ULTRA INDIE Daily: Lost In The Dreams of Rouge Noir

Hello, you glorious gluttons for all things indie horror! Are you just starving for the newest of the new, the most unknownest of the unknown? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Ultra-Indie Daily Dose! In this series, we’re going to pick a new game every day from an indie horror creator you’ve probably never heard of. No million-dollar budgets or factory productions. This is the space for the little guy with not but a developer toolkit and a dream. So if you’re down to roll the dice on something different, then stick around and check it out!

Rouge Noir is a surreal game developed by gubebra, it’s a non-euclidean dreamlike labyrinth for the player to explore. It’s full of platforming and environmental puzzle solving. The main hub of the game is a room with three possible gates to choose from. Each gate is full of multiple puzzle rooms to explore but the puzzles and their difficulty aren’t the fun part.

It’s hard to get stuck in these rooms considering you usually are guided down a single path of action that reaches the end. Many rooms don’t even have a puzzle, the door is just opened for you to leave. The fun factor is just how spatially exciting each room is. The game utilizes shaders and portal mechanics to create spaces that are physically impossible but follow a deliberate design. Many of the doors are more straightforward as a simple in and out portal but many of them play with the space having rooms that are a revolving hallway that turns more than normal space would allow or portals that enter and exit from the same door.

The visual design of Rouge Noir enhances the spatial experience. Some walls occasionally have animated shader textures that oscillate and/or bloom with colors. It’s never too assaulting on the sense rather the amount of noise and objects in peripheral view help evoke a dreamlike space. In other words, the environment is filled and familiar enough to navigate however when a place is focused on specifically its existence becomes difficult to fully comprehend. The waves of color that saturate each room creates a pleasant sensation of progress and change between each area.

Narratively it’s difficult to pinpoint if there is one and I don’t believe this is a game that necessarily requires it. Considering how each of the three gates eventually returns back to the same point there’s no indicator that progress happens after a loop is completed. The contents of each gate are also incredibly similar and it’s hard to say if there’s a specific theme they are meant to specialize in. This game feels more like a museum of mesmerizing technical illusions for the player to submit their mind through and I find it very entertaining.

Please give Rogue Noir a try on itch.io. Screenshots alone don’t do the experience justice, seeing them in motion and transform around you is a delightful experience. For more hidden gems check out our lineup of Ultra Indie Reviews at Dread XP.