by Ewan Wilson
What is Pathologic? Developed by Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge, Pathologic was an obscure first person psychological adventure game released back in 2005. A “foreign” experience, the now cult classic was set to the backdrop of a strange town infected by the mysterious “Sand Plague”. The branching story played out from various perspectives over twelve in-game days.
Nine years on and Ice-Pick Lodge has taken to Kickstarter to crowd-fund its remake. Like the original, you’ll be free to explore the town and its “weird traditions” as one of three characters: the learned doctor, a strange girl who believes she can heal those inflicted, and a “talented amateur who’s fond of experimental surgery”.
The original game may have sailed by me in the mists of obscurity, but reading through Ice-Pick Lodge’s Kickstarter page and absorbing the tone has done more than just pique my interest. It’s Majora’s Mask with its flowing time and living, breathing town – only it’s dark and macabre, with a simulated epidemic destroying everything around you. It sounds like the game I’ve been waiting over half my life for. You’re telling me now it already exists and I’ve missed the party?
There’s really too much to sum up here, so you’ll have to head over to the superbly-written Kickstarter page yourself. With 29 days still to go, the Pathologic remake has already secured over $150,000 in backing. It seems as though the Sand Plague’s return is inevitable.