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Surreal point & click horror adventure Strangeland released for Linux

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Strangeland from Wormwood Studios and Wadjet Eye Games has just been released for Linux and it looks awesome. Originally released back in May, Strangeland is the second game from Wormwood after the the much loved 2012 game Primordia.

About the Linux release the developer said in the announcement "First, we are pleased to announce that we now have a Linux build for Strangeland. We've always been very fond of the Linux gaming community, and we're really happy to be able to get a build posted so quickly. Please let us know if you run into any issues, and we will quickly patch them!".

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Strangeland is a place like no other. Even in the real world, carnivals occupy a twilight territory between the fantastic and the mundane, the alien and the familiar. In their funhouse mirrors, their freaks, and their frauds, we see hideous and haunting reflections of ourselves, and we witness the wonder and horror of humanity in just a few frayed tents, peeling circus wagons, dingy booths, and run-down rides. Strangeland, of course, is most definitely not the real world. Indeed, unraveling the connections between this nightmare and the real world is the game's central mystery, and finding a way out is its central challenge.

Game Features:

  • Approximately five hours of gameplay, replayable thanks to different choices, different puzzle solutions, and different endings
  • Breathtaking pixel art in twice Primordia's resolution (640x360—party like it's 1999!)
  • Dozens of rooms to explore, with variant versions as the carnival grows ever more twisted
  • An eccentric cast, including a sideshow freak, a telepathic starfish, an animatronic fortune-teller, and a trio of masqueraders
  • Full, professional voice over and hours of original music
  • A rich, thematic story about identity, loss, self-doubt, and redemption
  • Integrated, in-character hint system (optional, of course)
  • Hours of developer commentary and an "annotation mode" (providing on-screen explanations for the references woven throughout the game)

Looks like they've done quite well again, with it being reviewed positively by users on Steam and by other critics. Fantastic to see Wormwood Studios officially bring their latest to Linux.

You can buy Strangeland on GOG and Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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Cybolic Jun 30, 2021
I can confirm that this is worth your time. It's a very well written game, with gorgeous (squishy) art and an excellent, atmospheric soundtrack. The game is darkly philosophical and seems very personal, so expect more musings than action or flat out jokes (though there is humour here, however dark).

Disclaimer: I helped beta test the game, just in case that affects anyone's perception of what I wrote.

Last edited by Cybolic on 30 June 2021 at 11:25 am UTC
crabel Jun 30, 2021
The developers of Primordia and Strangeland are the nicest devs I have ever met. And humble squared.

Strangeland is an interesting game, a bit on the weird side, it is simply not the average run-of-the-mill point and click adventure. Not even close. I have to confess, I liked Primordia more, the post-robocalyptic setting was simply awesome.

But if you like pixel art and adventures, both are certainly worth a try.
PublicNuisance Jun 30, 2021
I still have to finish Primordia but found it interesting. Will have to toss this on the wishlist.
MisterPaytwick Jul 1, 2021
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI still have to finish Primordia but found it interesting.

Unlike some older point&click, I've never been stuck in Primordia because of a puzzle. And the game is rather short. It's far from a The Dig commitment for example on those. But it's really only good stuff.

Now that another game is out from the devs, I guess I'll have to do Primordia all over again and Strangeland goes to my wishlist.
TheSHEEEP Jul 2, 2021
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Just finished the game.

Yeah, it is very short, but at least it doesn't ask for $30 for a three hour ride.
Those three hours I found very much worth the asking price, and if you're into that, there is some replay value with a commentary mode.
hardpenguin Jul 2, 2021
First thought: Wadjet Eye? YAY!
Second thought: horror? heck no, I'm scared
Cybolic Jul 3, 2021
Quoting: hardpenguinFirst thought: Wadjet Eye? YAY!
Second thought: horror? heck no, I'm scared

It's more of a surreal horror atmosphere, there aren't any actual scary scenes or moments (well, there's a dog bark - that's about it).
More Poe than King in other words :)
whizse Jul 8, 2021
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Bought the game, wouldn't start. Launched Steam from the terminal, tried again. Oh, it needs root, I'll just enter my password... wait, what!?

Turns out the launch script is bad.

It checks for two packages, libsdl2-mixer-dev and libsdl2-dev, if not found, it tries to install them using "sudo apt install". What's wrong here, let me count the ways:

  • These are both -dev packages and are not needed to play the game, the .so libs lives elsewhere. The right libraries will be installed, but only as a dependency of the -dev packages and together with a whole slew of other -dev packages.
  • I don't see how this script can work on non-Debian systems without dpkg-query and apt?
  • sudo on my system does not launch a GUI. Unless launching Steam from a terminal you will never have any idea what is wrong.
  • The game does actually ship both SDL and SDL mixer libs (32- 64bit, and Windows dlls for good measure). It simply doesn't use them.

Edit: I'll file a bug report with the developer. But I would be interested to hear if anyone else had similar problems. Especially on non Debian/dpkg based systems.

Last edited by whizse on 8 July 2021 at 7:26 pm UTC
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