Semblance: Beautifully Crafted South African Video Game

Semblance: Beautifully Crafted South African Video Game

Semblance is a puzzle platformer where your character and the world it inhabits is made of playdough. Squish, squash and deform your character and the world to solve puzzles in this soft, bouncy world. The world of our character, Squish, is usually entirely soft – but an infection and infestation of hard material has started to spread, feeding off the playdough world to survive. A guardian of the world gives it’s own life to give life to a very piece of the world – creating Squish. Squish must collect the very essences of their world to bring the soft world back to life.

Semblance started as a final year university project at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2015 between two duo gamers we featured and their studioNyamakop. After a suggestion by an experienced AAA game developer, we decided to make the game into a full release. We’ve been working on the game ever since – exploring first the consequences of a deformable character, and more recently, a mouldable world.

Nyamakop is a portmanteu word of truly African proportions. ‘Nyama’ means ‘meat’ in Kiswahili and ‘kop’ means ‘head’ in Afrikaans. Together, it means: ‘meathead’. We like to say we think with our hearts – which is where the meat comes into it. Heads are where your brains are, by the way.

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