Little Orpheus announced by The Chinese Room

The Chinese Room, developer of Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, has announced Little Orpheus. It was announced at Apple’s press conference this week and is coming to Apple Arcade.

An official Twitter account has some of the only details on what Little Orpheus is. The account’s bio box reads, “In 1962, NASA were trying to put a man on the moon. In a remote corner of Siberia, a Soviet cosmonaut was heading in the opposite direction…” The only Tweet on the account currently is a cryptic message sent via telegram.

The Chinese Room’s website describes Little Orpheus as “a pocket-epic in glorious technicolour” that is currently slated for Apple’s new subscription gaming service. Another tidbit of info is the location listed in the game’s Twitter account, Maly Semyachik.

Maly Semyachik is a volcano in the far east of Russia on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The volcano is one of many on the peninsula and reaches just over 5,100 feet. It last erupted in December 1952, and it appears that Little Orpheus will interest itself in the volcano.

The game’s name is itself a reference to the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus fell in love with and married, Eurydice. She died sometime later, and Orpheus sang his grief with his lyre. He moved the world with his sorrowful song and eventually traveled to Hades to see his wife. After meeting with Hades, he sang his sorrows and managed to convince Hades to let him take Eurydice out of the underworld. Hades’ only condition was that he was not to look at Eurydice until they left the underworld. Of course, Orpheus lost faith that Eurydice was with him, and he turned to see her before leaving the underworld. Hades whisked her back among the dead, trapping her forever.

Little Orpheus was leaked several years ago in 2017 because of a successful grant application. At the time the game was described as an isometric RPG, codenamed “Total Dark.” Sumo Digital bought the developer in August 2018.