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New game: ‘The Almost Gone’ for mobile, Switch and PC

/ 06:44 PM June 25, 2020
The Almost Gone

“The Almost Gone” is a journey through sweet revolving dioramas and a troubling personal story. Image: Courtesy of Happy Volcano via AFP Relaxnews

A sweetly presented rotation puzzle with a digital dollhouse aesthetic has players find their world through a strange, sometimes distressing, afterlife experience, piecing together the story of a young girl’s life.

Award-winning author Joost Vandecasteele and Belgian studio Happy Volcano have come up with a novel way of presenting a mystery story.

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Players of “The Almost Gone” turn and inspect each pixelated diorama, looking for clues in apparently abandoned places, solving puzzles and learning about their character’s memories and life story.

That story takes them through various detailed and fully explorable locations: a house, a forest camping spot, an empty hospital, even a police car up a tree.

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Adorably rendered and carefully presented, the game nonetheless takes some hard left turns into more difficult emotional territory.

“The Almost Gone” is the result of a matchmaking exercise by the Dutch Literary Fund, which paired Vandecasteele with Happy Volcano.

Even before Vandecasteele won Belgium’s 2017 Sabam Award for Literature with “Jungle”, an early prototype of “The Almost Gone” clinched the Best Mobile prize from the 2015 Belgian Game Awards.

Since then, the project has been shown at game expos and book shows alike, such as the prestigious A MAZE Berlin and Frankfurt Book Fair.

“The Almost Gone” releases June 25 for Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch and, via Steam, Mac and Windows PC. A free demo containing the game’s first act is available via Steam. RGA

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TOPICS: Belgium, mystery, Nintendo Switch, puzzles, Steam
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