Developer Laura Shigihara has announced that Rakuen, a game about the fantastical adventures of a boy in a hospital, will be releasing next month.
What’s a boy living in a hospital to do with his time? Well, if it were me, I’d probably take a cue from Haruki Murakami novels and read Proust’s works. But that wouldn’t make for a very exciting video game, so instead, Laura Shigihara has made a much more entertaining-looking game involving fantastical worlds and a samurai helmet made of paper. It’s called Rakuen, and it’s releasing on May 10th.
Rakuen is a non-violent adventure, and it already touches the feels part of my head with its recently-revealed release date trailer. It’s got a nostalgic, 16-bit RPG look, and it’s got feel-good themes of building friendship. Over the course of the game, there are mysteries to solve, as the young boy explores the lives of other hospital patients, and uncovers the mystery behind the hospital itself. Here’s the fantastical plot, ripped from the Steam page:
One day, the Boy asks his Mom to escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook, so that he can ask the Guardian of the Forest to grant him one wish. In order to receive his wish, the Boy must complete a set of challenges that revolve around helping his neighbors in the hospital by interacting with their alter-egos in the fantasy world…
As the trailer below demonstrates, Rakuen also has an amazing score, composed and sung by Shigihara herself (who is perhaps better known as a composer than a game designer). You can check out the 52-track soundtrack at Bandcamp, and you should definitely listen to the track ‘Jump’. If you think her voice is familiar, you might have heard it in the soundtrack for the brilliant and very similar adventure To The Moon, for which she sang the song ‘Everything’s Alright‘.