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Surf Club gameplay trailer is dreamy, full of wistful vibes

The first gameplay trailer for Surf Club by Olivia Haines shines a spotlight on longing, nostalgia, and rediscovering your hometown.
Surf Club by Olivia Haines

Melbourne-based game designer Olivia Haines has released the first gameplay trailer for their upcoming project Surf Club, ahead of GDC 2023.

The pastel-infused trailer is full of breezy coastal vibes, and features a soothing but nostalgic music track by Eli Rainsberry and M Gewehr. It also shares a good look at the incredibly attractive, plasticine-like art style, which combines with a crunchy, pixelated polygon visual aesthetic, somewhat like A Short Hike.

Check out the trailer below:

It begins by depicting a 1990s home video featuring protagonist Holly and her implied partner Bede, as they dream about leaving their sunny coastal hometown of Olive Bay. It then cuts to the present, as Holly revisits the sleepy town, exploring, visiting the video rental store, eating fish and chips, finding shells on the beach, and reconnecting with Bede through various activities, and, of course, surfing.

‘We were always together,’ Holly reminisces wistfully, ‘where did it all go wrong?’

Read: Explore the pastel-soaked world of Surf Club’s Olivia Haines

In a recent interview, Haines told GamesHub that her inspiration for Surf Club stemmed from her own experiences of nostalgia and sentimentality, born from her move away from her hometown of Noosa in Queensland, Australia. ‘I’ve struggled a lot with homesickness, and I really wanted to capture the area I grew up in,’ she said.

‘I would go home and find I didn’t have much in common with the people I grew up with anymore, and wanted to explore that concept,’ she said.

Surf Club is planned for release on PC and consoles, and is funded by the Victorian State Government through VicScreen. No release date has been set at the time of writing.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran