Is Heart Forth, Alicia the next big Metroidvania?

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Long ago, the world was shattered by a star. Two islands floating in the sky hold all that is left of a bloodline of powerful wizards. For stealing the island’s power fifty years ago, the spirit Elthëlian cursed them to never have children again. Now the last two wizards of the bloodline—Alicia and Höstra– face their initiation as wizards. But before they can complete the trial, the spirit takes hold of Höstra, and he casts his childhood friend Alicia into the stygian world below. And so begins Alicia and our’ journey through Heart Forth, Alicia.

If that opening grabs your attention, you’re in luck—Heart Forth Alicia has exceeded its $60,000 Kickstarter goal (by almost $16,000 at time of writing) with almost a month left on the clock. The game has been in development by indie developer Alonso Martin for over 6 years, and his efforts appear to have paid off – the game has attracked support from Starbound developers Chucklefish, to help Alonso potentially port Alicia over to the PS4 (the highest “stretch goal” if funding reaches $110,000).

Indeed, the game’s success so far on Kickstarter likely has much to do with the high grade of polish evident in the trailer, which you can see below. The 16 and 32-bit art looks gorgeous, with the lighting and environmental effects really showing that nostalgic pixel-art can still be entirely relevant to gaming today. The Metroidvania gameplay is reminiscent of classic 90’s side-scrollers, but the art direction takes inspiration from thematic modern indie games like Playdead’s Limbo.

The action looks visceral and fast-paced, Alicia’s magical whip crackling with electronic death. Along the player’s journey, the live-action story of “The Woman” intercuts, though how that narrative will weave in remains to be seen. Somehow Alicia looks to be a more mature, darker vision of a side-scrolling RPG, despite the sunny environments.

Those environments are probably the biggest surprise in Heart Forth, Alicia’s trailer. It begins in the clouds, an idyllic Eden full of light and warm grass. Then comes the fall, a Danteesque descent– thrown off a cliff into an unknown land. The trailer ends, gut-wrenchingly, with Alicia’s elderly mentor denouncing her, before he explodes in a red cloud of viscera.

Heart Forth Alicia certainly has our attention. We’ll be bringing you more on this title as soon as we can.

Peter Yankowski

Peter Yankowski

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Peter Yankowski is a freelance writer and blogger. When he's not getting blasted out of the digital skies by Messerchmitts, or cutting work to carve a twisty New England road, Peter writes about gaming news, history in games, and military geekitude.
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