Machinarium and the Samorost dev surprise-releases offbeat adventure Pilgrims

Out now on PC and Apple Arcade.

Amanita Design, the studio behind the wonderful likes of Machinarium, Samorost, Botanicula, and Chuchel, has surprise-released Pilgrims, a brand-new offbeat adventure that’s out now on Apple Arcade and PC.

Pilgrims, which begins with a priest losing his soul to a demon in a card game, plays out something like a point-and-click adventure distilled to its essence. It’s a game of numerous small, single-scene story vignettes, each accessible via a lavish overworld map, and each involving an encounter with a quirky character in need of assistance.

By prodding each scene, you’re able to add new characters and objects to your inventory – appearing as playing cards at the bottom of the screen – and these, in turn, can be dragged back out of the deck at new locations and deployed as required. The goal, then, is to experiment with card combinations, find a way to appease each character, and move on.

It’s all delivered with Amanita’s typically flawless presentation, in this case, all thicks lines and earthy tones, and with a wonderfully offbeat sense of humour. What makes it particularly appealing, however, is its emphasis on playful tinkering.

As the developer puts it on Pilgrims’ Steam page, “Don’t beat it – play with it!”, and the joy comes as much from seeing the amusing, often unexpected, way that an “incorrect” combination of items interact, as it does from successfully solving a particular challenge. And that experimentation is encouraged still further through a large number of achievements, rewarding more unorthodox problem-solving approaches.

Pilgrims is available to download now as part of Apple’s Arcade gaming subscription service, or you can pick it up on Steam, the Humble Store, and GOG for £4.99.

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