Radio the Universe

rtu_kickstarter

Stop me if you’ve heard about this one already. I’m usually the last to know about these projects.

I’ve followed a lot of Kickstarter projects over the last six months or so. Mostly videogames (surprise, surprise). Many of the big ones were hard to avoid, of course: Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, The Banner Saga, Shadowrun Returns, Project Eternity…

After all those heavy-hitters and the massive campaigns that they ran, you might be experiencing some Kickstarter fatigue. I sort of am. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the smaller gems that often fly under the radar, especially now that the site is the Next Cool Thing and every indie dev and their mother is flocking there.

Radio the Universe is one of those gems, a top-down action adventure game sticky with charm and atmosphere.

I looks sort of like The Legend of Zelda meets the post-apocalypse, with a little Cave Story thrown in. The developer also says it’s inspired by Symphony of the Night. And the bit in the trailer with the eyes following the player character reminds me of Serial Experiments Lain, too, actually. So you can say it draws from a lot of different places (and all those places are pretty awesome), but it’s very clearly its own thing.

Stylistically, it’s right up my alley. The world looks so decrepit and mechanical and strange. The music is brilliantly bleak and discordant. I absolutely adore the hand-drawn, pixelated cutscenes and their stingy use of colors and shading. It’s the kind of world I will feel blissfully uncomfortable living in and never want to leave.

This is a totally meaningless statement, I know, but this game just has it. I don’t know what it is, but I can tell when game has it, even from just a gameplay video. This one does. For me, anyway. I can see Radio the Universe being one of those truly special games — the kind that worms its way into your heart and won’t ever leave.

Check out the video and decide for yourself.

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