When you hurt yourself the pain lingers, you age, things freeze up, bits don’t work like they used to; things start falling off or falling out. Who’d want to be mortal? Well, at least one angel has a serious case of FOMO, and Incarnation is all about the tricky journey from immortal being to squishy, mortal Earth dweller.
It turns out that there are actually quite a few things standing in the way of you shirking your angelic duties: Winged symbols, bulls, wolves, angry men with bows and even headless, halo-adorned, naked beings, But that journey is one that will be worth it because your character in Incarnation seems to want nothing more than the chance to finally be free of their wings and immortality.
It’s a tough journey, through the clouds and heavens to the forests and surface of the planet. Every time you complete a level you become weaker, originally surrounding your inability to be hurt, before finally surrendering the curse of immortality. That subversive quest, to grow so weak that you can’t start all over again is almost the exact opposite of what we normally see in roguelites, and while it might take on the spirit of a descending platformer, there are a lot of other features beyond those mentioned that make it stand out. You start with a silent dash ability which, once you master it, feels like a gaping hole in your skillset; you can say the same for your ability to regenerate or to kill enemies by simply mousing over them.
Incarnation does all that but also manages to balance the increasing difficulty that is normally present in games, alongside stripping you of your ability. There’s clearly been a lot of care put into how it all plays out, fewer, weaker enemies as the game goes on, but not enough that they can overwhelm you depending on how you play out your ability loss.
Currently, Incarnation is at version 0.12, which can be played for free over on its itch.io page.