Another day, another Kickstarter project. The wildly ambitious game The Golem is one that’s genuinely worth supporting. It’s the first full-fledged video game from the creators of groundbreaking iPad apps The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Numberlys.
Moonbot Studios’ The Golem takes its inspiration from the centuries-old legend of the original undead monster, which inspired modern monsters like Frankenstein and the Terminator. The game’s big twist is that you don’t play alongside this huge, powerful creature, or react to what he does; you play as him. The Golem is enormous and can decimate an entire city, but you’re instead charged with reigning in his earth-shaking powers and using them to protect the citizens of 16th Century Prague.
Rewarding player finesse instead of mindless rampage, the game starts you out as the newly-created Golem. He starts out as a childlike being who must learn basic movements like walking and jumping, but as the game progresses, the Golem will grow and change and learn more sophisticated skills. Learning to master his movements is a huge part of the game, but there’s much more to it.
The Golem is an RPG, complete with customization options for the massive creature. In the game world, there exist five guilds in Prague that each possess mastery over a specific skill. Working together, these five guilds are responsible for building and maintaining the Golem, and the game will allow you to choose which guild to pour resources into, resulting in differences in the creature’s strength, speed, resilience, and more. They are the Metal Forgers Guild, responsible for the Golem’s armor; the Wood Workers Guild, who handle his arms, hands, and joints; the Clock Makers Guild, for his skeleton and mechanics; the Clay Workers Guild, which fires clay from an enchanted river to give him skin that’s hard as stone; and the Glass Makers Guild, which crafts a magical chest plate that anyone can look into and see their heart’s desire.
Though some of these game elements are fantastical, many of the location, time frame, and setting details are built on historical fact. The game pits the Roman armies, outfitted with science-based technologies designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself, against the power of the Golem, a decidedly mystical creature. This science-versus-fantasy debate is intentional, and will resonate throughout the story.
Speaking of which, storytelling is what Moonbot Studios is known for. It’s what they do best. So The Golem will be a highly cinematic experience, and a deeply emotional one as well. Moonbot’s talent for telling great stories, married with its stylized art direction and unique game play mechanics, supply The Golem with the makings of something very special. Shadow of the Colossus-sized special.
You see, the Golem may have unmatched power and the remarkable gift of life, but as a man-made creation, it still doesn’t have a soul. It’s this desire for a soul that drives the Golem throughout the game.
I’m in. Are you?