Guide that sweet little horned girl. Protect her.
Introducing Hotaru no Nikki (ホタルノニッキ Firefly Diary), a new puzzle adventure game from Nippon Ichi software. In the game, you take the role of a magical firefly with the objective to lead a little horned girl, Mion, out of a dark ruin filled with traps and shadow monsters. I'm probably not the only person who thinks about Ico upon hearing that description.
Check out the very atmospheric trailer below, narrated by voice actress Maya Sakamoto and subtitled by lowly Kotaku writer, Toshi Nakamura. (The original un-subtitled version can be seen here)
For a better idea of how the game handles, check out the game's homepage for a very simple demo. It's quite adorable.
Nippon Ichi Software is going for that sort of "macabre innocence" vibe like Limbo or rain. The whole thing would probably feel tired and conceited if it weren't so damn affecting. I look at that little girl and I feel the instinctive tug to want to keep her out of harm's way.
The game is labeled as a "light and shadow action" game and is rated "17 and above" so if you're not careful in your guidance, some pretty terrible shit is probably going to happen to Mion.
[Update] Nippon Ichi Software has just released a second trailer for the game that shows more gameplay and reveals a shadow world game mechanic that you can use to solve puzzles.
Hotaru no Nikki is scheduled for release for the PS Vita in Japan on June 19th. No word on an international release, but the limited dialogue shouldn't make localization too difficult – plus, Nippon Ichi has a fairly good track record for localization.
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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.