As described on its Steam page, “You awaken to find yourself trapped in a dark room – and your only guide: a cynical voice on the other end of a portable radio.”
The Tartarus Key involves moving through a mansion room by room, solving puzzles and rescuing other characters trapped inside, while being observed by an unknown entity behind a network of cameras.
As well as relying on atmospheric tension and puzzle-solving over combat and action, the game also has a distinct low-poly and pixelated texture aesthetic reminiscent of PS1 games.
The publisher describes the puzzles and challenges as “reminiscent of escape-the-room games in a variety of unsettling and bizarre scenarios”.
The Tartarus Key will also have three different endings, while the deadly traps in the mansion means that it’s possible for other captives to fall to a grisly fate depending on the player’s actions.
The game is being developed by Vertical Reach, a studio based in Portugal founded by Leonor Parra, who is also credited as the artist of The Tartarus Key atmospheric visuals. She is described as hating jump scares, and has vowed to make a game “that’s downright spooky without them”.
There is currently no release date for The Tartarus Key, but the game can be wishlisted on Steam.
Elsewhere, Konami and Bloober Team have announced a new strategic partnership. The agreement has prompted speculation that the Polish studio will be leading on a new Silent Hill game, given its library of horror games, including The Medium.