<-- -!>

Featured Article

Reaperi Cycle Reappears With A Playable Demo

Remember Reaperi Cycle? We covered it back in 2018 and since then it's all been mysteriously quiet. Until now, that is. I won't lie - I thought Reaperi Cycle was nothing more than vapourware. How many other Dreamcast games have we seen come and go over the years? A flashy announcement, a teaser...then nothing. It's happened multiple times so forgive me if I'm a miserable old cynic. That doesn't appear to be the case with Reaperi Cycle though, as a fantastic playable demo has recently been released on itch.io.
The demo, which allows you to play the opening sequence of Reaperi Cycle casts you as the disembodied soul of the protagonist, mooching around a mysterious study trying to unlock the secrets of a strange floating cube. The demo is offered as a .cdi file that can be played either in an emulator or burnt to a CD and played in an actual Dreamcast console. It's advised that you employ the latter method of sampling this delightfully curious little demo though, as there's nothing better than seeing a brand new game playing on the old warhorse in the year 2020.
Taking the form of a point and click adventure, you initially control the ghostly form of said protagonist, but because you have no physical body you are only able to glance at hints that are already presented to you - no opening of books or sealed scrolls. It's a nice touch. Also, the atmosphere afforded the game through the poignant background music and the incredibly esoteric clues should be applauded. Visually, the world (what I've seen of it) looks lovingly built, full of little details and lots of references to the dark arts and ancient magic - a tone that's right up my street. From the Reaperi Cycle itch.io site:

"Reaperi Cycle is a SEGA Dreamcast game filled with alchemical knowledge, old tales and mystical symbols. It's the hidden path in the forest, seen by very few. Are you one of them?  


"You find yourself as a spirit, devoided of a physical body. As you try to recover your original form, you'll meet with an old magician who is willing to help you, in exchange of a few favors. Don't waste any time! The earth spins around the sun and the phenix will appear, once again, whether you're ready or not!"

The environments appear to be using nicely modelled sprites laid on top of some well drawn 2D backdrops - it creates a visually appealing style, quite reminiscent of SNES-era RPGs. In terms of actually playing the demo, there's very little hand holding and I must admit I was left stumped at times. This is a truly cerebral experience, make no mistake. And to be honest, it's actually quite refreshing in this day and age.
The Reaperi Cycle demo - titled The Guild Hideout - is available via itch.io now, and while there's no set price, you can pay what you like for the developer's work. Going from what I've played so far, Reaperi Cycle could be a really interesting new release for the Dreamcast, and we'll be keeping an eye on it after this stellar playable demo.
Find out more about Reaperi Cycle at itch.io. Have you played the demo? What do you think? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

4 comments:

DCGX said...

Huh Interesting. The dev responded to a question I left for them on Dreamcast Talk, and they said it was indefinitely on hold. I wonder if the dev is trying to recoup some cost that had gone into development.

lerabot said...

I'm the Dev.

The project is on hold for 2 reasons.

1 - Four people are working this project, and the way we work is very organic and respectful of everyone's opinion. The process is slow. It took us almost 3 years to get to The Hideout (and a couple of maps and quest in the actual game). Right now, some of us are working on different projects (2 of them are writing a book together). Instead of saying the game is still being dev when it's not, we'd rather tell the truth. We still have all the asset and everything to keep working on it. A year ago, this seems quite unlikely. But the future is bright. We discussed way to come back and actively work on this.

2 - Engine limitation. The Hideout is built using a homebrew engine that I made. It evolved quite nicely but it's always been limiting our creativity. It was a bit frustrating for the team. This being said, I worked on another project alone (Summoning Signals) and the engine grew quite nicely and is MUCH easier to work with. If we come back to this project it might be using this updated engine, or something else entirely (nuQuake? Simulant?).

Tom Charnock said...

Either way, it's a cool demo. I hope you have the time or the inclination to further development. Maybe a Kickstarter? From what I've played this has huge potential.

Lewis Cox said...

This is a great little demo. We discussed it on our latest DreamPod and had nothing but positive things to say about it! https://www.buzzsprout.com/42610/2907493