'Mark of the Ninja' Devs Announce 'Incognita,' Put Early Alpha Build Up for Sale

Incognita

Klei Entertainment, increasingly prolific studio behind "Shank," "Mark of the Ninja," and "Don't Starve," have announced "Incognita," a turn-based heist game and made its Alpha build available for purchase.

While the game's official website is sparse, the game's trailer and premise are pretty straightforward: a team of three spies, each with his or her own special ability and (I'm guessing) action points, breaks into a high-security facility to snatch a briefcase.

Here's the explanatory trailer:

Without knowing more, "Incognita" seems to have "Shadowrun Returns"' sleek futurism and deliberate patience and, say, "Monaco"'s focus on cooperative play. "Incognita" promises "turn-based tactical espionage," but it's unclear that means stealing different stuff from a variety of maps or if Klei has other sorts of objectives in mind.

"At this time, we have the core mechanic of turn-based espionage, but the major features and content of the game are still being implemented," reads the site. "We expect the game to change significantly as we test and release new updates, and as much as we try to keep them out, we’re expecting bugs along the way."

Thankfully, Klei have plenty of time to figure it out: "Incognita" isn't due until next year. Until then though, you can pony up $17 for early access to the game's alpha build, all subsequent alpha and beta builds, and the final release version.

The buyable-alpha business model was really popularized by "Prison Architect" (and later adapted by Double Fine for "Broken Age"), but Klei made good use of it with "Don't Starve," too. Their sandbox survival horror game came out less than six months ago, and their previous game -- stealth title "Mark of the Ninja" -- was released just six months before that.

That's pretty fast, and Klei's Early Alpha Access model is what makes it happen. As founder Jamie Chen explained to GamesIndustry earlier this year, alpha pre-orders allow developers to take huge risks and develop new features with real-time fan feedback.

If playing a buggy, barebones version of "Incognita" right now, the game's alpha (and soundtrack) are available right here. The thing to remember is that you'll also get a full, complete, quality-assured version of the game next year. You Mac and Linux types will have to wait though -- "Incognita" is currently a Windows came, but other platforms are still being decided.

[Incognita]

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Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter