Preview: Hiversaires

By: Paul Eres

On: April 4th, 2013

This is a guest post by offal.

After years of releasing engaging short-form games, prolific digital artist Aliceffekt is nearing completion of his first independent commercial project, Hiversaires, for iOS. Committing himself to full time development at the beginning of February, Aliceffekt has worked solo on the game, handling design, code, art, and music.

The world of Hiversaires is presented through detailed pre-rendered stills with very little motion involved, and a pure monochromatic palette (with one notable exception). The game is played by stepping through the world frame by frame, making simple input in order to open up more of the environment to explore. Described by its creator as ‘an adventure puzzler in the genre of Myst and Drowned God’, Hiversaires offers little consolation for players, providing minimal feedback or reward, and demanding patient observation before progress can be made.

The tight first-person perspective and moody ambient soundtrack lend tension to the world of Hiversaires, reminiscent of Portal’s test chambers, and the alien industrial landscapes of comic illustrator Tsutomu Nihei. Though the game presents a relatively small area to explore, the minute details found at every starkly-lit angle imply a larger world behind the veil, emphasizing perception and continuity rather than scale. Each time the player advances in the game by demonstrating an understanding of the rules and bounds of the world, they are presented a puzzle that subverts previous expectations.

Aliceffekt’s longstanding interest in semiotics is at the heart of Hiversaires, in the form of a scattered geometric language that gradually reveals the machine-logic behind its austere corridors. The game may seem intimidating at first, and Aliceffekt recommends pen-and-paper mapping to help players keep track of their discoveries. Despite a minimal presentation and method of interaction, Hiversaires ultimately makes for a thoughtful challenge.

Find Aliceffekt’s previous releases available for free on his website, his latest devlog on the forums, and Hiversaires for purchase on the iOS App Store in the coming month.

  • xoorath

    Lookin’ good!

  • Derek YU

    iOS != indie

  • DavidDavidson

    >Platforms I don’t own or like != indie
    okay

  • Arucard

    “Aliceffekt has worked solo on the game, handling design, code, art, and music.” = indie :P

  • http://twitter.com/gabrielverdon Gabriel Verdon

    What does that even mean?

  • Omega Nerd

    The thing about Riven for me, besides the puzzles, was the mood.

    I didn’t like the live actors much, but the environments were specially moody and gorgeous, where I can still remember the golden dome and the tree house sets, with those haunting sounds and background music.

    I miss the mystery and the feeling of discovering something… like in The Dig, Myst or Ryven. I got some of that with The Year Walk recently, but it wasn’t enough.

  • http://twitter.com/aliceffekt Devine Lu Linvega

    The way I work is independent.
    I don`t care to be called indie.

  • Raine

    Looks great, too bad I don’t have an iOS device. I’d love to see more games inspired by Nihei’s art. Blame! was a visual masterpiece. The story, on the other hand, could have used more work…

  • http://twitter.com/Shibuya_Temple Yannick Paquette

    The game just got released last night on android too.

  • http://haxpor.org/ Wasin Thonkaew

    I don’t think this is real Derek, right? Why against iOS? I really don’t understand.
    This freaks me out if I gonna post something on the forums which relates to iOS.

  • http://www.derekyu.com Derek Yu

    It’s not.