Developer: Flying Carpets Games
Releasing 2014, alpha available now ($9)
A girl trapped in a lifeless castle built upon ancient arcane technology, and ruled by an evil queen. One fateful day, she escapes her prison cell and encounters a malfunctioning robot knight that she decides to free. They must work together to unravel the mystery of the castle in time to escape with their lives.
When I first saw The Girl & The Robot, the first thing that came to mind was Ico. A mysterious castle, a young woman (well, here, a girl), a sword-wielding protector, puzzles...but the similarities end there. Flying Castle's upcoming game stands out thanks its wonderful art style, mix of steampunk and fantasy aesthetics, and combat.
You control a young girl, imprisoned in a sprawling castle. During your escape, you came across a defect robot warrior, a machine that will become your guardian and ally. Together, you'll traverse the caste from its windswept exterior to the royal quarters within. The developers have describe the castle setting as "a giant Zelda dungeon", in which you'll travel through new areas, backtrack to old ones, and find new paths and enemies upon your return. The gameplay promises a mix of co-operative puzzles and combat; between the two characters under your command, you can crawl through tight spaces and reach certain areas, set switches, push heavy objects, and more. The combat has a Dark Souls vibe, in that defense and timing is critical to defeating your foes. But the girl isn't exactly defensive; she'll be able to evade enemies and use the environment to trap and defeat them.
Playing the alpha, I found the art design and atmosphere the most exciting feature. The visuals give the game a soft, almost painted look and the soundtrack, combined with the art style, and new areas to discover, just fosters a drive to explore. You can purchase the alpha (and all future updates) from Desura. You can also support The Girl & The Robot on Kickstarter, and rate the game on its Greenlight Concepts page.