Vinyl time-travel adventure Across the Grooves is out next month

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“If listening to a record could change your past, what would you change?” That’s the question posed by a trailer for Across the Grooves, a hand-painted musical adventure that’s coming to Nintendo Switch and PC on June 17.

Developed by French indie studio Nova-box, Across the Grooves tells the story of Alice, a young woman whose stable, uneventful life gets turned around when she receives a vinyl record from an ex-lover, Ulysse. As she listens to it, she finds herself reliving defining moments of her past—only to find that everything’s changed when she returns to the present. What follows is a journey of self-discovery as she tracks Ulysse across Europe.

The game is described as a work of interactive graphic novel where “every decision you make as Alice, no matter how small, changes who she is”. One of the most intriguing things about it what’s touted as a “mood-adapting musical score”—a soundtrack that adapts to the choices you make and the mood of each scene.

Related: If you like the look of Across the Grooves, you might also be interested in Dordogne, a watercolour adventure due out for Switch and PC next year.

This “novel-size adventure” is depicted in the style of European graphic novels, made up of “hundreds” of hand-drawn images. It will take players through numerous different locations across Europe, each full of colourful characters.

A screenshot from Across the Grooves, showing a young woman kneeling on the floor listening to music, with another woman in chair beside her. The text bubble reads "The summer of our love."

Nova-box is an independent studio based in Bordeaux, France. It started out doing AI and user experience design for other developers, before moving into creating and publishing their own narrative-focused games, including Echoes, Season 1: Greenhearth (2013-2015), Along the Edge (2016), and Seers Isle (2018).

Across the Grooves is coming to Nintendo Switch, itch.io, and Steam on June 17. If you like the look of it, wishlisting it on Steam is a good way to show your support to the developers.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.