Dronefall imagines a pixel art future overrun by deadly drones

dronefall prologue gd impressions charity game

It really bums me out covering games much later than I intended, especially indie titles or tiny slivers of experimentation from the myriad jams that go down in this industry, as often finding information about these things months–or even years later, as is the case with Dronefall – Prologue–is nearly impossible. You’d think my seasoned Googling skills would unearth all the details, but nope, not for something as slight as this; that said, I dig the search engine company’s new logo.

Anyways, I’ll do what I can with what I got, but if you know more than me and want to rub my honker in it, by all means. Dronefall – Prologue was made by Inglenook, a company that is hard at work on something called Witchmarsh. The short little thang was produced for the Charity Game Jam back in 2013, along with almost one hundred other games, with funds going to the Reprieve UK foundation. Again, I do not remember where I was and how I came to download it, but its executable file was in my videogames folder…so I gave it a double click.

Basically, we have a future overrun by drones, machines unafraid to murder and cause chaos. They were not programmed to bite the hand that wires them, but they’ll do it without question. In Dronefall – Prologue, you play as a woman whose name I cannot recall or look up due to nobody else ever in the entire Internet-driven world having touched the thing. YouTube and Google continue to suggest Downfall instead. Anyways, naturally, she has just awoken up to this dark, dastardly future, and begins moving left to right in hopes of figuring things out. It’s a puzzle adventure game, though there’s only a little bit of both in this “prologue” chapter; you can examine items in the world and turn wheels to shut off machines or pipes leaking steam, and there’s truly only one puzzle to maneuver through at the end, which is not difficult to figure out. Then it fades to white and the dreaded “to be continued…”

Before I finish this post, I have to say that I’m pretty amazed with myself for breaking Dronefall – Prologue, a game that takes maybe no more than five minutes to get through. Towards the end, you have to take a lift down from the second floor to the first, and somehow, the lift got activated without our main hero girl on it. I could stand her over where the lift once was and still activate it, but that meant she rose into the darkness known as the ceiling as the lift rose as well. I walked her to the right onto the next screen, and everything froze, then crashed. It’s like accessing the warp pipes in Super Mario Bros, except instead of leaping forward a few worlds it teleports you back to your desktop.

Considering I can find next to nothing about Dronefall – Prologue or even Inglenook–its website is launching soon!–and that the developers are all hands on deck for their Kickstarter project, I don’t expect there to be a continuation of this adventure. Which is a shame. Not because there’s a fascinating story or mystery here, but it looks gorgeous, and a full-fledged dive into this unpredictable future through pretty, pretty pixel art is more than enough to count me in. That said, Witchmarsh, an action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts, does seem to have a similar look, so perhaps I’ll check it out later this year.

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