Have you ever woken up some days, feeling so tired you would swear that this is what being a zombie must feel like? This is kind of what happened to the protagonist in this latest, upcoming project from Pinhead Games, only in his case, he actually is a zombie!
It is now up to zombie, and the player controlling his actions, to find out who he was and how and why he ended up this way. Despite this somewhat grim premise, Nearly Departed is a humorous game. As you try to uncover the mystery, much of the humor will be derived from the protagonist's rather unusual predicament.
Pinhead Games, the creators of the Nick Bounty games and Brain Hotel will be involved in this project. However, their contributions will be mostly limited to the sound of the game and its distribution. All other elements of the game, namely the art, story and coding will be provided by one man, John Green.
The game is developed using the LASSIE (Lingo Adventure Scripting System and Interactivity Engine) and as with all games created and/or supported by Pinhead so far, should provide with the option of playing either offline or online through your browser, for free.
There is a demo for Nearly Departed available at John Green's website and it is quite lengthy for a demo, in fact I would say it is lengthier than some "short" independent adventure games that are currently available. Although there is no sound or music in the demo version of the game, everything else is of high quality.
As indicated by the screenshots currently available, the graphics are exceptional for an independently-developed game. Both the characters and the backgrounds are very well drawn and highly detailed. The animation is smooth.
Some of the puzzles found in the demo are very entertaining and quite original, since they ask you to utilize the protagonist's... unique condition in order to progress, and that makes for a refreshing change, while also providing with some very funny moments.
While there is no sound or music in the demo, the finished game will feature both music tracks and voice-overs. Given Pinhead's streak in providing quality music and voice-overs, it would hardly be surprising if Nearly Departed ends up being of high quality in these departments.
The interface used in the game is similar to the one found in such LucasArts games as Full Throttle. Often referred to as the "verb-coin" interface, it features a series of commands that can be used to interact with the environment. The version of the interface featured in Nearly Departed is responsive and intuitive enough.
There is no release date set for the complete version of Nearly Departed yet, and that is somewhat expected given the fact that most of the game is developed by a single person. However, it seems like this game will be worth the wait. Between the very promising demo, and the great-looking screenshots released so far, there is good reason to suspect that Nearly Departed will be a game worth playing for all adventure fans, once it is released.