Pocket Gamer
E3 2014: The Talos Principle is an upcoming philosophical puzzler for mobile from the Serious Sam dev
by Chris Priestman 11/6/2014
Product: The Talos Principle
Developer: Croteam
Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
Genre: Puzzle
During Sony's E3 2014 conference, Croteam and Devolver Digital announced the first-person philosophical puzzler The Talos Principle.

It was slated for PS4, which got us wondering whether or not it would be heading to Vita in the future.

I asked Devolver's Nigel Lowrie to find out if that would be the case. His answer is surprising: "The game should be coming to some mobile platforms but Vita is not planned at the moment."

The Talos Principle is still on our radar, then, but as a mobile game rather than a Vita title. We weren't expecting that.

The Talos Principle is built in the Serious Engine 4, in which Croteam's PC shooter threequel Serious Sam 3 was created. Croteam even uses and re-purposes assets from that game.

Croteam CEO Roman Ribaric describes The Talos Principle's gameplay as a mixture of Portal's and The Witness's. So, it features non-linear exploration and physics-based puzzles in places.

You play as a construct designed by an artificial intelligence tasked with solving over 120 puzzles. You encounter these puzzles across digital recreations of ruins from different eras, such as Rome and ancient Egypt.

The puzzles themselves involve your manipulating objects such as cubes and laser beams. You'll also be interacting with computer terminals and piecing together sliding puzzles.


You may be wondering where the philosophical element is in this game. Well, The Talos Principle is being written by Tom Jubert (FTL, The Swapper) and Jonas Kyratzes (The Infinite Ocean, The Sea Will Claim Everything).

Ribaric says that the game deals with "philosophical issues of transhumanity".

Kyratzes added to that when I spoke to him, though: "Transhumanity is certainly one of the game's themes, but so is good old regular humanity itself."

"What does it mean to be human? How do we define intelligence? How do we deal with death? What is our relationship with technology? What is the good life? And why the hell do we like solving puzzles so much?"

The Talos Principle

Kyratzes also expanded on the meaning and purpose of the game's title. "Talos" refers to the Greek mythological figure, a man made of bronze. And as Kyratzes says, he's "essentially a robot".

"We use him to discuss the inescapable materiality of life: that no matter what we choose to believe about the world, the body is entirely bound to the rules of physical reality."

"Like Talos, if you lose your blood, you die, and the fact that you exist within this machine of meat and bones is something every human eventually has to face."

It's the hope of Kyratzes, and presumably the rest of the team, that you'll explore the game's themes and stories in the same way you'll explore its puzzles.

We don't know when The Talos Principle will be available on mobile, but you'll know as soon as we do. Well, just after.
More news >
Pocket Gamer homepage >
©2014 Steel Media Limited

Get even more pocket gaming goodness online at www.pocketgamer.co.uk