Hello PlayStation Blog! I’m Corey Martin, designer, programmer and musician on Bonfire Peaks, a new puzzle game designed in partnership with Draknek & Friends (creators / publishers of A Monster’s Expedition). I’m excited to share that Bonfire Peaks launches September 30 on PS4 and PS5!
In Bonfire Peaks, you start off on the shore of a mysterious ruined island with a set of simple objectives: scale ruins, solve puzzles, and set your belongings on fire multiple times. Here’s our launch trailer to quickly recap:
Over 200 handcrafted puzzles are put together across this painstakingly designed overworld. Each puzzle presents a distinct idea, either showing you a new mechanism or using a mechanism in a new and unique way. Throughout your journey, you will encounter traps and other dangers that will lead to some surprising and emerging puzzle designs. You do not earn any bonuses, nor do you grow as a player character; instead, the level’s geometry and environments reveal possibilities that were there from the start.
Have you ever played a game and your progress was blocked by a single puzzle, and you feel like the puzzle is an obstacle between you and the rest of the game? I have it and it hurts. In Bonfire Peaks, the Island Overworld is structured in such a way that once you’ve overcome the first two puzzles, there’s always a handful available to you at any given time. If you get stuck on one puzzle, you can always try another and progress without going back to the first (unless you want to of course!).
I started working on Bonfire Peaks in November 2018 as part of a game jam whose theme was “You have to make sacrifices”. I walked into the jam knowing that I wanted to make a game about rock climbing somehow, and the theme then inspired me to carry an item to sacrifice it. Carrying stuff made the rock climb more difficult, which provided a kind of framework for what ended up being a skeptical play on nostalgia.
The art style was inspired by a wave of amazing voxel artists (Knos, MadMaraca, Paul Riehle, Dima, among many others) that I had followed for quite some time. Usually when you see voxel art in video games it’s low detailed and cute, which is great, but hopefully we can see a lot of “mature” cube-y games. There is such a wide range of moods and styles in pixel art, I think there is the same potential in voxel art.
Over the almost 3 years of Bonfire Peaks development, its reach and ambition grew organically on several occasions as I collaborated with game designer Alan Hazelden (A Monster’s Expedition) as well as brilliant voxel artists Mari K (aka MadMaraca) and Zach Soares (Moonglow Bay). I’m too close to it now, but I really think we’ve done something special here.
The PS5 version of Bonfire Peaks has an activity card for each puzzle level in the game. Attached to each is a clue video showing you how to solve the puzzle. With the help function of the game, PlayStation Plus subscribers can request specific help without worrying about spoiling future puzzles or mechanics. You can look at as much or as little of the solution as you want before you dive back in and complete it yourself. There is a lot of joy in finding solutions, so we hope you give each puzzle a good idea first, but we are by no means infamous and don’t think there is a right or wrong one. wrong way to enjoy the game. Game Help is a wonderful accessibility feature that we are proud to support.
Finally, we’re happy to announce that we’re also releasing a Bonfire Peaks game and Soundtrack Bundle on PlayStation on September 30, featuring the original soundtrack and the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game. The music is both warm. , pretty and unsettling, and I think that’s a huge part of what makes Bonfire Peaks special. It’s very directly inspired by some of my favorite composers like Philip Glass and Angelo Badalamenti, as well as great songwriters like Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. I really like the vibe it creates, and I hope you do too. Soundtrack, game, all that; Hope you are checking out Bonfire Peaks and enjoying your time with it.