Pendula Swing is the first game by Swedish developer Valiant Game Studio, and tackles America’s Roaring Twenties as a singleplayer 3D adventure. The narrative analyzes the reality of racism and prejudice during this era, and uses puzzle-based mechanics to tackle combat.
The art for this game is very distinct as each scene has been meticulously hand-painted. The overall aesthetic was inspired by Pillars of Eternity and Baldur’s Gate, while the gameplay is predicated strictly on a social experience. Players adopt the role of an old Dwarven hero who is coming out of a lonely retirement. On the surface of the town you are returning to, players will be overwhelmed by the seemingly saturated glamour and spectacle. Upon more time spent in the town, the prevailing classism and complex social dynamics between Orcs, Goblin, Dwarves, and Humans becomes evident. The overall objective of Pendula Swing consists of successfully raising the awareness of the prejudice certain sects experience, while analyzing the daily lives of those affected.
The gameplay features include social puzzles used to promote and convince NPCs to aid in a given situation. Each puzzle can be solved in several ways, allowing for multiple playthroughs to be viable as new experiences. NPCs individually react to what players say to them, and will respond according to the player’s tonality. One of the major underlying objectives includes a constant search for a legendary axe, which was stolen from you. In order to progress, players must employ clever investigation tactics to unwrap the truth of who may have taken it, and why. Players can search the world efficiently given that most in-games items can be interacted with. The open world design allows for players to take on the world at their own pace, and explore the puzzles at no particular pace.
Pendula Swing currently has no set release date, but is expected to be available sometime in 2019. Updates for the game can be followed by checking Valiant’s Twitter.