From the ashes of Liverpool studio closures comes a new PS Vita exclusive


It’s an exciting year for the game development community in Liverpool, England. In the past few years, many of the city’s longest standing development studios were shut down, like Wipeout series creator Sony Liverpool and Project Gotham Racing maker Bizarre Creations. From the ashes of these studios, however, are rising new development houses; among them is Lucid Games. Founded by Andy Davidson and a number of other key creators from Bizarre Creations, Lucid has already put out a couple of neat mobile titles like Pixel Smash, and Friday it announced a brand new PS Vita exclusive, Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery.

Published directly by Sony, Jacob Jones is going to be an episodic title, with a visual style that’s a cross between South Park and Nintendo classic Earthbound. The game has you take control of Camp Eagle Feather camper Jacob Jones, who makes friends with none other than Bigfoot. Jacob Jones’ vivid cartoon style is a far cry from the games that made Bizarre Creations famous last decade, but it does bear some of the personality of its more recent games, particularly the early Xbox Live hit Geometry Wars and the neon racer Blur.

Early screens of the game and the trailer show some spatial and logic puzzles that are not unlike those in the Professor Layton series. The game’s script also guarantees some quality humor as it’s written by George Poles, the writer responsible for some hilarious British television like The Charlotte Church Show, as well as some of Sony’s popular Buzz! quiz games.

Jacob Jones may not be the only game coming from Lucid in 2013. Rumors made the rounds in February that Lucid is actually making Project Gotham Racing 5 for the Next Xbox. A teaser image at the company’s homepage read, “Road Opens 2013: Your Journey is about to begin #Coming Soon…” Sources speaking with Polygon backed up the project as well. Bizarre Creations stopped working on that series when it was acquired by Activision, who in turn closed the studio within two years of that purchase.