Another day, another highlighting an interesting indie game! This we’re looking at SIGNALIS, a classic survival horror experience with a unique aesthetic, full of melancholic mystery. Investigate a dark secret, solve puzzles, fight off nightmarish creatures and navigate dystopian, surreal retrotech worlds as Elster, a technician Replika searching for her lost dreams.
After her ship crash-landed on a remote, snow-covered planet, the Replika Elster is looking for her missing crew member. In her search she wanders through the ruins of a seemingly abandoned underground labor camp, surreal visions of cosmic horror, and flashbacks to a past that isn’t hers. As the lines between reality and dream blur, Elster has to venture into the depths below the planet’s surface to learn what has happened to her and why – but mysterious encoded radio signals and a Replika with dark intentions are not the only obstacles she has to overcome along the way.
Inspired by classics of the genre like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, the gameplay of Signalis is a love-letter to the golden era of survival horror. Central to the game is its unsettling mood and multilayered story. To advance in the game, the player has to solve various puzzles by breaking codes, using radio signals or by combining objects. Combat is only a last resort since ammunition is scarce and enemies are not easily defeated, so players must carefully choose when to fight and when to run.
As someone who usually isn’t into classic survival horror gameplay, what did however catch my interest is the striking pixel-art anime aesthetic. It has this unique, Eurasian cold-war retro-tech sci-fi take on cosmic horror that actually might make me try out the game.