Belgian Game Spotlight - Arisen
Welcome to a new Belgian Game Spotlight! Last month, we seasoned our monthly spotlight with the adventure game Ary and the Secret of Seasons but this time we're shuffling into a card-based narrative experience.
ARISEN is made by a small, yet inspired team; Maratus Games. It's a story-driven game in which you express yourself with your emotions, embodied by cards. Your choices will impact the world around you while you unlock new cards.
Before reading on, we advise to check the gameplay trailer to get a better idea of the story & themes at play:
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You start the game as a slave and as the story progresses you will gradually gain power until you've earned your freedom back. What will you do when you are free? Shall you help the others or shall you take advantage of your position?
Your choice-making begins as soon as the game starts: do you consider yourself male, female or non-binary? Interestingly, this pronoun choice happens after you pick your body-type. It's clear from the onset that this game is made with inclusion in mind, it's your story and the developers want you to experience it in such a way that you'll truly be able to connect to the main character.
Similarly, you'll be able to make choices based on your sexuality. There are various love interests to interact with and it's up to you to decide if they'll become your friend, lover or mortal enemy. They each have their own preference: straight, gay or bisexual.
It's rare to find a game that embraces the LGBTQ community as much as this one and it's a brave effort that should be applauded. Representation in the videogames industry is a real issue, but this is not the article to delve any deeper into it.
What about the gameplay? As stated earlier, it's a narrative game and while similar games may ask you to pick one of multiple dialog options when presented with a branching path, Arisen does so via Cards.
As the game progresses, you'll unlock more and more cards to reply with, each representing an emotion, like sadness or anger. Depending on the card you pick in a certain situation, the story will take a different route and you'll have to live with the outcome.
If this small taste of the game has given you an appetite for more, make sure to support the developers. At the time of writing, ARISEN has an active Kickstarter Campaign and they're over 50% funded, but they need your help to reach their goal.
Want to keep up-to-date on the game and the studio? Here are a few places you can follow them:
We hope you've enjoyed this feature article and if you're a Belgian game developer yourself, don't be afraid to reach out and maybe we'll spotlight your game next month!