Silt is the first game from Bristol-based indie developer Spiral Circus. According to the Spiral Circus website, the company was founded in 2018 by Tom Mead and Dom Clarke with a goal to bring surreal art to life in games.
Described on its Steam page as “an exploration game set in a surreal oceanic void”, you play as a nameless diver with the ability to possess the fish around them. Using their abilities to solve environmental puzzles and further explore the mysteries of the ocean.
The trailer starts with schools of fish swimming before cutting to a deep-sea diver chained to the ocean floor. Using their powers of possession, the diver manipulates a piranha to bite through the chains to set themselves free.
The rest of the trailer shows the diver swimming their way through vast oceanscapes, flooded ruins, and massive sea creatures. All of which is rendered in a black and white hand-drawn art style that recalls Playdead’s classic Limbo.
While in pre-production for Silt, Spiral Circus were invited to attend non-profit Swedish games accelerator program Stugan. During their stay, Mead and Clarke were mentored by several industry veterans over 8 weeks, building several prototypes to better incorporate the pen & ink art style.
Two new team members also joined Silt’s development, Antonenko Anton on animation and Nick Dymond on sound. The team are also busy prototyping future projects in order to secure investment and publisher funding.
Silt is set to release sometime during 2022 on Steam and is available to wishlist now.