Ukrainian studio STELLARIUM has announced Famine Way, a 2D adventurous game set during the Holodomor of 1932-1933.
This is a story about the realities of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933 through the eyes of little Olena and her stork companion, about two orphaned souls who set out to find Life and their lost loved ones. This is a story about a dead village in the Kharkiv region, where it seems that nothing should have been left alive after the criminal activities of the Soviet government.
The gameplay of Famine Way is based on the survival of both characters, the orphaned Olena and the wounded stork, as well as overcoming their journey: escaping from their native village in search of their loved ones. The game lacks traditional elements of communication, such as dialogues, descriptions, and fights, so the game world is explored through the environment and music.
The goal of the game is to survive 2 months – a month of winter and a month of spring, to move from tragic black and white sadness to brighter hope. During the journey, Olena has to look for resources for survival and interact with other characters during cutscenes.
The game Famine Way has an interesting drawing style. In some moments, these are children’s drawings similar to book illustrations, which allow you to see this gloomy world through the eyes of a child. The story is told through comic book-style cut-scenes: Olenka’s dreams, her notebook entries, and charcoal drawings.
Famine Way’s music is an integral part of the game’s atmosphere that compensates for the lack of text. The main source of the soundtrack is folklore – lullabies, ritual songs and other songs of the Kharkiv region. Olenka’s flute, a gift from her father, is one of the main elements of the soundscape and the game as a whole.
The release of the 2D adventurer Famine Way, the development of which began only in the summer of 2023, is scheduled for August 2024. In addition to this game, STELLARIUM is also working on the Great Hopes City project about Ukraine in the 1990s. Great Hopes City already has a Steam page and a demo version.
Well, we wish STELLARIUM Studio and the Famine Way game every success. The topic of the Holodomor is a very delicate and painful one, as almost every Ukrainian family has those who suffered from the genocide of 1932-33. We hope the developers realize the complexity and responsibility of this case and will be able to convey our truth to Western players.
Recently, Serhiy Galyonkin and I were just discussing the need to create games on Ukrainian topics and popularize our point of view on history.