December 4, 2023

Saturnalia takes place in Gravoi, a village in Sardinia, as a mysterious festival kicks off. Things soon take a turn and your characters are forced into a fight for their lives at the hands of a menacing ancient ritual.

One of the major interesting features of Saturnalia is the structure of the town itself. When you die, or start a new game, the town’s streets will twist and turn into a new shape. Think you cna learn all the routes to maximize your chances? Think again.

Looking Sketchy… We Mean That In A Good Way

Another pretty striking feature of the game is its art style. Inspired by rotoscope animation, the characters render in a slightly uncanny way, the movements maybe a little too low on the frames to look entirely real. Real isn’t the goal here, though. The environment textures look like grainy sketches, with shadows appearing as scratchy cross-hatching. As things become darker they’re riddled with flashes of neon color.

Saturnalia doesn’t look like any game you’ve seen before.

Uncanny Valley, Except It’s Not A Valley

The whole of Gravoi is an uncanny place. Regardless of the street layout, the buildings pack close in a confusing and claustrophobic way.

It feels alien and unwelcoming, even before things descend into chaos. If I were to compare it to anything, I would say the feel of wandering The Town On The Gorkhon from Pathologic. Saturnalia deals with similar anxieties.

The idea of an isolated community whose ideals are both alien and possibly even hostile to you, and the looming threat within is a compelling one, and Saturnalia manages to make the concept all its own.

Sound like something you’d like to see for yourself? You can try the free Saturnalia demo out on Steam now. The full game drops tomorrow.
Fancy another game with a creepy vibe? Check out our news on Dead Plate.

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