Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

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Zero Degrees Games is, by his own admission, a fancy way of saying one guy’s name; Geoff Burrows. At rAge in Johannesburg last week, I was lucky enough to play his latest creation – an “escape room” styled point and click adventure that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

After 20 hours of transit, I was ready to get to work at rAge (Africa’s largest gaming event). Despite having days filled with interviews, I did manage to find some spare time and found myself drawn to the indie goodness of the home_coded booth in the middle of the show floor. After weaseling my way into an empty seat, I found myself playing Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale. Straight off the bat my interest and love of indie games was piqued. The eerie, slow-paced demo was exactly the break I needed from the strobe-light intensity (which I love!) of the AAA industry.

The demo for Among the Innocent won’t be long: I’ve been told that demoing an adventure game is ludicrous as it is, so I’ve decided to keep it short, and do my best to take a “vertical slice” of the game and let you run around for as long as you wish. There will be an objective (escape the cabin), but you’re free to take your time, explore, read things and learn a little about the cabin and its history.

Imagine this. You find yourself in a cabin with absolutely no idea what has happened here, no real hand holding or tutorial to guide you on your way and no hints popping up when you get inevitably stuck. This unapologetic game design aligns exactly with my love of puzzling solving that reminded me of the real world “escape room” experience I’ve recently developed an unhealthy obsession for. Aside from how impressed I was with this one-man gem, Geoff was kind enough (and genuinely excited!) to speak to me about his game, his philosophy and I left feeling absolutely inspired.

I’m assured that I’ll be able to get my hands on this game sometime around the middle of 2016, I suggest you do the same.