If you’ve ever played The Neverhood (1996 – PC CD) you already understand why this is exciting news. The Neverhood is one of those truly one of a kind games that is like no other game before or since. It is a point and click adventure game, but the entire world and characters are all composed of clay and painstakingly stop-motion animated frame by frame. For those not familiar with the process, it is the same process used to make films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride and the more recent Frankenweenie. It gives the game a very unique, whimsical look and feel.
The music is also offbeat, jazzy, quirky and fits the characters and the game perfectly. In fact, the soundtrack was released separately from the game and sold well on its own.
Anyway, introductions aside, back to the news… The creative mind behind The Neverhood (and Earthworm Jim – another old favorite), Doug TenNapel and some of his creative co-conspirators from The Neverhood days, Ed Schofield and Mike Dietz are teaming up again to create a game with a similar style from scratch. Terry Taylor is also back composing the magical music.
They would most likely have made a sequel to The Neverhood, but they don’t own the rights to the characters or the world, having given them up as the price of admission to get the game made in the first place. Either way, it’s fine with me. (Is anybody old enough to remember this as MTV VJ Randy of the Redwoods’ slogan during a presidential election spoof?) I think new characters and worlds will be just as good if not better.
Personally, I love that the era of the old-school point and click adventure games (among other genres) is coming back around. I suppose games styles, like some fashions, are cyclical. First, there was a new adventure game from Double Fine, headed by Tim Schafer (known for Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle) which raised $3.3 Million via Kickstarter, then Wasteland 2, then Shadowrun Returns, then the Leisure Suit Larry remake and I’m sure several others that I missed.
Welcome back to the golden age of PC gaming.