Hypnospace Outlaw is getting a sequel. Well, a spiritual sequel called Dreamsettler. But it’s almost exactly the same thing: a detective game set in an old version of the internet, which you’ll trawl to uncover a mystery.
And there’s more: another new game called Slayer X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengeance of the Slayer. It’s more of an accompaniment or spin-off, and it’s fictitiously made by Hypnospace Outlaw character Zane! Though developer Tendershoot and publisher No More Robots are so committed to this fiction they’ll even apparently roleplay as Zane when answering questions on Steam forums and so on.
The Slayer X game is like retro Doom, or Duke Nukem 3D – a game in that vein. It’s pixelated and filled with trashy gore and ridiculous weaponry. And if you know the story of Hypnospace Outlaw, you’ll know Zane is out for revenge. He apparently found an old CD-ROM with the game on and decided to brush it up for a noughties audience.
A noughties audience?!
Well, that’s when Dreamsettler is set, so that’s the timeframe we’re now thematically in. Hypnospace Outlaw was set in the 90s, remember, a time of garishly tiled and animated internet pages, which was how you viewed the game, and it ended as we breached Y2K, the millennium ‘moment’ – an integral part of the story.
Now we’re in the noughties, then, the game’s operating system user interface will be a bit more modern, a bit more sleek (and you can see it in the trailer), and looks to me to offer more interactivity than Hypnospace Outlaw. The time period also means we’ll step into early social media in Dreamsettler and play around with sharing video for the first time.
You know what that means: ridiculous videos to watch! As well as more brilliant music and endless pages of period-appropriate parody to enjoy as we surf around uncovering a deeper, darker mystery underneath.
I can’t wait. And apparently I won’t have long to wait, as developer Tendershoot and publisher No More Robots plan to release both games this year. Slayer X is apparently due “extremely soon”, according to No More Robots boss Mike Rose. And both games are looking at releases on PC and Switch and Xbox, with PlayStation not yet confirmed.
Hypnospace Outlaw came out in spring 2019 and I reviewed it. It was often hilarious, consistently beautiful in its period-appropriate ugliness, and though it was occasionally tough and tedious, there’s still nothing else out there like it.