With the successful completion of a $2.4 million Kickstarter campaign in October 2012, the point-and-click adventure game Hiveswap has since been under development by What Pumpkin Studios. On August 29th, the studio released the official launch trailer for the game, along with a confirmed release date of September 14th, 2017.
At its core, Hiveswap aims to be a recreation of the classic point-and-click adventure games of the 90’s. Drawing inspiration from classics such as Secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango, What Pumpkin Studios aims to breathe new life into a genre that many consider past its golden age. While still maintaining many of the point-and-click staples, such as collecting and combining items to solve puzzles, the game does boast a level of new-age polish. Veterans of the genre will notice a lack of repetitive or reused dialogs, as every possible interaction in Hiveswap has a unique response for the player to discover. The team also claims to have more naturally flowing character and story development, bidding adieu to the days of hunting down audio logs or lore scrolls.
In addition to the promising adventure game foundation, the game has garnered hype thanks to its connection to the beloved online comic Homestuck. For those unaware, Homestuck is a monstrously complex 7000+ page epic, chronicling the adventure of four kids playing an innocuous video game, and the consequences that follow. Coupling charming character development and writing with immense scale and multimedia integration, the comic has developed a huge following online since its creation in 2009. While Hiveswap does take place in the same universe as its web comic cousin, the plot of the game is entirely separate, and therefore thankfully accessible even to those who have never heard of series. The game also boasts a full soundtrack by Toby Fox, who many will recognize as the creative mind behind the critically acclaimed Undertale.
However, not everything has been smooth sailing for Hiveswap. Originally slated for a release way back in 2017, several problems have led to multiple push-backs and reschedulings. Perhaps most infamously, the falling out with the original development studio in late 2014, and the subsequent move to in-house development by What Pumpkin Studios. However, despite all of this, the What Pumpkin team never fell into the stereotypical Kickstarter trap of “taking the money and running”, and has remained consistently open with the community all throughout development. To quote the Cohen Edenfield, the creative director and head writer for the project, “we’re committed to bringing you the game you deserve, even if it means delivering it later than you deserved it.” Only time will tell if the hype can be lived up to.
September 14th marks the release of the first of four Hiveswap acts, with the rest to be released sometime in the future. The game will be available on PC, Mac, and Linux for $7.99 on the Steam and Humble stores.