Based in Hamburg, Germany
27th October 2022
Xbox Game Pass
Humble Games Collection
SIGNALIS is a classic survival horror experience with a unique aesthetic, full of melancholic mystery. Investigate a dark secret, solve puzzles, fight off nightmarish creatures and navigate dystopian, surreal retrotech worlds as Elster, a technician Replika searching for her lost dreams.
After her ship crash-landed on a remote, snow-covered planet, the Replika Elster is looking for her missing crew member. In her search she wanders through the ruins of a seemingly abandoned underground labor camp, surreal visions of cosmic horror, and flashbacks to a past that isn't hers. As the lines between reality and dream blur, Elster has to venture into the depths below the planet's surface to learn what has happened to her and why - but mysterious encoded radio signals and a Replika with dark intentions are not the only obstacles she has to overcome along the way.
Inspired by classics of the genre like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, the gameplay of SIGNALIS is a love-letter to the golden era of survival horror. Central to the game is its unsettling mood and multilayered story. To advance in the game, the player has to solve various puzzles by breaking codes, using radio signals or by combining objects. Combat is only a last resort since ammunition is scarce and enemies are not easily defeated, so players must carefully choose when to fight and when to run.
In 2014 SIGNALIS started out as the very first digital game that rose-engine started to develop. The first prototype looked very different - it was a 2D side-scroller in a much lower resolution. Many iterations and a Bachelor thesis later it has evolved into a top-down third-person survival horror experience using low-poly 3D models and 2D sprites to create fluid animations blended with a pixel-perfect look.
SIGNALIS is published by Humble Games. Thanks to them both rose-engine members have been able to develop SIGNALIS fulltime and from home starting in 2020 and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
rose-engine are very honored that Guillermo del Toro presented SIGNALIS at the 2021 Tribeca Games Spotlight digital showcase.
During Gamescom 2021 it was announced that SIGNALIS will be included in Xbox Game Pass upon release.
The Release Date Trailer premiered during the Guerrilla Collective Show on 11th June 2022 and revealed the release date of 27th October 2022 as well as two additional platforms that SIGNALIS will release on: PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
A physical Japanese release (contains all announced languages) for Switch and PS4 will be available starting on the 27th October, thanks to Playism. It features an exclusive red cover artwork and includes some special pre-order bonus items we designed: a double-sided A4 poster, character portrait stickers, and an Operation Penrose button (while supplies last).
A physical release for the rest of the world for Switch and PS4 will be available on 21st February 2023 and is available for pre-order at local and online retailers. It will feature the iconic original cover artwork, and a special lenticular print "Gestalt Photograph", resembling an important key item from the game, as a pre-order bonus item. Due to unexpectedly high demand, the release of the SIGNALIS Physical Editions (PS4+NSW) in Europe, Middle East, Africa & Australia will have to be delayed to March 17th 2023. This will not affect the US version.
A demo of SIGNALIS was available during the 2022 Steam Next Fest, and at the Humble Games booth at PAX East 2022, Gamescom 2022 and PAX West 2022, as well as at the Playism booth at the Tokyo Game Show 2022.
- Classic survival horror gameplay.
- Striking pixel-art anime aesthetic.
- Slow-paced, creeping surreal psychological horror with a dense atmosphere.
- Unique, Eurasian cold-war retro-tech sci-fi take on cosmic horror.
- Highly detailed first-person event & puzzle screens.
- Top-down exploration and combat.
- Multilayered story weaving together personal conflict and cosmic horror.
SIGNALIS Official Launch Trailer YouTube
SIGNALIS Gameplay Overview YouTube
SIGNALIS Official Release Date Trailer YouTube
SIGNALIS Tribeca Games Festival Trailer - Intro by Guillermo Del Toro YouTube
SIGNALIS Announcment Trailer YouTube
Logo & Icon
Awards & Recognition
- "21st Anifilm Festival 2023 (CZ)" Nominee: Game Award - Excellence in Art.
- "Horror Game of the Year 2022 (#HorrorGOTY2022)" Winner Jury & Player's Choice
- "34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards (2023)" Nominee: Outstanding Video Game.
- "12th Annual New York Game Awards (2023)" Winner: Best Hidden Gem.
- "Gayming Awards 2023" Nominee for Best LGBTQ+ Indie Game Award, Authentic Representation Award, Best LGBTQ+ Character Award.
- "Tribeca Games Official Selection" Tribeca Film Festival, 9th-20th June 2021. SIGNALIS was presented by Guillermo del Toro during the showcase.
- "Finalist of the 6th Strasbourg Indie Games Contest, Special Mention" Part of the FEFFS - Festival Europeen du Film Fantastique de Strasbourg, 14th-23rd September 2018.
- "PAX East 2018 selection by the Goethe Institut" We were selected, together with 8 other German game dev studios, to exhibit SIGNALIS at PAX East, April 2018.
- "Hamburg Games Culture Exhibition" The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, had SIGNALIS on display from October 2016 until April 2017.
- "PLAY Creative Gaming Festival 14 & 15" Early prototypes of SIGNALIS were shown at both events in Hamburg, Germany.
- "SIGNALIS is a masterpiece of a survival horror game. But to even refer to it as a survival horror game is to criminally undersell the things that are so brilliant about it. It's a game about love, it's a game about connection. But beyond all of that SIGNALIS is a puzzle box of some sort. It's a hyper-dense web of clues, symbolism, reference and homage that all seem to gesture towards some larger truth, something that reaches beyond the confines of this game. But the aspect of SIGNALIS that I've found the most compelling is the way it pushes back against our human urge to understand it. It's a mirror that reflects back to us our compulsive need to fully understand stories, and it asks: to what end? [...] I think SIGNALIS is a self-destructing emotion delivery mechanism. It's not about literal interpretations, it's not about piecing together clues to understand things in an analytical way. It's about the deeper human truth that lurks underneath all of these things. SIGNALIS doesn't need you to understand, it doesn't want you to understand - it wants you to feel."
- Jeremy Jayne, Youtube / Noclip Crew
- "The athmosphere of SIGNALIS is unsettling, heartbreaking and comforting. The sadness is gentle, and the horror is mostly quiet and creeping. It's a game about ghosts and dreams, identity and memory, a mystery that cannot be fully solved."
- eurothug4000, Youtube / eurothug4000
- "A retrotech horror game with android lesbians was the 2022 masterpiece we didn’t know we needed. SIGNALIS truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and it took the indie horror community by storm when it offered cosmic dread, secret endings, and hidden lore that the dedicated fanbase is still trying to uncover and decipher."
- Blair Durkee and Annabelle Cook, GLAAD
- "Much like how I use Devil May Cry 5 as the measuring stick for how good a hack-and-slash game is, whenever I brave playing a survivor horror game I do so with the hope that its story measures up to Silent Hill 2. Big shoes to fill, I know. Signalis not only manages to fill those shoes, it damn near tore the seams off of them joints with how bloody good it was. I’d even argue that it’s better than Silent Hill 2."
- Isaiah Colbert, Kotaku
- "Created by a Germany-based duo Rose Engine, Signalis provides an experience that somehow both submerges itself in its inspiration, and produces something fresh and juicy. Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Ghost in the Shell, Evangelion. DNA from all of those and a deluge of horror material bleed into Signalis. The result? An indie game unlike anything I’ve seen before. [...] A game that knows what it wants to do and wraps up neatly by its conclusion. Funnily enough, that’s what made me play it six times to completion by the time of this article’s publication. Signals respects your time, and strikes words like slog and needless from my mind when I play it."
- Connor Makar, VG247
- "Signalis is my favourite survival horror title in a long, long time. Its stellar visual representation includes pixel art cutscenes, low-poly retrofuturistic environments and technological interfaces with all its pixelated typography and error codes. It is stylistically one of the most impressive games I've ever played. [...] The gameplay is accompanied by a haunting soundtrack that elaborates on the pain and beauty of both love and grief. Many of its songs are entrancingly bittersweet, like fragmented, fading memories of happier times that deteriorate as time callously moves on. Very few titles feel like they've captured everything I want in a game as well as affected me so deeply. My time with Signalis will stick with me for many years to come and I can confidently say it's my game of the year for 2022."
- eurothug4000, Youtube / eurothug4000
- "Favourite video game soundtrack of 2022. [...] The soundtrack by artists Cicada Sirens and 1000 Eyes goes beyond just taking cues from Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill scores and becomes a fully-formed entity, something that seems congruent with the themes of the game itself.
Also, like the game, though it’s not part of the soundtrack release, it makes incredible use of public domain pieces by Rachmaninof, Chopin, Schubert and more to engage with them in its conversation."
- Lena Raine, VGC
- "The depiction of love in Signalis is heartbreakingly beautiful. [...] Signalis is a game about human connection and our need for it. More than any undead monster or cosmic horror, the biggest source of fear is the sense of being alone - incomplete. [...] Signalis is a masterful recreation of classic survival horror. Mechanically, it ticks every box that the genre requires. Yet this indie gem shines in how it evolves the formula, both mechanically and narratively for more modern audiences. Developer rose-engine pushed beyond the boundaries of a simple homage to create something that stands on its own as the best horror game of the year."
- Willa Rowe, Inverse
- "Das Hamburger Entwicklerstudio Rose-Engine hat nicht nur eine gelungene Kombination aus Silent Hill und Resident Evil erschaffen, sondern eine der besten Survival-Horror-Erfahrungen des letzten Jahrzehnts ins Leben gerufen. Warum SIGNALIS so fantastisch ist und warum alle Survival-Horror-Fans dieses Meisterwerk spielen müssen, erfahrt ihr in der neuen Episode."
- Benjamin Horlitz und Björn Balg, Ink Ribbon Radio - Der Horrorspiel Podcast
- "By the end of it, everything swells together to create something that lingers in the back of the mind, gnawing away like a memory desperate to resurface. SIGNALIS is a game that I will never forget. And I will never forget the promise that was made between ELSTER and Ariane — of their love as selfish and cruel or beautiful and compassionate as it may be — that persisted through endless cycles of distortion and tragedy."
- Kazuma Hashimoto, Siliconera
- "It’s plodding, it’s brutal, it’s unnerving without venturing too far into outright horror, and I’m absolutely loving everything about it. I love the animation, as your android paces cautiously through the hallways, or smoothly loads another clip into her firearm. I love the way the world design somehow presents Japanese sci-fi with an East German twist. I love the writing, which sees the story unfold in the traditional “fragments of notes left throughout the world” kind of way, only done to perfection. And I *love* the sound design, some of the starkest you’ll come across this year, making it an absolute must to play with headphones."
- Luke Plunkett, Kotaku
- "For survival horror fans, and lovers of cosmic sci-fi terror, this is a no-brainer. Signalis is a fresh, reinvigorating take on the games that inspired it. Thinking back on each hour, through each locale and their mysteries, I’m repeatedly won over by its impressive style-swapping, carefully balanced tension, brilliant art and sound design, and engaging puzzles."
- Eric Van Allen, Destructoid
- "A sapphic, sci-fi fever dream that finds horror and beauty among the stars, Signalis is dense and alluring to the last. [...] I can't tell you what events literally happen in Signalis, the debut game for studio Rose Engine, or in what order they occur. The entire game is an intentionally hazy nightmare. But how it made me feel is clear as day, because it is a profoundly affecting experience, both in the unnerving dread of its moment to moment exploration and fighting and also in the larger arc of its story: a rumination on identity and memory that haunts me. I've thought of little else since I finished it. Now, as if struck by a cosmic curse, I intend to bring anyone who will listen into the fold of this masterful survival horror."
- Sam Greer, Eurogamer
- "The game draws on 19th-century paintings, David Lynch and the halcyon days of playing the original ‘Resident Evil 2’"
- M.D. Rodrigues, Washington Post
- "Horror is hard to do right, especially when not relying on cheap, reliable jump-scares. It’s why the original Silent Hill trilogy are regarded as classics, while their many sequels and imitators are largely forgotten. Despite being the debut release from tiny two-person indie studio Rose-Engine, sci-fi horror adventure Signalis joins that coveted pantheon as one of the best in the genre, and a personal favorite from a jam-packed year."
- Dominic Tarason, PC Gamer
- "Whether it’s the high pitch of a radio signal or the low growl of an android zombie, Signalis’ sound design is impeccable. And so too is its music. Co-composers 1000 Eyes and Cicada Sirens weave together a plaintive and occasionally abrasive score that easily complements such classic arrangements as Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” Combined with the eerie postindustrial sci-fi setting, both the sound design and the music create an atmospheric and immersive experience that draws the player in."
- Toussaint Egan, Polygon
- "Ahondando en el existencialismo, abusos de poder y el lado más oscuro del psicoanálisis."
- Daniel "Fullbull" Rubio, NaviGames
- "It’s a fantastic tribute to what inspired it and a wonderfully intense experience in its own right."
- Samuel Moreno, Phenixx Gaming
- "Signalis’ intentional ambiguity kept me anxious all the time. Don’t expect easy exposition: Signalis is dreamlike, often skipping ahead, leaving the player to figure out how much time has passed. First-person 3D flashback sequences further jumble the timeline, impossible scenes interspersed with more plausible memories. While your mission is always simple—a downward spiral in search of a missing person—many of the finer points are left up to interpretation."
- Dominic Tarason, PC Gamer
- "The strange turns the story takes, and the increasingly oppressive atmosphere, was an almost personal experience that matched the intimidating levels of initial discovery found in the original Resident Evil.
I do not write this lightly. I have grown as a horror fan thanks to the Resident Evil franchise, so I’m telling you here that it’s a big deal that I consider the impact Signalis can have to be as effective as something I played decades ago."
- Neil Bolt, PlayStation Universe
- "“Remember our promise” - Indie dev duo rose-engine introduce their atmospheric and unsettling first game."
- Barbara Wittmann, PlayStation.Blog
- "“Erinnere dich an unser Versprechen” – Das Indie-Entwickler-Duo rose-engine stellt sein atmosphärisches und unheimliches erstes Spiel vor."
- Barbara Wittmann, PlayStation.Blog
- "Flatly, it's hard to understate how stunning Signalis is to watch. Low-res chambers viewed from fixed angles give way to higher-detailed (if still wonderfully crunchy) 3D models cockpits and airlocks, fake first-person sequences, and character moments that punch with retro-anime drawn closeups. It all works, save for a UI that's maybe too aesthetic for its own good."
- Natalie Clayton, PC Gamer
- "Whether you’re looking at the sci-fi environments, the stylized character and monster designs, or the eerie text that keeps flashing across the screen, Signalis is a work of art."
- Nicola Kapron, COGconnected
- "It's not every game that gets an introduction from contemporary horror aficionado Guillermo del Toro."
- Dave Trumbore, Collider
- "Characters painted in sharp anime tones move from abandoned corridors to otherworldly voids rendered in stark reds and blacks. Visuals switch seamlessly between low-fi fixed cameras, hyper-detailed environmental close-ups and hand-drawn figures that sit uncomfortably between 2D and 3D. Replicants grappling against dimensionless existential threats through the lens of a CRT screen? It's a powerful look."
- Natalie Clayton, Rock Paper Shotgun
- "Sci-fi survival horror Signalis’s debut trailer is chilling"
- Dominic Tarason, Rock Paper Shotgun
rose-engine allows for the contents of rose-engine to be published through video broadcasting services for any commercial or non-commercial purposes. Monetization of videos created containing assets from rose-engine is legally & explicitly allowed by rose-engine. This permission can be found in writing at http://rose-engine.org/press/sheet.php?p=signalis.
Google Drive download link
for more screenshots, game logo, fact sheet drive.google.com.
Twitter Dev Blog
See the most recent screenshots and updates at twitter.com.
The official website for SIGNALIS can be found at rose-engine.org.
SIGNALIS Steam Page
Wishlist the game here! store.steampowered.com.
1:46h, 56 tracks, by 1000 Eyes and Cicada Sirens signalis-ost.bandcamp.com.
The full credits for SIGNALIS can be found at rose-engine.org.
Yuri Stern (they/them) and Barbara Wittmann (she/her) are two illustrators and game designers currently residing in Hamburg, Germany. Together, they have been making analogue and digital games since 2014.
More information on rose-engine, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Game design, programming, art direction, pixel art, concept art, 3d modeling, writing & sound design - rose-engine
3D & 2D animation, game design, concept art, add. prop art, add. writing, administration - rose-engine
Sound Design (external)
presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks