A new game in the long-absent Turok series has popped up on Steam - entitled Turok: Escape from Lost Valley - but it might not be the kind of game you'd expect. Turok, at least in the realm of video games, is primarily known as a series of first-person shooters featuring a wide variety of weapons, vicious dinosaurs, and plenty of blood. The series has been dormant for over a decade, leaving fans to wonder what was happening with the IP up until now.
The Turok IP dates all the way back to 1954, when it was first serialized as a comic book starring the Native American dinosaur hunter Turok and his younger brother Andar. The series reached the height of its popularity during the dinosaur craze of the '90s, after it was acquired and revamped by Valiant Comics. This led to the beloved N64 classic Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and its multiple sequels. But despite its dedicated fans, publisher interest in the brand waned over time and we haven't seen a new Turok title since the reboot from Disney Interactive Studios in 2008.
However, as spotted by Destructoid, a Steam listing for Turok: Escape from Lost Valley has just appeared. Developed by Pillow Pig Games and published by Universal Studios Interactive, the store page describes it as a "third-person action adventure game" with a "cute but dangerous twist". The description is accompanied by a short trailer that shows off an isometric third-person perspective and an unexpectedly soft and charming aesthetic. Tiny, adorable versions of Turok and Andar are seen climbing obstacles and fighting together, which might imply that cooperative play will be a big factor in Escape from Lost Valley. As of this writing, the game is only confirmed for PC and launches on July 25.
Interestingly, VentureBeat also reports that the game came about as a result of an indie game contest held by Universal in August 2018. The contest invited indie devs to design a PC game based on one of five Universal brands: Turok, Voltron, Battlestar Galactica, Jaws, or Back to the Future. Escape from Lost Valley was one of the winners, garnering $20,000 in prizes overall. Another submission based on DreamWorks' acclaimed modernization of Voltron also won big, taking home $150,000 and a year-long consulting contract.
Escape from Lost Valley has a decidedly more lighthearted tone compared to the previous games based on the IP, and seems to draw its inspiration mainly from the comics. The trailer and screenshots for the game show plenty of deliberately goofy animations and also refer to dinosaur enemies as "honkers", just as Turok did in the original comic books. While the cutesy visuals and cheerier vibe may be off-putting to some longtime Turok fans, there's no denying that getting a new game in the series is better than nothing. The N64 classics have already gotten great remasters, and at least Turok: Escape from Lost Valley might be able to draw in some newer players and rekindle some publisher interest in the IP.