Steam Greenlight Spotlight: Knock-Knock
Knock-Knock is a 2D platform horror game that mostly takes place in a lone house in the middle of the woods, where you try to survive each night (roughly 7-10 minutes in real-time). The game is being developed by the Russian game studio Ice-Pick Lodge, developers of The Void and Cargo! The Quest for Gravity, as well as a game called Pathologic, which has not been released in the US, but received high praise in Russia. All the aforementioned games are very unconventional, so you can expect Knock-Knock to follow suit.
Though gameplay details are sparse on the Greenlight page, Knock-Knock's (successfully funded) Kickstarter page sheds some light (pun intended). Each night, Visitors enter your house and you must stay alive until the sun rises. While you can hide, you won't survive that way for long. Instead, you need to go from room to room, "searching for the breaches that let the creatures of the woods inside and doing your best to mend them." Each night, a variety of random items appear to aid you in your survival, but your limited five-slot inventory means you must choose wisely. As you progress in the game, you build up your house with any combination of rooms, stairs and doors, increasing your total health and safety, as well as opening up new opportunities. In addition, each Visitor has "a unique appearance, damage range, and personal characteristics."
It is unclear how long a single playthrough will take, but the game will feature multiple seasons, and due to the random nature of the items and the endless possibilities for house configurations, there should be a decent amount of replayability. In addition, the Greenlight page mentions being able to enter portals to step inside dreams, though no details are stated. According to the Kickstarter page, "[e]verything that happens in the house is a clue," and as players uncover clues and master levels, the underlying mystery will eventually be exposed.
Despite not knowing exactly how the game will play out, Knock-Knock's graphical style and creepiness really drew me in. It seems to be a game shrouded in mystery, both within the game world itself, as well as its development history (read the opening section of Kickstarter). It's a game that's so out there, that I struggled with whether to Spotlight it, as I originally promised to include games I felt would be widely appealing. In the end, it's because of its uniqueness that I decided to go with it, as the world needs more developers to really stretch their creative energies to the max and dare to be different.