Developer Redblack Spade and publisher Ratalaika Games have announced that their psychedelic Metroidvania title ‘Fearmonium’ will launch on Xbox consoles on the 8th of December. Its graphics, coding, game design, and more are all done by one person: Slava Gris, a psychology major, shows us his vision of battling mental health in this epic journey.
Per the game’s press release:
Psychological Dilemma + Suspense!Fearmonium centres around the inner world, the mind of a boy named Max with an infantile, meek mother and a mad stepfather he disliked, who didn’t miss an opportunity to beat Max. The game starts some time after Max’s grandfather died. He was the only person in his family who knew what love and care is. Depression began to grow in Max’s mind and some new phobias started to manifest. Mind your MindFearmonium begins when Max visits a city fair with his girlfriend and she says that she is moving to another city so they need to break up. Right at that very moment, traumatised by that comment, he sees a clown which leaves a lasting impression which is how our main character was created – we play as a coulrophobia. Our character is moving around Max’s mind and destroys all the bright, good, memories he has because of Lady Depression. However, we also fight with mechanisms of Max’s psychological protection: for example, when real Max tries to find comfort in his old toys, Regression appears (it is a harmful defence mechanism when a grown up person pretends to be a kid). We fight Regression and real Max stops to hide from his problems.
Mad World? NO?! Gameplay rules!Although the abstract horror and psychological inner world ideas and gameplay elements might appear very cerebral, Fearmonium comes with superb challenges, great ‘Disney-esque’ cartoon animation and beautiful hand drawn graphics.Gameplay presents a huge variety of attacking items and skills! Throw clowns, use Max’s old toys and even some bosses become abilities. After you find a boss you will then gain a new ability and can go back to progress farther.
Slava Gris, the man behind Fearmonium, was on hand to briefly explain two of the game’s sections/settings.
“First section is Max’s memory of a city fair. Our enemies are his bright memories about this day – some artists and magicians he liked. However, on the same day Max saw a puppet show and a pupaphobia (phobia of dolls) began to grow in his mind. Pupaphobia is the first boss.”
“Fourth section is the school itself, we face three guys who messed with Max’s mind into one huge monster. Phobia should be more scary than an objective fear. We beat these guys and a cutscene shows that Max stops being afraid of these bullies and tries to punch them back. It helps him to gain self-respect.”
- Animated made frame-by-frame.
- 15-17 hours to beat the game.
- Huge map of Max’s consciousness, woven from abstract images and half-forgotten memories.
- Memorable enemies, whose images reflect what Max saw in the real world.
- Clues from Lady Depression.
- Battles with combo attacks and a variety of unique abilities.
- The answer to the question: does a phobia always cause irreparable harm, or can its presence change life for better?
Check out the trailer and the additional screenshots below for more information about Fearmonium. You can grab the game here on the Xbox Store once it launches.