Scarlet Deer Inn is a game with a unique art style: all of its 2D sprite characters have been sourced from real-world embroidery. Most of its previews so far have focused on the game’s sunny, bucolic overworld, but its latest trailer shows off a little bit more of the extensive catacombs featured in the game.
Up topside, Scarlet Deer Inn reminds me a lot of Pentiment with its side-scrolling exploration of a peaceful, sunny village, but this game invokes traditional handcrafts for its artstyle as opposed to illuminated manuscripts.
On top of the painterly backgrounds, every character in the game has had their animation frames embroidered by co-creator Eva Navratilova before getting scanned into the game, resulting in an artstyle that reminds me of classic Disney animation, but with every character having this rich, shifting texture from the needlework.
Below the town, protagonist Elise has to rely on a torch both to see where she’s going and to solve puzzles, and that underground world looks much more extensive than I’d initially assumed. I was particularly struck by a platforming set piece where Elise has to navigate razor sharp spikes both above and below—it looks like something out of Hollow Knight. I was also struck by a scene partway through the trailer where Elise encounters a cavernous vault lit by thousands of candles.
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