Amanita Design, the studio behind the wonderful likes of Machinarium, Samorost, Botanicula, and Chuchel, has surprise-released Pilgrims, a brand-new offbeat adventure that's out now on Apple Arcade and PC.
Pilgrims, which begins with a priest losing his soul to a demon in a card game, plays out something like a point-and-click adventure distilled to its essence. It's a game of numerous bite-sized, single-scene story vignettes, each accessible via a lavish overworld map, and each usually involving an encounter with a quirky character in need of assistance.
By prodding each scene, you're able to add new characters and objects to your inventory - appearing as playing cards at the bottom of the screen - and these, in turn, can be dragged back out of the deck at new locations and deployed as required. The goal, then, is to experiment with card combinations, find a way to appease each character, and move on.
It's all delivered with Amanita's typically flawless presentation - in this case, all thicks lines and earthy tones - and with a wonderfully offbeat sense of humour that's heightened by the endearing animation and gorgeously silly sound design. What makes Pilgrims particularly appealing, though, is its emphasis on just messing around.
As the developer puts it on Pilgrims' Steam page, "Don't beat it - play with it!", and the joy comes as much from seeing the amusing, often unexpected, ways that an "incorrect" combination of items interacts, as it does from successfully solving a particular challenge. And that playful experimentation is encouraged still further through a large number of achievements, rewarding those more unorthodox problem-solving approaches.