A small group of Central European artists made a small, artistic game in pixel art about exploration. In Totem’s Sound, the player takes on the role of a Norwegian explorer who visits America to interact with the local tribe people.
Based on a real-life person, Johan Adrian Jacobsen, Totem’s Sound gives a chance to live a day in his life sometime between 1881 and 1883 when the expedition happened. The game has you come in contact with the tribes and engage in a few activities. Those involve canoe races, collecting clams, binge fish oil drinking, and of course, avoiding getting mauled by the local wild bears. Jacobsen purchased and cataloged certain artifacts from the tribe, sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation.
The game is based on the explorer’s personal accounts, and was made to be featured in the museum by the Humboldt Lab Dahlem, which contributes ethnological materials. Totem’s Sound is showcased in the Museum Dahlen from late September until February of next year.
It’s great to see video games used in this way as an artistic medium, and the developers graciously made the game publicly available for free. You can download Totem’s Sound here.