The Collage Atlas, from John Evelyn, is a first-person adventure which takes you on a journey through a hand-drawn, poetic world.
An intricately drawn world of dreams, The Collage Atlas uses poetry and art to explore deep themes like memory and hope. As you walk through the mostly black-and-white dreamscapes, the world folds out and forms around you — as though you are are exploring a pop-up book. Grass and shoots burst from the ground, dancing before disappearing; trees and gateways peel out from nothing.
I played through a demo build of the title whilst at EGX back in 2018 and was taken aback by the impressive visual style. However, the way in which The Collage Atlas plays with perception is also compelling. Where the art assets are 2D but then projected into a three-dimensional world, there is a puzzle element to it all. At points, words and characters appear in the environments and you can manoeuvre to see the whole message — perhaps this, alongside the dancing objects, is one of the most interesting ways to convey the theme of memory that runs throughout the game.
The Collage Atlas has been in development since 2016 and, with a planned release in 2019, is approaching a complete state. It is definitely a game to watch if you enjoy touching, steady-paced experiences — especially those with beautiful art and audio. As a one-man effort, The Collage Atlas is immense.
When The Collage Atlas releases next year, it is planned to do so on PC, Xbox One and PS4. If you’re interested in finding out more about the game, you can follow the developer on Twitter @johnevelyn or sign up for the newsletter.