New Indie Title Announced: AMEBA

Who would have thought that in 2014 we'd still be writing about exciting new releases coming for the Dreamcast? Shmup fans have The Ghost Blade coming soon from Hucast Games, adding yet another 2D bullet-hell masterpiece to the growing catalogue; and RPG enthusiasts have the fantastic-looking Kickstarter-funded adventure Elysian Shadows to look forward to. Not only those two, but Goat Store’s psychedelic first person shooter SLaVE is looming on the horizon too. So that’s the shmup, RPG and FPS genres covered…but what if you’re into something else entirely. Say, visual novels with a distinctly Western spin on things? Well, you’re in luck - there’s another new Dreamcast title coming: AMEBA. 

Coming from the mind of former Games Tribune journalist Carlos Oliveros and his Retro Sumus development team, AMEBA is described as a 'detective adventure' that he first had the idea for whilst translating Pier Solar into Spanish several years ago. Carlos actually left Games Tribune (which for those who don't know, is a games/technology magazine sold in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries of South America) when he embarked on his quest to transform AMEBA from the stuff of dreams into reality, as he didn’t want the burden of having to evaluate other developers’ games while working on his own - a very noble and magnanimous move in our opinion. But enough from me - Carlos tells it in his own words…

How do you investigate a series of murders that may as well have never existed? Or, how can you be sure you haven't lost it, when you're the only cop in your city who thinks several un-connected deaths were not accidental or natural? These are the questions veteran inspector Hugo asks himself on an everyday basis.

I usually loathe visual novels. With the exception of just a few really good ones, they're too ‘Japanese’ for my tastes, culturally speaking. So we're taking the genre in a new direction: no anime-like art, as the teaser poster shows, obviously a more western take on storytelling and characterization, a serious story. Imagine Davind Fincher's Seven meets Frank Miller's Sin City comic books. Well, that's what I'd like, but I'm not expecting to reach that kind of quality!

Carlos very kindly furnished us with some concept AMEBA art, and to give a feel for how the game will (hopefully) eventually look, here's an image of an inspirational NTSC-J title, Kara No Shoujo:

This isn't AMEBA - it's just to give a feel for the style of game

The visual novel genre is not one a lot of Western gamers will be familiar with, but AMEBA has certainly captured my interest. Like any good story, it promises an intriguing tale and I’m very curious to see how this type of game will make use of the Dreamcast’s processing power - we know they system can produce stunning visuals and sound, so to see it used in a novel way (excuse the pun!) interests me greatly. Retro Sumus have an exciting team of talented industry veterans onboard for AMEBA, and there are some great ideas being put forward, however we have been asked not to reveal too much about the story, setting or characters just yet...even the meaning behind the title of the game. Curiouser and curiouser...

There's no official statement yet on the funding the AMEBA project will need, but Kickstarter is just one of the options being considered at the moment. If it can reach the level of popularity that Falco Girgis’ Elysian Shadows has, we can’t see why won’t be enjoying AMEBA in the not too distant future. Keep an eye on the official website for upcoming announcements and developments on AMEBA.

In the meantime, here's a first look at the AMEBA teaser trailer:


Synapse said...

Thanks for your support, Tom! :)

Tomleecee said...

No problem! Always happy to support new Dreamcast projects however we can.

Armen M said...

Hi, I'm pier solar character illustrator and cutscene/opening director.
I really like the trailers artwork. Although not being overtly anime visually, the body's suggestive position/ proportions (her butt) and face style remind me of some seinen or adult anime/mangas.
Looks very promising.:)

Tom Charnock said...

Hi Armen - thanks for reading and commenting!