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Devolver Digital To Publish This Unconventional Adventure

The indie game, Dropsy, developed by Jay Tholen, has been picked up by publisher Devolver Digital. Dropsy’s Kickstarter campaign has been tremendously successful, collecting over $20,000 in donations – enough to reach its first stretch goal.

Those who suffer from coulrophobia, fear of clowns, are probably unnerved by the image above. Relax. That clown is Dropsy, an innocent, but misunderstood soul who harbors only the best intentions. He first appeared in a “choose your own adventure” game, now archived on Tholen’s website. 

This upcoming incarnation of Dropsy is an open-world adventure, in which players control the titular character on a quest to restore his good reputation after a deadly fire at the family circus. This world hosts a variety of geographically-based puzzles, eccentric NPCs, and useful items, which Dropsy stores in his elastic waistband.

Dropsy is an intriguing experience in many ways. The game is nearly devoid of text, and characters communicate with Dropsy using visual symbols rather than dialogue trees. The Kickstarter also notes that, while Dropsy’s speech sounds like gibberish to other humans, animals can understand him just fine.

Although its dialogue system is simple, the game’s story seems surprisingly deep. As they roam the world, players may uncover additional details and clues about Dropsy’s past. If players want to delve even deeper, an optional mechanic lets them explore the Dream World while Dropsy sleeps. Trips to the Dream World are five minutes long, and the bizarre settings can reveal further information about Dropsy’s past or even hints relating to events in the game’s overworld.

Dropsy's Kickstarter funding period is almost over, with four days left to snag the remaining backer rewards. These include signed concept art, and having an NPC of your own design in the game.

Dropsy is planned for PC, Mac, and Linux in October 2014. Check out the teaser trailer, and some screenshots, below.

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  • That actually looks really good. I might get this when it comes out.

  • I swear this game will pull a Spec Ops the Line. Watch the last twist be that everything you were doing was just killing people, and this is what your brain processed it as. Think Pyroland. After all... This is the Hotline Miami guys...
  • Bet it sure won't tame MY fear of clowns. . .

  • Sounds neat. The theme of uncovering someone's past in games is becoming much more popular it seems. I don't think I have that phobia, though. The only clown I'm afraid of is the one that likes to beat a certain billionaire's adopted children with his crowbar.

  • I will never. EVER. EVER. Overcome my fear of clowns.

  • I don't get the art style. I have no particular dislike for clowns but I might develop one from this game.

  • Staff

    Yup. I want to play this.

  • Clowns suck man...especially that clown from stephen king's IT. That dude is creepy as hell!

  • Saw this on Indiestatik awhile ago, and I must say, if you are freaked out by the screens, than whatever you do, DO NOT VIEW THIS GAME IN MOTION. Just the gif accompanying their article:


    was freaky as heck. I sure do not see the appeal here, even though it's supposed to be a really happy, good-natured game. I say you're messed up if you ever wanted to make a happy, colorful game that looked like this. You're just a contrarian weirdo. But whatever, this'll be easy to ignore. I'm not surprised the Hotline Miami publisher picked this up then, as it seems just as weird. Doesn't seem anywhere near as engaging though.

  • Never understood the fear of clowns. Sure the makeup is a little off-putting, and their costumes are generally tacky and outdated, but they're pretty clearly just human beings who try to entertain as a career. Give 'em some slack.

  • It'd be cool if he suffered a traumatic event in the end and became a serial killer.....

  • ...looking at these screenshots has only reinforced my dislike of clowns. I'm pretty sure I've seen him in at least two of my nightmares.
  • For some odd reason, this game sounds pretty neat.

  • This clown reminds me of John Wayne Gacy.