Indie developer Ghost in a Bottle are working on their latest effort, a self-described “simulator” titled Octopus City Blues, a surreal adventure game that almost defies description. Understandably, one might be hesitant to spend their money on such a bizarre title, so the developers have put out a demo for all to sample.
Octopus City Blues casts players in the role of Kaf Kafkaryan, a bit of a loser who lives in a city constructed around a giant octopus. Lately he’s been experiencing some strange dreams, which is saying a lot considering the nature of the entire game, and this prompts him to explore the city he lives in for clues that would help explain his dreams.
Gameplay revolves entirely around exploring the environments and interacting with NPCs. There are also dialogue options throughout, and the story has branching paths depending on the actions of players, allowing for some degree of replayability.
The demo takes place during the first stages of the game, and kudos to you if you can figure out what the blazes is going on. The game’s visuals are surprisingly detailed, although the developer’s artist must be color blind. Aurally, Octopus has excellent sound design, with some creepy ambient sounds in various levels and a charming 16-bit soundtrack. Just about everything and everyone can be interacted with, although in most cases these lead absolutely nowhere.
Octopus City Blues found success in Kickstarter last year, where it was funded to the tune of $20,419, well over its initial $7000 goal. Its developer, Ghost in a Bottle, consists of Kuwait-based lead designer Firas Assaad, Spanish pixel artist Marina Navarro Travesset, and American composer Aaron Eason, as well as other minor contributors. Their official website is a real hoot and worth visiting.