Cloak & Dagger Games, a renowned independent game development studio, is working on The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow, a “folk horror game” from independent developer Cloak and Dagger Games, has been unveiled by Wadjet Eye Games, the publisher of lauded retro-adventures like Unavowed, Shardlight, Technobabylon, and Strangeland. The game, which is set in the charming countryside of Victorian England, chronicles the dismal exploits of Thomasina Bateman, an antiquarian who becomes involved in a sinister mystery in the sleepy village of Bewlay. As with so many Victorian tales, the story starts with a mysterious letter inviting Thomasina to the faraway countryside. But when she gets there, the letter’s author has vanished, her assistant hasn’t come, and the Bewlay locals aren’t exactly friendly. Then she starts having odd dreams.
Due to the enhanced sense of immersion they provide, first-person games tend to be first-person affairs, but other perspectives can also work: Despite being played from far further away views, The Last Door, Stasis, Darkwood, The Final Station, and Faith are all instances of games that manage unsettlingly spooky levels. I have comparable expectations for The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow because Wadjet Eye is known for releasing top-notch games, Cloak and Dagger’s prior titles are all well praised on Steam.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow promises cutscenes and animations interspersed with pixel-art graphics, a “suitably atmospheric” soundtrack from former Jupiter-C member David Kane, “fiends in the furrows, the smell of damp soil, and a cat or two,” as well as story elements inspired by actual English folklore with “a distinct folk horror tone and grounding.” Jupiter-C also created the soundtrack for Cloak and Dagger’s 2018 adventure-thr Later this year, it’s scheduled to debut on Steam.