Ice-Pick is the Russian studio behind games like Pathologic and Knock-Knock. They’ve made their bones creating oppressive worlds that refuse to hold your hand. It’s not just that the games are difficult to play, Ice-Pick almost seems to actively work against you at every step. Of course, that leads to games that aren’t going to be enjoyed by the mass-market audience. It takes a certain kind of person to dive into an Ice-Pick game. That said, the team’s next release looks to take a different direction than everything they’ve previously done. That’s not to say Know by heart is a happy-go-lucky experience. I just don’t think you’re going to fail at every step along its path. Give the trailer a watch below.
As you can see, Know by heart does not look like your typical Ice-Pick Lodge game. For one, it’s actually colorful. I don’t think I saw anything that wasn’t mud-colored when reviewing Pathologic 2. But also, it looks like a much more grounded experience than the other Ice-Pick games I’ve played.
That said, I’m not sure if Know by heart will stray too much from what the studio does best. In the Steam description, Ice-Pick calls the game a short “sentimental adventure” that lets plays work their way to several different endings. Non-linear story-telling is one thing Ice-Pick does well, so I’m interested to see how they incorporate it into a shorter tale. And, if I know Ice-Pick, they’ll have some inventive mechanics for progressing the story. They might be fun in terms of gameplay, but they’ll certainly be different.
Know by heart is set to launch sometime in 2021. Until then, I would encourage you to, at the very least, check out a playthrough of an Ice-Pick Lodge game. There really isn’t anything like them.
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