life and revisiting the people he’s loved, the lessons he’s learnt and the places he’s been, help Bernard to push through his own personal journey. Much like Life is Strange, where the characters and world within Arcadia Bay make the game, Spiral aims to do the same.
What Remains of Edith Finch
No matter what happens, family is family. In What Remains of Edith Finch, players were treated to the quirky and jaw-dropping Finch house as they accompanied Edith Finch, a seventeen year old who returns home after the death of her mom. She’s the last of her family and, despite the tragedy that’s marred every single one of the Finch’s, Edith is determined to know whether all of her family history is just terrible tragedy or something more. A curse.
Edith and Bernard, though totally different in terms of age, have a lot in common. They’re both haunted by ghosts of their past and are driven by a need to remember, discover and explore. Much like Edith, Bernard’s memories will feel both familiar to him and as if they could’ve been a part of someone else’s life entirely. It’ll be up to you as Bernard’s companion to help him explore the Void in its entirety so that his story might be uncovered for the both of you.
Hellblade tells the tale of Senua, a Pict warrior from Orkney, who is on a mission to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the Goddess Hela. Believing that she is cursed, Senua hears voices. Some are familiar and helpful, while others are malicious and egg her on to fail. Hellblade never lectures the player on mental illness or what it’s like to live with it. Instead, Senua’s struggles reveal themselves to the player as they make their way through the story and learn how she fights, thinks and feels about what’s happening around her.
Throughout Spiral, Bernard must traverse the Void, a place that’s neither real nor imaginary. Like in Hellblade, we hope the player will be able to see how Bernard’s illness is affecting his perception and his ability to remember – not because we’ve told you so, but because you’re witnessing firsthand how the world around him is changing. Memories won’t appear the way they once did and people and places may get mixed up in the chaos.
Firewatch tells the story of Henry, a man who has traded in his complicated and messy life to spend the summer as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Besides your supervisor, Delilah, whom you can reach via walkie talkie, it’s just you and a whole lot of nature for the majority of the game. And that’s fine, because it’s what you signed up for right? While soaking up the beautiful and peaceful serenity of the wilderness, you begin to stumble upon alarming signs that all seem to say the same thing – ‘you are not as alone as you thought you were.’
For much of Spiral, Bernard is alone. Even during the fleeting moments when he comes across a new door and steps into one of his memories, it’s only temporary. Much like the wilderness in Firewatch, the feel of Bernard’s surroundings can change on the flip of a coin – beautiful and breathtaking one second, then eerie and out of place another. And because Bernard’s environment reflects his mental state, you never know when that change might come.
All that said…
It’s clear that the narrative adventure genre is thriving. And in case we haven’t made it abundantly clear, we are here for it and we’re passionate about it! 🙂 There are a lot of feelings that we hope to evoke when you play Spiral. When you start your journey with Bernard, we hope to ignite a sense of exploration and move you with our melancholy tunes. We hope that you’ll cherish experiencing the memories as much as Bernard cherished living them.
Have you played any of these games? Any of your favorites make the list? Let us know in the comments down below!
That about wraps up the post for today – we hope you enjoyed giving it a read, found some new games to play and have a better idea of what we hope to do with Spiral! Until next time, stay safe!
-The Folklore Team