GDC is rapidly becoming a little bit like Christmas for mobile gamers, or it would be if Santa told you what presents he was working on ahead of time. In this case, the gift-givers are the folks at Inkle, who have announced a new game called Heaven’s Vault that was teased a few years back.
If the Inkle name rings a bell, it’s because the studio is responsible for the Sorcery! series of gamebooks and the award-winning 80 Days. Heaven’s Vault is a foray into an area it hasn’t touched yet, sci-fi, and with amazing art that looks like cel shading.
As explained in an introductory blog post, that’s because the characters are drawn by hand and then placed into 3D environments. The effect is pretty stunning, to say the least.
It’s also easy to believe the studio’s claim that Heaven’s Vault marks its most ambitious game yet since the influences cited range from huge pop culture franchises (like Indiana Jones) to graphic novels to notable video games from mobile, PC and console — fitting since this game is slated to release on all of those platforms. The protagonist is an archaeologist named Aliya Elasra who teams with a robot companion named Six to ” piece together a complex past – and discover a secret that will change the future” of the Nebula she calls home.
Inkle manages expectations by noting that “the game won’t be ready for some time,” which isn’t a bad idea considering we’d like to play this right now. You can sign up for updates now, and you probably want to do that. Call it a hunch.