While we don't usually cover titles such as Quote, after being approached by the game maker to take a look at their title and check out its interestingly unique core concept, we couldn't help ourselves from taking a goosey gander.
And we're glad we did as, well, it offers something VERY different from the mainstream. Here are our thoughts on Quote after playing its first two chapters. Before we get started, however, you should check out the game's official trailer to get a good introduction to the game.
As the trailer explains, Quote is an old fashioned action-adventure in the mould of Little Big Adventure which, rather aptly for 2017, tasks you with eradicating all forms of knowledge from a world currently being ruled by the god of ignorance Bliss.
You play Novella, a priestess of Bliss, and your job is to purify the world of knowledge. To do this you're going to have to burn every book and kill every author, a task that you are your sidekick Tatters (a weird half-man-half-bird creature) will have to complete by travelling through various Boschian landscapes as a sort of inquisitor. Knowledge is heresy in Quote.
I think we can all agree that the concept is really quite cool. What's also really, really cool about Quote is its artwork, which grabs you from the minute you enter its world right until you leave. The game maker, Vindit, has created something that can only be described as a hybrid between Bastion, LBA, Salvador Dali and the aforementioned master of disturbing apocalyptic imagery, Hieronymus Bosch.
As a result, acid trip weirdness is imbued in most of the landscape, which follows no rational layout and is strewn with creatures (many titanic in size). Crumbling buildings surrounded by lush greenery give way, unfinished, into a starscape dystopia, or suddenly flow into an environment with markedly different weather and edifices. A barren series of paths, overgrown by nature, will suddenly transition into a domestic interior, which itself can then lead to a cave.
It is, simply put, a crazily cool aesthetic.
The mechanics of the game are quite straight forward. As Novella you can move around the isometric landscape, attack knowledge-hiding heretics with a large tome (The Book of Bliss) and, also using the book, throw it to teleport yourself where ever it lands. This latter mechanic is implemented in physics-style puzzles, as to progress through any exit and progress in the game, you need to have Tatters by your side.
Tatters' main function is to consume books, which act like power-ups for Novella. Feed books to this weird creature and, once inside his stomach, you can 'digest' them to absorb their power. Power points attained, you can then spend them to level up Novella, with things like punch power, dash and health upgradeable (there are 20 unlockable powers). In a neat design choice, when selecting what to upgrade, you have to do so by clicking on parts of Tatters' stomach interior.
Alongside the game's basic combat mechanics, various things need to be found and collected for progress to be made, foremost of which are fragments of quotes littered across the landscape. These fragments form famous literary quotes and, once collected in full, allow you to enter an area's boss dungeon, which are depicted on area maps as caves. You can enter these areas without having found all the fragments of its quote, however, if you do then enemies are much harder to beat.
These quotes are stored within Novella's head and, naturally for Quote, if you click on her head you can see them stored within quote sacks.
Other items that are intrinsic to how Quote plays are relic-style items, which again need to be found in the weird landscape and picked up. Once in the player's possession they can be equipped for status bonuses or, and crucially, combined with other items and objects in the environment to create a certain effect. Kind of like a lighter version of the old Broken Sword point-and-click game mechanics that saw you combining various items in your inventory to solve puzzles.
Because while there is plenty of brawling-style combat, primarily Quote is about exploration and puzzle solving, all the while being guided through the world's events by the narrator. The narrator's commentary - and indeed most of the characters' dialogue - has a distinct Pratchett vibe and, with Dungeon Keeper-style delivery, adds a good deal of charm to the game.
It also has a refreshingly stately pace, which really allows you to tackle things in your own time, all the while absorbing the beautiful artwork and melodic ambient sound effects and music. Obviously, if you have any grounding in literature, then searching out and consuming the game's numerous quotes will be a pleasure.
Which brings us onto the game right now. Quote launches today on Steam in an Early Access build that delivers the game's prologue as well as first two chapters, the same package that T3 got to sample. This early access build will automatically update with new features and content as the game's development continues over 2017 (the finished game will have six chapters), while early adopters gain access to exclusive content and private feedback forums.
From what we've played so far, Quote offers something genuinely different than anything else on the market, so if you've got any interest in PC gaming, literature or art then this could very well be worth your time.
For more information about Quote then check out the game's official website.