Swedish indie outfit Villa Gorilla has announced its first game, Yoku's Island Express, an open world pinball adventure that's coming to PC and consoles next winter.
The game puts a dung beetle (that's a video game first as far as we know) called Yoku in the main role as he needs to rebuild the post-office of Mokumana Island. The gameplay is exploration heavy with a touch of metroidvania, and the monicker open world pinball adventure, pretty much says it all. A slower more deliberate take on the 2D pinball levels of Sonic the Hedgehog, perhaps. The hand-made visuals are said to be partly Studio Ghibli-inspired and impress.
Villa Gorilla was set up by industry veterans Jens Andersson and Mattias Snygg, who once worked together at Starbreeze on games like The Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness. More recently, Andersson worked applications like Colors! 3D (released on 3DS) with his company Collecting Smiles, while also doing contract work on games like Wolfenstein: The New Order and Angry Bird Go! Create. For his part Snygg spent most of the time after leaving Starbreeze, where he served as narrative director on Syndicate, as a freelancer, contributing art to Helldivers among other things.
Villa Gorilla has been active since 2013, and consists of four people today, as its founders are looking for an agile development environment to explore ideas outside of what's possible in AAA development.
Yoku's Island Express is slated for release in the winter of 2017/2018.