I hadn’t heard of The Next Penelope before the game’s marketer, Indie Fund scout John Polson, reached out to tell me about it, but I’m sold on the premise and look of this game.
It has elements of F-Zero, as well as the under-appreciated classic Micro Machines (which was more or less remade as Toybox Turbos last year). But watching the new trailer that came out this week, you can see that there’s more to it than that. The Next Penelope is also part shmup, with persistent upgrades and a variety of weapons.
And it has some incredible-looking boss battles. At one point it even switches to the perspective of a Gradius-like 2D side-scroller:
The story is nice and weird, just how I like it: it’s a futuristic retelling of The Odyssey where Penelope goes on her own quest in search of her long-lost husband and battles Poseidon throughout the galaxy.
The Steam Early Access version that’s launching Jan. 22 has a full solo campaign, while the game’s sole creator, French developer Aurelien Regard, is seeking feedback regarding challenge missions and multiplayer before releasing it in full on PC and Wii U in about three months.