Something a little different here with indie game Eastshade. The idea is to go around capturing the world on canvas, exploring a lush rural environment in the process. And all without needing to gun anyone down mercilessly whilst screaming, “DIE NOOBIE SCUM!!” Splendid.
You star as a travelling painter and must explore the magnificent island of Eastshade. The idea is very much on creative exploration here, as you go about meeting the local population and looking for the opportunity to draw stuff.
It’s not the first game to try out such artistic flair – Ōkami springs to mind. Yet even in the beauty of that classic, it’s a conflict heavy experience.
And in Eastshade, rather obviously, the focus is on relaxation and the beauty of the world around you. You meet folks, make friends, help them out, take pictures, and these morph into pretty paintings.
This is another indication video games don’t have to be about blowing stuff up in acts of juvenile violence. Eastshade is tempered with a serene and introspective quality.
It’s fun to just waltz around enjoying the scenery – some of the best gaming moments are in exploring and discovering sedate areas.
That’s all particularly enjoyable if, like us, you’re relentlessly in an urban environment. Its peaceful attributes make it a welcome and subdued experience – a digital trip from honking horns, concrete, and chavs gobbing at your feet.
Danny Weinbaum – a one-man indie dev studio – is behind the project. He founded Eastshade Studios to create the game (with a little help from freelancers). Here he is at work.
That’s not at all uncommon these days, as titles such as Downwell and Stardew Valley are the work of sole individuals. Which is pretty incredible that the technology has reached this point – a decade ago it just wasn’t possible.
It launched on Steam in mid-February and has since garnered strong reviews. Some have called it, “Skyrim meets Bob Ross.” It’s so relaxing you can actually sit and watch it in action and not give much of a damn you’re not playing it.
As such, we can highly recommend Eastshade if you’re a bit bored of the many, many games out there where your sole objective is to blow crap up in never-ending and mindless combat.
Video games are all about escapism, sure. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t relax a tad whilst playing them.
Eastshade is a perfect example of that. Belting.