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Steam's Hermetica game brings medieval whimsical illustrations to life

Steam's Hermetica game brings medieval whimsical illustrations to life
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A journalist at PC Gamer, Christopher Livingston, had the opportunity to play Hermetica at a game developers conference in San Francisco. The game demo is available on Steam. The action takes place in Toledo, Spain in the 16th century, and it is filled with characters from strange illustrations found in medieval books and cards.

A snail with a human head, half-blueberry, half-monster, a goblin riding a three-headed bipedal lizard, a rat on two legs next to a huge turnip with a human face. A large rabbit can bite a face and cut off a head. A headless man with a huge face on his torso ran around the arena, waving his arms and poisoning the character. There was a fight with a snail with a deer head that didn't slide, but jumped. Then there was a deer with sharp horns and a woman's head. This was all only on the second arena.

In Hermetica, the player's character, an alchemist, encounters a bunch of monsters on each level while moving from cell to cell on the map. The character doesn't just stand still, but moves, as do the enemies. The arena cells are littered with traps: some can hold in place for several moves, lightning can strike in a pool of water, there is a trap that summons a creature that carries the character to a distant cell.

Each card has a movement pattern, and during an attack the character also moves forward. Levels contain alchemical ingredients that can be collected during movement and used in the laboratory to prepare enhancements for progression.

The situation worsens at night. If the daytime bestiary is not passed quickly, the sun will set, the arena will darken, and without a candle only a few cells will be visible. In addition to the regular monsters, the night spawns vampires — and they don't look much like the standard image of Dracula. Pale, stocky, naked little demons with open chests and leathery wings, twice the width of their bodies. Their bite will cast a curse that can only be cured by holy water. Eventually, the sun will rise again, killing the vampire if it is still alive.

In the end, a creature with the lower body of a griffon and a female head killed the journalist's character. The character was only armed with a knife, which is strange for an alchemist. Perhaps the game should provide some more authentic weapons. The game's release date is "soon", but the demo can be evaluated now.

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