Tangiers by Andalusian
There are some people who really don’t like backtracking in games, but personally, I disagree. Sure, nobody likes revisiting the same boring place over and over in a game, but there’s another kind of change that can be a lot more interesting. I’m talking about the kind where the game leads you back to an area having changed it in some intelligent way to make it fun again. Here’s a game that not only does so, but hopes to do so in ways we’ve never seen before.
Tangiers is a sandbox. You find yourself as an ambiguous entity finding itself in a bleak but wholly unique world with a vibe similar to the work of David Lynch and William Burroughs. Your goal is to hunt down a list of targets. Each one must be either assassinated or captured, and your choices in how you perform these tasks affect the world around you. Aspects of the environment change drastically depending on what you do elsewhere, creating an environment that can only be described as completely reactive. Structures appear and disappear, change form and density, and more. It’s a world in flux, creating the idea of a lifeless world that shows life by changing itself. The world is fractured upon your arrival into it, and the pieces are scattered across a greater world.
Tangiers is a stealth-based game. You are, after all, an outsider, a stranger in a strange land. And again, the reactive world comes into play. Character dialogue appears in the form of actual words around a character, and can be weaponized to your advantage. When one npc mentions rats, you can turn the word “rats” hovering by their head into an actual swarm of hungry rodents. You can collect frustrations and fears and use them to mislead and distract. It’s a truly fascinating idea in controlling the actions of your enemies without having too much power, and it sounds like experimentation will be your best friend. If you enjoyed Dishonored last year, this game seems to be pursuing a similar sense of experimental stealth, and building your own path to your targets. You can move through the shadows, completely unseen, or you can take down each and every foe in your way. The complete sandbox structure of the world allows you to go wherever you please, as everywhere else will later crank up its difficulty as you make more progress. Find your own path without worrying about taking on the harder areas first, because in Tangiers, the world truly adapts to how you treat it.
I would be loathe not to mention Andalusian themselves. A two-man team operating out of Bristol, UK, the team has worked long and hard to show us everything they’ve done so far. The Kickstarter itself is for both progress on the game and upgrading to some newer equipment, as well as, y’know, having a home and food to eat. Those are pretty good things to have, in my experience. I know this is the part of every Kickstarter watch where I say kind of the same thing, about “these guys need your money blah blah blah”, but I can’t stress it enough in this case. Anyone with an appreciation for the Lynchian, the Burroughs, the Throbbing Gristle and the Lustmord and the Dada, and perhaps unintentionally, even the Evangelion, can see the artistic inspiration abound in this project. This dark, shifting crystal has been a labor of love from it’s creators, so who are you not to give it a little love as well? Perks include the full soundtrack, a book of the twisted and glorious concept art from the game, t-shirts and more. If you have, or have ever had, love for the dark, twisted, bizarre, and intentionally incomprehensible, Tangiers deserves your light in the dark. You can find their Kickstarter page here, and their official website/production blog here. I am personally of the belief that this thing is simply too bizarre NOT to succeed, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more about the game in the near future.