Tatarus is a first-person sci-fi survival game with an unlikely hero: Cooper, a part-time cook on a mining ship in space. It’s from the Istanbul-based indie studio Abyss Gameworks, and it will be out on November 21 for PC.
Something has gone awry aboard the Tartarus, and you and systems engineer Andrews are the only ones left to fix it. Unfortunately, Andrews is trapped in a remote part of the ship, which is hurtling toward Neptune. To avert certain death, you must repair pipes and infrastructure as well as get systems back online by trading in your skillet for computer terminals.
Abyss marketing and PR manager Hüsamettin Yüzer says that the team was inspired by cult sci-fi movies and retro-futuristic aesthetic. It chose the name “Tartarus” because of the various symbolism attached to it.
“It’s an ancient Greek name that has several meanings,” said Yüzer in an email to GamesBeat. “Prison of gods, a place in underworld, and the last one is hell. Tartarus is a mining ship that touches the meaning ‘underworld,’ prison of gods touches the age of the ship, and the hell is [the] ship’s broken systems. All that meanings fits perfectly to game.”
Many of the puzzles will involve hacking, which Yüzer says they’ve designed to be easily accessible to folks who are unfamiliar with programming. It might look complicated at first, but Abyss has built in hints and tips into the interface and Andrews also helps remotely over voice communication.
“We said no programming or any previous programming experience required,” said Yüzer. “We designed our own language in terminals that everybody can understand with a little trial and error. And solve the puzzles with a little logic. You just have to understand the manual of terminals system which is integrated into them.”
Yüzer says that though it’s a life-or-death situation for Cooper, Tartarus also has humor. The two characters often bicker and banter with each other, as Andrews tries to get him to calm down and also walk him through the steps to fix the ship.
“Our main character and the system engineer spatting each other,” said Yüzer. “They know each other’s secrets. That creates the humor.”