Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being a part of the public domain has meant only one thing: creators, no matter how many curveballs they’ve had to clamber over, have always managed to find a way to get their hands on it and rinse it of all its lore and morals. And so, seeing the concept of none other than ol’ humbug himself enter the Metroidvania universe hasn’t surprised us all that much. But it’s a curious one, the so-called Ebenezer and the Invisible World, we’ll give it that.
So, what do we actually know about the upcoming joint venture with Orbit Studio and Play on Worlds, other than the fact it’ll look to transform Dickens’ portrayal of Victorian London into a full-fledged ghost-ridden Metroidvania? Well, here’s everything we’ve been able to collect on the subject since first hearing of its existence earlier this year. Ebenezer and the Invisible World: what is it, and how will it aim to compete with, for example, Castlevania?
What Is Ebenezer and the Invisible World?
We’ll go ahead and get straight to the point. What is Ebenezer and the Invisible World, and how will it look to put a spin on the beloved children’s tale? Well, going by the elevator pitch that was posted a little while back, the upcoming Metroidvania will transport you to Victorian London—a world in which higher social classes rule and those who struggle to survive pluck the bare bones of a morally bankrupt society. Not a whole lot is different from the source material as far as that goes. However, rather than trudge through the moral dilemmas as depicted in A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer and the Invisible World will instead cast you towards a different timeline—a phase in which Scrooge has already accepted the ghosts of his past, and has now adopted them under his wing to aid the people of London. And they say people can’t change.
In Orbit Studio’s own words: “Embark on a story-rich 2D Metroidvania adventure with breathtaking hand-drawn art, playing as miser-turned-hero Ebenezer Scrooge in a reimagined Victorian-fantasy based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Christmas Carol. Enlist the help of ghosts to save the people of London before it’s too late.” Exciting stuff.
Forget what you read in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; turns out, Ebenezer Scrooge has had a sudden change of heart, and instead of clutching onto the misfortune of others, is at long last searching for a way to aid the folks of London and put an end to its economically unbalanced crisis. With the aid of his former ghosts, Scrooge will set out to confront an industrialist named Caspar Malthus, a wealthy public figure who threatens to exploit the people of London for financial and political gain.
“Join Ebenezer Scrooge and a team of spectral allies as they battle to save London from the clutches of the wealthy industrialist, Caspar Malthus, and his militant Private Guard,” the blurb elaborates. “With each Ghost lending their unique abilities, explore the dark corners of London and uncover the sinister influence of the Dark Spirit and an army of Unrepentant Ghosts. Will you have the courage to confront Caspar and stop his malevolent plans before it is too late?”
It’s a traditional 2D Metroidvania at heart, so we can definitely expect to see our fair share of platforming, role-playing, and exploration. There’ll be plenty of combat, too, which will make use of Scrooge’s ghostly allies and their unique powers. Here’s what else we can expect, according to its features:
- Meet and unlock powerful Ghosts, each with their own stories and quests to complete, lending their powers to Ebenezer on this adventure.
- Explore Victorian-era London across multiple regions of the city and uncover the dark secrets of the Malthus family.
- Traverse the world in extraordinary ways with the help of Movement Ghosts, including trapeze artists Rose and Flossie Reed, mountaineer Victoria Peak, professor of time and space Haley Hall, and many others.
- Use each Ghost’s special ability to explore the world while fighting a legion of Unrepentant Ghosts who have descended upon London since the return of the Dark Spirit.
Orbit Studio and Play on Worlds first announced its plans to bring Charles Dickens’ classic novel to the gaming world earlier this year, after which the two teams posted a trailer to showcase its signature Metroidvania elements and hand-drawn art style. Since then, the developers have led us to believe that the game will be shaping up for an early 2024 launch. But don’t take our word on that; it’s likely we’ll get confirmation from the team at some point before year’s end.
The good news is, both Orbit Studio and Play on Worlds actually went on to release a sneak preview of Ebenezer and the Invisible World back in June. You can check it out for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Ebenezer and the Invisible World will be hitting up Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and PC via Steam at some point in the not-so distant future. As for when it’ll release is still unclear, as both Play on Worlds and Orbit Studio have yet to shed light on its release window. Either way, the general consensus seems to point towards an early 2024 launch — so there’s that, at least.
The good news is, you can actually download a demo of Ebenezer and the Invisible World over on Steam today. If you’d much rather wait for the full release, however, then you could always add it to your wishlist on the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo eShop, or Steam.
Anyway, if you’re keen to stay in the loop while Orbit Studio continues to iron out any last-minute creases, then be sure to check in with the team’s official social feed for all the pre-launch updates here. If anything even the slightest bit noteworthy pops up, we’ll be sure to fill in all the blanks right here on gaming.net.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Ebenezer and the Invisible World when it eventually arrives on consoles and PC? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.