I wouldn’t have thought there was much overlap between Majora’s Mask and Sunless Sea, but A Place for the Unwilling found a way. I’d throw a bit of H.P.
Sauce Lovecraft in there too, as there’s a shadowy undercurrent bubbling under this sandbox adventure game’s striking surface.
A Place for the Unwilling is set in a “living” city, which I think refers to the fact that events will transpire around you, whether you’re there to witness them or not. You can only do so much in a given day, hey, a bit like in Majora’s Mask—but the Zelda influences don’t stop there. There’s a passage on the devlog that describes APftU as a “narrative adventure game where the city is the actual protagonist. No puzzles or ‘game over’ screens, just you, the city and the dozens of stories which are taking place in there”.
“In terms of gameplay,” the post continues, “the game resembles ‘Pathologic’ or the sidequests on ‘Majora’s Mask’ (if you were to remove all the fighting and the time-rewinding and add Lovecraft to the mix). You’ll be free to explore the world around you and play a role in the events which will shape the future of the city”.
The Kickstarter sheds more light on that. “Living in the city isnâ€™t cheap, and you will need to work to earn money, but you are among those lucky people who donâ€™t need to go to the factories. Youâ€™re a trader, which means youâ€™ll spend a big part of your time visiting clients and closing bargains.
“Reading the newspaper, interacting with the rest of the characters and managing a set of useful items will be among your regular actions. ‘A Place for the Unwilling’ is all about immersion, there wonâ€™t be a quest menu to keep track of your progress and, if you want to go somewhere, get ready to ask directions or try to read rudimentary maps.”
Many (or all?) of the city’s inhabitants appear to have been transformed into shadowy creatures, but you’ll be able to turn them back into human beings by fulfilling mystery objectives—for instance, by uncovering and telling them their name. It all sounds damned interesting, and 20,000 Euros doesn’t seem like an enormous goal.
Developer Alpixel has currently raised 8,210 of the necessary wonga, and you have 22 days left to contribute if you’re interested.