PREVIEW: Conarium

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

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oprainfall | Conarium

Conarium is a Lovecraftian horror game set in the Upuaut Antarctic Base. You will explore from a first-person perspective as you try to unravel the mystery of what exactly is going on. A strange device pulsates and glows, but you know nothing about it for now. The only thing that is certain is that something is not right in this place.

You are Frank Gilman, one of four scientists working at the Upuaut Antarctic Base. As the game begins, you wake up in a small room with a strange device. Its light creates a dancing pattern on the walls of the room. You can’t remember anything about the mysterious device or what happened before you were unconscious. The place seems deserted and you feel like something is terribly wrong.

Conarium | Main Menu

As you begin your adventure, you don’t know anything really. You just have to look around and investigate the environment. You can interact with certain objects, such as doors or books on desks (which can sometimes be read). Any object you can pick up will allow you to rotate it and look at it from all sides. Other things may only give you a textual description or hint about them. For example, you may investigate a strange machine and it might say that there is something missing.

Conarium | The mysterious device.

Some of the items you find are useful tools, like the flashlight, or the glove that is on your left hand when you wake up. You can switch between them in your inventory. Not all items you find will appear in here, though. Some are just automatically used when you interact with the correct place in the game world.

Conarium | Inventory

The world of Conarium is a very atmospheric place. As you explore it, you are immersed in the heavily detailed environments around you. They are also filled with some very moody and atmospheric music that creates a sense of tension. The sound effects add a lot as well. You will hear random noises around you, adding more tension. These ambient sounds include things like the unexplained creak of a door, the hum of the mysterious device when you’re near it, and many others. The sound effects, along with the music, really help to bring the world to life and build the game’s immersion around you.

The game also features some unnerving graphical effects, as you can see below with the strange distortions and such. It’s much more impressive in motion while playing the game than in this still image, though.

Conarium | Beautiful environments

The game also has some hidden trophy items for you to find as you progress. These trophy items are not marked in any special way in-game. You just have to explore the world and find them. The ones you’ve found can be viewed on the trophies screen. In addition, the game has a bunch of Steam achievements you can seek out. Conarium also includes multiple endings for players to discover.

Conarium | Trophies

The Conarium preview version was pretty limited, with only about an hour of gameplay. Even so, you really get drawn in and want to explore the world and find out what is going on. The game has just launched on Steam. At the time of writing, the price is not listed yet. This preview was made using a preview copy generously provided to us by the developer/publisher. Conarium is an incredibly ambient experience that will no doubt spook you as you explore its beautiful yet sinister world.

About Michael Fontanini

Michael is a veteran gamer in my early 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES and SNES. He loves Nintendo but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks or bike rides, and loves animals.

Michael is also a computer programmer. This started with a toy he got as a kid called PreComputer 1000 that was made by V-Tech. It had a simple programming mode which is what started him down the road of being a programmer! Michael can program in BASIC, Visual Basic, C++, C#, and is familiar with Java and Lua Script.

Putting programming and gaming together, Michael became a hobbyist game developer which may give him some good insights on game development! Most recently, he has been playing with the free version of the Unity engine (a powerful and easy-to-use game engine).

I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.