Surface Tension is a cancelled Playstation 2 strategy / adventure game that was in early development by Krome Studios around 2008. Gameplay would have been similar to a mix between Pikmin and Populous, with players exploring an alien “non-Newtonian fluid” world commanding creatures to resolve puzzles and fight enemies. Krome worked on this prototype to try some new ideas but it was soon pushed aside to work on new projects for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
As we can read in an old article by GamesOn (now closed):
“[Surface Tension] was sort of a cross between Pikmin and Populous,” says Steve. “The surface of the world was this sort of non-Newtonian fluid, and you had to guide your creatures from island to island, but if you had too many in one spot, they’d sink.” The team worked on the game’s development for six weeks, creating a demo which allowed you to order your creatures around, drop markers to attract and repel enemies, and so on. The objective was to send your creatures to the end of the level, directing them to solve problems along the way – chopping down trees to serve as bridges across the water, and generally being completely adorable.
“It was never really meant to get shown,” says Steve. “It was more a test to see if we could do something different.” Developed on Krome’s PS2 engine, the game was abandoned when they began to migrate to the next-gen engines built for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, although they did discuss returning to it after the first episode of Blade Kitten was published – a dream that, sadly, may never be realised.
Only a few tiny screenshots for Surface Tension were published on GameOn, if you know someone who worked on this lost game who may help us preserve more images, please let us know!
Thanks to Maik for the contribution!