TurnOn is the name of the upcoming title from the Russian independent team at Brainy Studio. As part of the ID@Xbox program and Steam Greenlight initiative, TurnOn is a unique project in that it is attempting to be both a form of entertainment and education simultaneously.
From what is known so far, the game revolves around an electrical blackout as it sweeps across a whole city, which ceases the daily nightlife of the local residents. Placing you in the role of an alien lifeform that just so happens to inhabit the form of an electrical current, the gameplay revolves around 2D platforming through the 3D environment by means of the cityâs electrical infrastructure. In simplest terms, the game appears to be a platformer without the platforms as you race through the city by means of telephone lines, neon signs, and pretty much anything else that relies on strong electrical currents to power it. All of this you will do as you move along with the rhythm of the gameâs original soundtrack -very much like a game which I reviewed last year that I throughly enjoyed, Expand.
The developers have stated that they intend the game to be one played by both adults and kids, which is initially apparent by the gameâs art direction that has a very simple, yet vibrant cartoon look to it. Too, the gameâs sound design seems to follow suite with the art direction and derive inspiration from more jovial, all-ages appropriate sources (i.e. spring sound effects whenever the playable electrical current character jumps from one power line to the next) that so defined many of our youthful Saturday mornings and after-school weekdays.
As teased earlier, Brainy Studio initially set out for their game to also be a source of environmental enlightenment as a response to the WWFâs annual, one-hour lights off movement known as Earth Hour. In case you have never heard of it before, Earth Hour is a global movement aimed at preserving energy for the future by means of turning off all their household light for one hour on the night of Saturday, March 19th.
I know it is not the sexiest thing for a game to proclaim inspiration from an environmentally-conscious movement, but the matter of the fact is ultimately how will the game play? And from the looks of what has been shown so far TurnOn comes off as a sincere attempt at fulfilling the difficult task of bridging that gap of applicable education and just having some plain old fun racking up points.
Keep your eyes peeled for when the game sees release on Xbox One and PC/Mac sometime this Spring.