June 30, 2015 11:00 AM | John Bridgman
Announced in February, Soulbound Games' upcoming noir-themed puzzle-platformer Renoir has just launched on Kickstarter. Fully embracing the film noir aesthetic, this heavily stylized game challenges the player to take on the role of private detective James Renoir as he investigates his own murder at a slow, almost adventure game pace.
The original announcement in February featured a teaser focused on atmosphere and story, showing off the game's dedication to the noir aesthetic. Monochrome and moody, the game has striking silhouettes and detailed environments that Renoir will navigate through as he gathers information through solving the various platforming puzzles he encounters en route to solving the mystery around his murder.
The Kickstarter video has gone a step further, showing actual gameplay elements and mechanics. Renoir is well animated as he goes through the game and seems to also have stealth gameplay - no doubt well-suited thematically since he's dead. Hopefully soon we'll see more on what sort of abilities and puzzles will be encountered in the game, but seeing gameplay at this stage is always a good sign.
The video also talks about a woman that Renoir is (or perhaps was) involved with in some capacity. While it feels a bit cliché given the context, it also does fit the genre exceptionally well. Introduced through Renoir's narration, which is pretty spot-on for film noir style writing, I have no doubt that this femme fatale character will fit in to the experience.
I look forward to seeing how this game comes along in its crowdfunding. Asking for enough to financially support the planned 18 month development, Soulbound Games looks like they've really done their homework both on their chosen aesthetic and how to present a crowdfunding campaign.
Soulbound Games is an independent development studio founded in 2013 from the Czech Republic. Before focusing development on the PC using the Unreal Engine and starting their first large project Renoir, they were primarily a studio producing commissioned mobile games.