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Genre: Puzzle
Platforms: PC, Mac
Players: Single-player
12 берез. 2016 о 11:30
28 лип. 2016 о 10:08
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Live at GDC!
Metareal at GDC
Metareal at Game Developer's Conference 2016

We're honored (and excited) to be part of Indie Megabooth's showcase at GDC this year! If you're attending, please visit the Indie Megabooth Showcase and give it a try.


Дата виходу: Mid 2017
Metareal is an abstract open world puzzler, with an emphasis on patterns and lateral logic.


Thanks for looking. After showing folks this game, we do get questions! Here’s some of them.

Q: Is this a remake?

A: It’s a very long-term remake, of the 1984 game “Ankh”, translated into the future here in 2016…

Q: I don’t get it, looks like you click buttons and move around?

A: It’s a tricky thing to convey quickly. The individual actions are mostly simple. You can also carry items around the World. It is In the aggregate, as you experience the interconnectedness of the various rooms and spaces, that the broader picture emerges. Hence the original’s “cult” status.

Q: I’ve never heard of Ankh. I wasn’t even born in 1984!

A: That’s ok, most people haven’t, and a lot of people weren’t. :-)

Q: Ok, but still, that was a while back…

A: I get about one or two emails or Facebook messages a month saying, “Hey, did you make that game Ankh…? It really affected me.” Everything is different now; it won’t be “The Only Game Of Its Kind!” But perhaps there is something of value still to be shared.

Q: It looks a bit spartan. Moody and vivid, but plain.

A: Yup! That’s by design. And in part because in the trailer we don’t show everything. And in part because cheesy particle effects will be added last. (Joking! The effects will be perfectly tasteful and on-message.)

Q: What’s the play time? How much will it cost?

A: It looks like the play time will be about 6 hours to solve (though it’s an open-world puzzle and players vary widely in ability and inclination) and perhaps 30 minutes to speed-run. Price to be determined, but I’ll do right by you.

Q: Why so early on the Greenlight campaign?

A: To engage early with the sorts of people who like these sorts of games. It’s not for everyone!

Metareal is an abstract first person open world puzzler. It is closely reinterpreted from an Apple II game of a similar name.

As you move through the many rooms of a harshly barren, mechanistic, minimalistic, mysterious, logical, patterned space unfettered by gravity or orientation, you manipulate objects. You can touch them and move them and perhaps there will be an observable effect. The logic is lateral, sometimes indirect... and yet somehow knowable.

How does it work? What is this space? What's behind the next door? Is there something you missed before?

What is the metareal world?

1984: Ankh

In 1984 the author created Ankh or 64 Rooms: An Adventure In The Metareal World. The publisher folded shortly after, and the game's primary means of distribution was among batches of pirated games shared via modem or 5.25" disks. Those who discovered it often felt they had stumbled upon something very, very secret and special.

2016: Metareal

In late 2014 the author began re-exploring the gaming landscape, and was inspired to bring Metareal up into the present. Throughout 2015 he experimented with various graphical forms and design interpretations to promote the original Metareal World from Flatland into Spaceland. At the same time, with the benefit of hindsight, collected external impressions, and acquired wisdom, he finally understood what the original game was actually about.

Games Like Metareal

Some wonderful games that I've found which are similar in various ways to Metareal include: Fract OSC, Kairo, Activate the Three Artefacts and then Leave, 140, Antichamber.


The most direct influence to Metareal is of course 1984's Ankh. But before that? Martin Gardner, Douglas Hofstadter, Rudy Rucker. Edwin Abbott Abbott. Devo. Kraftwerk. Tempest.

Development Stage

Quite early. The basic look and feel is in place. There are a handful of puzzle-object types implemented as you can see in the video, such as trigger keys, doors, and pushing-sequence physics. There is no “story” but there is most definitely a beginning, middle, and end that I think you’ll appreciate. But there are many rooms and spaces within the Metareal World which are yet empty, laden with potential for interaction, logic, confusion, and delight. (Which is to say, lots of level design work is in the pipe.)

Do You Want To Know More?

Follow developments via twitter, @metarealworld.

Fan Mail for Ankh

Periodically I get email from people who remember Ankh and tracked me down, and this has been a strong part of the motivation to create this modernized Metareal. Everything's different now, of course, but it is worth the attempt.

Цитата допису fan mail:
Ankh is something special. It isn't shallow like most games. Perhaps it came with printed directions, but 15-year-olds (like me) sharing disks over modems wouldn't know. To me, this thing started up with no instructions. It looked like a game of some kind, but the goal was unclear. One quickly learned to do things and go to new rooms, so progress was being made, but was one doing the right things? Continuing to make progress became increasingly difficult, but it was never to the point of being frustrating. My friend and I soon realized that Ankh consisted of many independent automatons. Playing Ankh was similar to programming: by piecing together simple independent things, one could create a chain of events that would lead to a desired result. The next time one played, one might think up a more efficient way to achieve the same result. It was a wonderful puzzle world, richly layered, eloquently executed.
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Коментарів: 27
konstant 21 серп. 2021 о 8:40 
What happened to this game?!?!??!?!?!?!?!
Hamakei 14 груд. 2018 о 14:15 
Looks like it was never released. Over 2 years since the last comment from the dev :(
sztuczna cipa kfc 14 груд. 2018 о 13:09 
How can you play this today?
kevin 30 січ. 2018 о 7:35 
I loved ANKH / 64 rooms - adventure in a metareal world. I had a bootleg version that I came to know every inch of. Later I found an official copy that had a few more puzzles, but still love that first work in progress version I had played for decades. :) :steamhappy:Hit me up if you need a beta tester, exciting stuff.
o o0 oo0oo 0o o 20 берез. 2016 о 16:14 
I got a chance to play this at GDC and it was absolutely amazing. Hitting a good balance between brain-busting and never feeling unfair or frustraiting is amazingly hard, but this game does it better than almost any I've seen.
livingtech 19 берез. 2016 о 21:18 
I played this at GDC, and was blown away by it. Definitely the best game (for me) at the megabooth.

The puzzles are real brain burners, but I never felt stuck, and the environment is super fun to just mess around in, so maybe that helped when I was in the same room for the third time trying to get it right.

Without spoiling anything, the intro (basically the demo I played) does something with controls for a game that I've never seen before.

As a fan of first person puzzle games, as well as the minimalist (abstract) aesthetic, this is a HUGE yes from me, and I'll be following the development eagerly.
Astrayo 19 берез. 2016 о 19:54 
Looks interesting, like antichamber, gj :p2chell:
poly  [автор] 16 берез. 2016 о 22:14 
Thanks for the comment, @Hamekei, Linux on the To-do list for sure, and very doable.
Hamakei 16 берез. 2016 о 16:39 
I'd love to buy this game...but...no Linux support :(
glennds 15 берез. 2016 о 19:59 
I like teh music