The creepy asylum setting is a cliche used in all forms of media far too often, but one indie games studio is trying something new with the location. Rather than set their psychological thriller The Town of Light
in an asylum to bombard players with monsters, supernatural entities, or other such horrors, the team at LKA.it have taken a well researched
and mature approach to examining mental illness and how it was treated (and mistreated) decades ago.
The game has been chosen as an ID@Xbox title and will see a digital release sometime in 2016 on Xbox One after originally seeking a PC launch exclusively. Narrative-heavy with a focus on exploration, the game takes place in a real life Italian asylum that was closed in the 1970's. Players take the role of Renée, as she explores the asylum she once resided in as a teen during the 1940's to discover the secrets of her own dark and troubled past.
We decided to treat the topic of mental illness in the most sensitive way possible, without hiding which kind of therapies used to be applied to patients when the science was young and hospitals were heavily understaffed. There are good and bad characters you will encounter, as well as good and bad memories you will face.
You can read an extensive fictional diary of Renée's on the game's website. The Town of Light
hits Steam in ten days, but Xbox One gamers will have to wait til later in the year to venture into the asylum.