I don’t have any firsthand insight to share on Void Stranger, which surprise-released on Friday, but when I read words like “forgotten labyrinth” and “traps that defy reason”, I find myself reaching for my pen and inkwell, and when I encounter visuals that remind me of the nastier Zelda dungeons on Game Boy, I start vibrating gently in my chair, and when I see monochrome anime story scenes set to howling guitar and fuzzy chip tunes – well, here we are.
Void Stranger is the work of Finnish indie System Erasure, whose vertically scrolling shmup/mystery game ZeroRanger was one of Dominic Tarason’s (RPS in peace) best games of 2018. The new title is a sokoban-style puzzle game, which is to say, it’s broadly about shoving crates around, but as the name suggests, Void Stranger has bigger ambitions than helping you while away five minutes over lunch. It’s a game of faith, amnesia and devilry, which reportedly portions out its secrets across multiple playthroughs. Here’s a trailer.