The console and PC port of Little Orpheus, a side-scrolling adventure game on mobile, has been delayed indefinitely “in light of recent world events,” publisher Secret Mode announced on Tuesday. The game was originally scheduled to launch today.
The “recent world events” in question are almost undoubtedly the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and warfare across Ukraine. Little Orpheus is an adventure game set in 1962 which follows a Soviet cosmonaut who explores the center of the earth, all while narrated by a stereotypical Russian general interrogating the cosmonaut. A key plot point in Little Orpheus concerns the disappearance of an atomic bomb powering the cosmonaut’s ship.
“While Little Orpheus was originally released on Apple Arcade in June 2020 and does not directly reference recent world events, we recognize some of the game’s themes and content may be upsetting to players at this time,” Secret Mode said in a blog post, adding that it will share more information at a later date.
The tone of Little Orpheus could easily be described as tongue-in-cheek, riffing on the propagandistic language of the Cold War era, but the inevitable comparisons to real-world Russia come at a time of great social unease, particularly when it concerns the potential outbreak of war in eastern Europe.
As of March 1, nearly 680,000 Ukrainians have fled the country towards Poland and other neighboring countries, according to Al Jazeera. Ukraine’s health ministry has also stated that 352 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion. It also said that 1,684 people have been wounded.
Little Orpheus was developed by The Chinese Room, the same studio behind “walking sim” classics as Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, as well as Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.
A number of Ukrainian game developers, as well as members of the wider games industry, have spoken up calling for support to Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion. Over in the entertainment world, major studios have begun pulling the theatrical releases of movies in Russia, including The Batman, Morbius, and others including Disney.
IGN gave Little Orpheus’ mobile version an 8 out of 10 in our review, saying its “excellent story and charming underground world makes up for the simplicity of its side-scrolling platformer gameplay to create one of the best games on Apple Arcade.”
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.
Source: IGN Video Games All