Project Grove is an incredibly interesting game that’s currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, you can view the campaign here. What initially comes across as a first person platformer becomes much deeper the more you hear about it. The game has been in development for a few years now, but the team at Antler Studios, based in Oxford, are finally at the point where they feel that with this funding, they can complete and ship Project Grove. Check out the game’s trailer below and read on for more details.
Cure The Great Rot
Players take on the role of Edric, an alchemist, and his robot companion L-P1N in Project Grove. Something called The Great Rot is killing humanity, and it’s down to people like Edric to find a solution as fast as possible. The game has been built with quintessentially British humour in mind, so expect many a self-deprecating statement. The core story revolves around two unlikely friends finding humour in the darkest of situations, with plenty of side quests to keep you busy along the way. Apparently one is inspired by a certain sword in a certain stone, so make of that what you will.
Jump and Craft
L-P1N is a portable platform, which forms the base gameplay in Project Grove. Many areas of the game’s word, Dacrima, can only be navigated with L-P1N’s help, allowing Edric to reach far off cliff edges and high up branches. Actual platforming is only one element at play here though.
As an alchemist, Edric is not only the best person to create a cure to The Great Rot, he’s also the best person for creating potions that will help him access all the areas of Dacrima that he needs to. The world is filled with powerful Flora Magika, which need to be gathered for the ingredients they contain. Obviously every Flora Magika is guarded by an enchantment, which Edric needs to learn the glyph to before he can break it. That’s where all that platforming comes into play/
Players can create new potions by combining ingredients, many of which will give them some new abilities to use out in the world. Some of these will be finite, so it’s important to remember what each potion does, and take the right ones with you if you need to do something in particular. A limited loadout forces you to really think about what you’re doing, and it also means that you may need to go on some supply runs if you discover a location that has a specific requirement.
One of these potions is called Bubbleate, which seals Edric inside a giant bubble so that they can pass over hazardous gasses, or fall four floors when they miss a platform. Sparculous lights up the environment, opening up new paths for players to explore, and it also changes certain objects in the environment too.
Given that Dacrima is a non-linear world, players can progress through the story in a number of different ways. There’s no need to stick to the intended path, pushing through each level as the difficulty ramps up. Once you discover some new ingredients, you might create a potion that unlocks an area that’s completely out of your way. I love this approach to the game because it gives players a way to progress, even if they’re stuck on a certain platforming puzzle.
A Lab To Call Home
No alchemist is complete without a lab, and there’s one for Edric in Dacrima. This is where players can return to craft new potions, or even grow their own! I love the idea of a player home in this game, it’s just a lovely little break that players can have from the intense platforming and alchemy, all of which I imagine will be pretty fast-paced.
How’s It Looking?
At the time of writing the Project Grove Kickstarter campaign sits at £7,325 of the required £29,200 needed for full funding. There are 22 days left to go, so there’s still plenty of time for the campaign to be completed. This is the point that funding tends to tail off, and then a big push comes at the end when it’s nearly done, so I see no reason to panic. The reward tiers on this project are particularly good, with loads of physical rewards to sign up for, including a hardcopy of the design document for the game. I’m most excited about the tier that gets you three books, but if you just want a copy of the game there is a super cheap option for that too.
We write about quite a few Kickstarter projects like this one. If you’d like to read more about some others then head here.