Amanita Design’s next adventure will playfully explore 1984-style propaganda

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There’s really nothing quite like an adventure by Amanita Design, makers of memorable and beloved games like Samorost and Machinarium. So I’m sure I’m not the only one thrilled to see the Czech indie collective has just announced a new game. It’s called Phonopolis, and the “hand-crafted adventure” will be the studio’s first dive into full 3D graphics. Check out the beautiful and intriguing (but painfully brief) teaser above.

In Phonopolis “players will take on the role of Felix, a thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow citizens, faces the imminent threat of falling under the control of the dystopian city’s authoritarian Leader once and for all, effectively losing their humanity,” reads the press release from Amanita Design. 

If that plot summary sounds a bit political in nature, you’re correct—hell, the press release even includes a quote from George Orwell’s 1984, and the game will explore a number of different themes like “constructivism, futurism, or suprematism, and their societal impact as a tool of propaganda.” While that all sounds pretty heavy, Amanita Design says it’s “still keeping the overall experience playful and light-hearted.”

Hand-crafted isn’t an exaggeration, either—the game is genuinely being painted and assembled in the real world out of corrugated fiberboard, and then photographed and uploaded. “Even though the game is being developed within a 3D engine, we’re still hand-crafting as many assets as we can. All textures are painted on cardboard, cut-out, digitized and placed on its respective 3D model,” says Oto Dostál, technical artist on Phonopolis.

(Image credit: Amanita Design)

The result of that effort looks beautiful and unusual—which describes pretty much all of Amanita’s adventures. Unfortunately there’s no release date for Phonopolis yet, other than that the developer expects it to be ready for launch “within the next year.”

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