Get ready for an ethereal journey into the world of spirits clinging to their past existence, unable to face their woes and demons, unable to accept the consequences of their actions, or lack thereof! It’s your job to have the wandering spirits accept their fate and move on in Midli – a dark atmospheric adventure coming soon to Android and iOS.
Developed by DinoByte, a small London-based indie team, Midli should be hitting the market soon, as the company has achieved 129% funding on Kickstarter with their October 2017 campaign. Much of the game is self-funded as well, as this is DinoByte’s first stand-alone project and something they’re extremely excited about, pouring their hearts and souls into the game.
The story revolves around a rather mysterious girl called Heli, who travels around the world of Midli, meeting ghosts and helping them leave this plane of existence. The gameplay is influenced by retro arcade classics like Breakout and Arkanoid, with some original additions in the shape of atmospheric modifiers to the action – rainfall, darkness, time travel and more. In each level, Heli transforms into a shiny sphere, which then bounces off the cloud that you control at the bottom of the screen. It’s up to you to collect the light or the dark fragments of the ghost’s souls and help them move on, either by forgetting them or forgiving them. Be careful what you choose, as each choice influences the story of every spirit, as well as Heli’s eventual ending. Multiple endings are announced, so you’ll want to replay the game at least once, if not a couple of times, to see how each choice pans out.
Another feature in Midli will be the so-called Forgotten Shadows, various inhabitants of the spirit world like spiders, pliers and “tough guys” – eerie and quietly menacing, which impact the action in subtle ways. The highest level of Kickstarter backers, those that pledge £500, will have a chance to work together with the team and design their own unique Forgotten Shadow, featured inside the game for everyone to interact with. There will be 45 levels set in 5 distinct planes, which will be driven by the various characters or, rather, their spirits. Each of them will have their unique backstory, as well as a world of their own, with its own aesthetics, but also mechanics, influencing the gameplay itself. Some of these characters which you’ll have a chance to meet in Midli are:
-Yuri Park, a young 20-something girl, who is struggling with uncertainties about her future.
-Erik Haraldsson, husband and father, incapable of expressing emotion and affection.
-Josephine Lewis, a mater familias, with regrets about the dream life she missed.
-Nicolas Santiago, a remorseful troublemaker, afraid that others will see him as dark as he sees himself.
These characters sound intriguing and flavorful, so I’m hoping the integration of the story elements will fit nicely with the overall theme, even though I can’t fully grasp how a game based on Breakout mechanics will play out in terms of narrative. Still, Midli promises to bring a surreal atmosphere, dark but relaxing, with a host of soothing sound effects and musical background promising to lull you into a nice dreamy state. Louise Leolin, co-founder of DinoByte, says her personal experience with anxiety has driven her to a heightened appreciation of calming sound effects such as the rattling of rain and the chiming of wind, which is why she and the team decided to incorporate a plethora of such sound bites in Midli.
Award-winning and College Emmy-nominated composer Robert Mai was in charge of creating the full original soundtrack, which is also made available at a discount for backers of Midli on Kickstarter. If you pledge £5 above your reward-tier, you’ll get the entire digital soundtrack at this discounted price of £5. Sounds promising!
So, there you have it, another Kickstarted indie game to look forward to. Midli sets out to be a dark and touching arcade game, but not in a scary way – rather a laid back and relaxed visual and audio treat with an air of seriousness and otherworldliness. Make sure to grab it when it comes out, to experience the world of spirits that can’t let go – you will be the tailor of their fate once you collect their light or dark particles and decide whether you want to forgive them or forget them.