Phoenix Springs, possibly the prettiest detective game ever, arrives September 16

Calligram’s neo-noir debut is a mood.

Phoenix Springs is a point-and-click detective game that looks like the cover of a mid-century sci-fi novel, and it’s due to go live on Steam on September 16.

Steeped in mystery and a vibrant neo-noir aesthetic, Phoenix Springs follows reporter Iris Dormer as she searches for her brother, Leo, in a mysterious community at the heart of a desert oasis. It’s a challenging puzzle game featuring voice acting and a minimal UI, and Iris’ inventory is designed to be filled with mental notes rather than physical objects, encouraging players to think in abstractions.

Visually, there’s no other game like Phoenix Springs. It mixes 2D and 3D animations, and it’s composed of hand-drawn scenes featuring heavy shadows and muted greens, with bright pops of yellow and red. The game looks old and new at the same time, and for puzzle fans, it’s one of the most intriguing titles coming out this year.

Phoenix Springs is developed and published by Calligram Studio, a four-person art collective based in London. Calligram launched a Kickstarter for the game in 2017 and successfully raised more than €10,000. Over the past seven years, Calligram has secured a handful of prestigious awards and nominations for Phoenix Springs, adding an extra touch of anticipation to today’s release-date announcement.

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