Celeste’s composer announces a shoot ’em up RPG that recalls Undertale – a pitch almost as grand as I know the soundtrack will be

After her effortlessly catchy beeps and boops in Celeste, Minecraft, and Deltarune, hearing that composer Lena Raine is behind the decks on any game immediately makes my ears perk up with anticipation. She’s now extending her talents to a full game that’s fusing bullet hell carnage with a brain-scratching, existential setup.

Anothereal is the recently-announced project that’s mixing two genres you wouldn’t normally pair together, with shoot ’em up style battles accompanying an RPG adventure that doesn’t look too dissimilar to Undertale or Deltarune’s minimalist pixel styles. The RPGness also comes in with Astra’s customizable loadout, usable items, and an explorable world “full of puzzles, mysteries, and weirdos.”

“Astra cannot shake the feeling that she’s reached the end of her life,” the game’s Steam description explains. “When she receives a sudden text from her sister wanting to reconnect, she’s led outside her room into the world she’s hid away from for so long in order to become EXISTENT. Alongside newfound friends, she will navigate what has become of the world and learn what it means to survive and fight back. What will you make of this tale? Will you travel alongside Astra and uncover the truth? Or will you stop thinking and let it all pass you by?”

The nebulous concept trailer doesn’t become too much more tangible with that description, but Anothereal is clearly playing with themes of social isolation and self-actualization that excite me a lot. As was the case with Celeste, there might even be some queer subtext you can read into from its setup, but we’ll just need to see the full game before any of that comes to surface. 

The YouTube trailer description also notes “an EXISTENCE system that changes how you interact with the world” which I’m looking forward to learning more about. Is there an Existent gauge that affects how people view Astra? Or is it closer to unlockable powers that open up new possibilities? All will be revealed when Anothereal becomes “EXISTENT IN 202X.”

While we wait for 202X to pass, why not check out the other upcoming indie games of 2024 and beyond. 

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