Polybius, the ‘haunted arcade game’ of urban legend is being brought to life as a PlayStation VR exclusive. What a strange and wonderful time we live in.
Some background for those of you who may have never heard of the stories: Polybius is (or was) a fictional arcade game that – according to legend – caused all manner of strange effects, such as seizures and amnesia.
It’s all rot, of course, but that didn’t stop the legend from growing over the years to the point that you’re likely to meet someone at some point who reckons they’ve played it.
Of course, now we have our chance to play it for real. Space Giraffe developer and Llamasoft founder Jeff Minte confirmed on the PlayStation Blog that his take on Polybius will have a ludic psychedelia feel to it.
In the same post, he also claims to have played the original Polybius himself in a ‘dingy looking warehouse’, suffering from amnesia and anxiety afterwards. Kay then.
I’ve been dabbling in ludic psychedelia for a while now, and maybe the time and the medium was right now for me to attempt a game to at least in part replicate the effects, if not the exact gameplay, of that old legend. Leaving out all the bad stuff, of course. We began building a framework within which to create such a thing. To accurately convey the sensation of speed-rush that so strongly permeated the original game it was necessary to build an engine that could deliver everything we needed at 120 FPS without possibility of frame drops, and at a very high internal resolution.
Why not check out the trippy first trailer below? But be warned – it’s a bit much on the old eyes.
There’s no release date for Polybius just yet, but expect it to land sometime in 2017. Hopefully we get a review of it done – provided that pesky amnesia doesn’t strike.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.