Queen Rules brings analogue craft to game graphics

Berlin studio Red Lab commissioned clay artist Larissa Honsek to bring puzzle game Queen Rules to life

The game challenges players to work their way through 156 levels of number puzzles, all watched over by the floating heads of various clay figures. One user has described Queen Rules as “sort of like Sudoku – on shrooms”.

The characters are all created by Larissa Honsek, a Berlin-based artist who’s been working with clay for the last nine years. She made all of them by hand, sculpting elaborate crowns, jewelry and hairdos for Queen Rules’ cast of royal characters.

It’s Honsek’s first game project, with the artist spending around eight months on the project. She says that characters usually took a day or two to design, build and finish in post-production, while the game’s more complex clay worlds took a couple of weeks to complete.

Red Lab has experimented with non-digital graphics before, previously developing a game made entirely using paper. “I was always fascinated by the blend of digital and the real world,” co-founder and partner Stefanie Palomino told CR. After searching for “the most astonishing and unseen characters”, the studio stumbled on Honsek’s work, feeling that it would create a more emotional attachment with people.

“The game market is over-flooded with the same aesthetics and gameplay (everybody copies everybody) and we really wanted to go for something different,” explains Palomino. “Choosing the colour palette was also very important for us, we wanted to run away from flashy and high contrast tones.”

Queen Rules is available via the app store, priced £1.99; queenrulesgame.com; instagram.com/larissahonsek