I can certainly appreciate the old-school aesthetic of Prisonscape, the 2D adventure roleplaying game being developed by Heaviest Matter.
Prisonscape is set in a (wait for it) prison. Other than that, we know very little, but there are some things we can surmise from the trailer, featured above, and the screenshots below (click a thumbnail to enlarge).
As you can see from the trailer, the game’s actually quite gruesome. It also seems to have a heady mix of comedy, horror, and sci-fi on offer.
Gameplay will involve stats and skills, as well as reputation meters for the various gangs in the prison. A job diary lists objectives for your character to accomplish, ranging from the farcical and convoluted (somehow get a fellow inmate’s daughter to win a beauty pageant on the outside) to the grim and simple (kill X). The XP system is rather sophisticated: points aren’t gained only through battles. Any time your character experiences more of the prison, for example by socializing or gaining new information, they earn some experience toward their next level.
Pre-ordering works a bit like a kickstarter here, in that there are tiers, and the higher ones offer kickbacks in addition to a copy of the game. For example, for $49 you can create a message that will appear in the game, for $159 you can design a job/mission/quest, and for $380 you’re allowed to create an inmate with his own background, personality, and even mini-quests. The prices for the highest tiers seem a little steep to me but if you’ve got the money and you’re interested, why not?
Prisonscape was initially planned for a December, 2014, release but is now coming in 2015.