We at Hardcore Gamer like ourselves some artsy-fartsy stuff, and nothing farts art like a little kid wandering around dangerous, increasingly spooky areas where a kid ought not go. Launched on Kickstarter yesterday, Oscar puts us in the shoes of a little girl and her miniature elephant, Flynn, as they get lost in the girl’s daydreams. As they explore, darkness begins to creep in at the edges of the fantasy, hinting at some frightening truths in Oscar’s real life.
None of this will ever be directly conveyed to the player – instead, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions based on the gameplay. It seems like an interesting blend of ideas found in LIMBO and Papa & Yo, but with philosophical underpinnings that are all its own.
Team Sharkeye, the game’s developer, is lead by industry veteran Josh Long. Josh’s previous experience comes from heading up multiplayer design at Relic entertainment, and while that’s a far cry from emotionally driven, single-player experiences, all appearances indicate that he and his team are up the challenge.
What I’ve seen of the game so far showcases a beautiful, painterly aesthetic, which is underscored by some fantastic mood music. If you’re a fan of arty games with high ambitions and a focus on empathy, you should consider backing the game’s Kickstarter. At the hundred dollar tier, you can even make the game feel more personal by contributing your favorite toy to Oscar’s room.