Full Void (game):

I’m just here for the art & imagination.

Somebodies burnt their cylinders out over this one.

What a rapturous feast.

game trailer

The medium … early-mid 90s styled pixel hump, hand-drawn, with a strong fidelity to the authentic standard, albeit with some pushed optics (without losing the milieu).

It’s one of those screen-by-screen scampers, with every shot a painted/pixelated piece of work on its own.

The theme – platform puzzle/survival horror sci-fi adventure.

The style is mannered on the well-animated & realist fashion of the Flash Back, Another World & Prince of Persia construct.

Yep! The art, design & concept is gorgeous & detailed, with a highly flexible creative elan. The richness & depth of ideas & perceptive crafting resonates with classic sci-fi of foregone eras – 2000AD, Akira, Battle Angel Alita, Half Life & Sin & other strongly descriptive & researched sci-fi endeavours.

Highly immersive & atmospheric, the plot sees you as a lone surviving teenager that seems to have escaped some “mass event” running through abandoned facilities & city scapes by night whilst being hunted by weird & unpleasant robotic stalkers.

Full Void is a 2D Cinematic Puzzle Platformer set in a dystopian future. A young teenager, scared and alone, must use all their skills to defeat a rogue AI that keeps mankind oppressed.

you are essentially defenceless, & have to evade & escape your pursuers continually.

Your single instrument is a laptop that the protagonist/player uses to connect & hack into various terminals & consoles to operate equipment & access areas (this is really the puzzle element of the game). You later acquire a kind of specialized “friendly” robot gizmo from a research laboratory that you can assign logistical tasks (this greatly expands the puzzle activities) & which also provides some well needed company & mirth in the otherwise tense, bleak & perilous nightmare arena.

The laptop in a rucksack that you haul around keeps you the encumbered weighted down, meaning you are slow & vulnerable to the horrifying robot pursuers.

This fraught & dread-drenched feature is part of the games power.

So too is the utter desolation you experience in the “lifeless” & evacuated environs as an isolated survivor. Crows, distant owls & the odd rabid dog are pretty much the only lifeforms that will be encountered, as well as confined & “enslaved” humans who are locked into some kind of VR system/neuro link that renders them thralls.

Desolate train platforms, ransacked science stations & laboratory complexes, eerie sewer systems, crumbling chemical plants & windswept rooftops, all by night, are the kind of terrain you must traverse, all whilst being stalked.

The developers have also graced the game with a huge range of excellent ambient sound effects. Rustling leaves, howling winds, & masses of industrial & machinery hums that further amplify the unsettling & gaunt isolation of it all.

As you progress through the game, the events unfolding & their catalyst are slowly divulged.

Reckless scientists engineering & experiments precipitated a “bad AI” takeover.

That’s a very, very good message, or indeed warning, that is worth heeding, even in a form as humble as an artisanal retro-video game like Full Void.

It came to my attention via Alpha Beta Gamer – a consortium/channel that is – “dedicated to spreading the word about interesting overlooked indie games”.

For me personally, I just love the creativity, imaginative scope & artistry, as well as the expertise in this cult & novel format (old ass 80s-90s Amiga/Atari ST etc platforms).

& honestly, irrespective of the formula utilised, Full Void is a triumph of design & direction, & on multiple levels.


OutOfTheBit, 2023