The follow-up-and-over to one of the best interactive fictions of 2012.

If you’re still playing and replaying MoaCube’s near-flawless interactive novel, Cinders, get your virtual bookmark ready: their next title is on its way.  Early screens of Solstice show off an equally stunning fictional world, set in a blizzard-ravaged desert that has trapped its cast of characters for the winter.

While Cinders was based on the classic Cinderella fairytale, Solstice presents an original “whodunit” crime mystery.  The story is set in motion when a local archeologist goes missing and our protagonists—a bored doctor and a young woman who’s new in town—decide to take on the search.  Over the course of the game you’ll get to play these two character at different times, tracking down the culprit through their own means and choices.

Although the initial goal is figuring out what or who happened to the archaeologist, MoaCube assures that Solstice is much larger than this singular crime.  Decisions you make will affect the city as a whole, and can potentially prevent one of your protagonists from making it to the conclusion at all.  Characters you interact with are not clearly good or evil, but present shades-of-gray personal motivations that must be deciphered and figured out over time.

Solstice

With the full Cinders team at work on Solstice, including writers Hubert and Agnieszka and artist Gracjana Zielinska, we can expect a game that’s just as—and likely more—expansive and engrossing as the gorgeous fairytale.  Additional improvements are also imminent, like animated characters whose mouths and faces move when talking and enhanced special effects.  It seems voice acting is still not in the cards, but likely not a huge complaint for fans of the genre.  We’ll be too busy contemplating the over one hundred player options and hundreds of branching story points sure to be present.

No release date has been announced, so stay tuned to Gamezebo for updates on Solstice as they arrive.