Publisher PQube has announced gothic horror survival game When the Light Dies as coming to Steam. Developed by Electric Monkeys, the indie horror game will arrive later this year.
You may wonder why I say “horror survival” and not “survival horror.” That’s because When the Light Dies is first and foremost a survival game, with players having to keep the light burning while scavenging for supplies. Survival is key, especially in a wilderness with roguelike elements. Nevertheless, hordes of monsters add a unique “gothic horror” flair.
While searching for food and supplies will provide the meat of the gameplay, When the Light Dies will also allow players to absorb souls of the slain to unlock upgrades. Gaining eldritch knowledge will even allow players to use magic to destroy enemies or heal oneself.
As such, When the Light Dies may seem similar to games such as Vampire Survivors and 20 Minutes Till Dawn. Game designer Hugo notes these as inspirations, but also shares in a project post how this game will deviate from the formula:
We were obviously directly inspired by the incredible games of the genre, but we were reluctant to add to the ever-increasing – and almost identical – Survivors clones hitting the market. It was important for us to make something unique that’s a little more friction-based featuring more stats, abilities, and certain survival elements.
PQube Lead Producer Harrison explains the stylistic inspirations. The game actually “started out as more of a cyberpunk shooter with tongue-in-cheek sci-fi multiverse themes.” However, after learning about John Franklin’s infamous 19th century Arctic expedition from such books as Dan Simmons’ The Terror and Michael Palin’s Erebus, the team decided to change course.
On a side note, yes, it is THAT Michael Palin. The famed Monty Python performer and travel documenter decided to tackle one trip gone horrible wrong. So exploring an equally frozen wilderness is When the Light Dies shouldn’t prove a walk in the park either. Though Franklin didn’t have the help of eldritch gods (presumably).
Players can attempt their own, hopefully less disastrous, expedition later this year. When the Light Dies doesn’t yet have a specific release date. However, one may currently Wishlist the title to learn when it does.