The Black Glove, which is being made by ex-BioShock devs, looks like BioShock‘s zanier child, but it certainly doesn’t play anything like it. For one, no guns. For two, space minotaurs. Three, it’s about a surreal trans-dimensional 1920s theatre. It sounds really, really cool. And super weird.
The Black Glove takes place in a trans-dimensional 1920s theatre that’s struggling to get back on its feet. I guess the Great Depression hit it early? Or late? I don’t know how these things work when theatres are unstuck from the fabric of space-time.
Anyway, you can help! By playing smaller “games of skill and chance” — for instance, the arcade-y/amazingly titled Maze of the Space Minotaur — you summon the enigmatic Black Glove. You can then use it to change the pasts of the three artists (a visual artist, a filmmaker, and a musical group) working at the theatre, specifically via their medium, message, or muse.
And then… things happen. Weird things, surreal things, “honey, I broke the universe (again)” things:
“Alter one and everything changes. A somber, portrait art display becomes a kaiju autopsy scene where giant monster parts glow like scorpions under black light. A warbling country act in The Music Club is replaced by lounge singers in smoking jackets. A poorly-conceived 70s disaster film in The Cinema turns into a silent movie sci-fi gem, once thought lost in a fire.”
“Based on your decisions, the creators may become influenced by 8-bit video game music, 60s era pop art, Day of the Dead folk art, 70s cosmic comics, anime, multi-media experimental art, cyberpunk fiction, sad-eyed clown paintings, low-budget b-movies, and more. The choice is up to YOU.”
There will also be moments of “random” strangeness and… well, it all just sounds exceedingly, unabashedly odd — like BioShock‘s manic side unchained from the earthly tether of far-reaching mainstream appeal and, again, space-time. I can definitely dig it. On top of that, its creators are former members of the development teams that created BioShock Infinite, BioShock, and even SWAT 4.
The Black Glove is on Kickstarter, where it’s hoping to drum up $US550,000. That’s no small sum, but here’s hoping for the best. I worry that it could end up kinda disjointed, broken up between minigames of varying quality, but we’ll see. The world and general concept are totally out there, and I’m all for games that try to marry narrative and gameplay as intimately as possible.
I suppose we’ll see — unless, you know, the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed or the entire universe spontaneously collapses in 12 seconds.