Penumbra (video game series)

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Genre(s)Survival horror
Developer(s)Frictional Games
Publisher(s)Paradox Interactive
Lexicon Entertainment
Writer(s)Thomas Grip, Jens Nilsson, Tom Jubert
Composer(s)Mikko Tarmia
First releasePenumbra: Overture
30 March 2007
Latest releasePenumbra: Requiem
27 August 2008

Penumbra is the name of an episodic survival horror video game series developed by Frictional Games and published by Paradox Interactive and Lexicon Entertainment. The games use the HPL Engine 1, initially developed as a tech demo. Penumbra is notable for its horror styling and for allowing advanced physical interaction with the game environment.[1]

Main series[edit]

Penumbra: Overture (2007)[edit]

Set in the year 2001, Penumbra: Overture follows the story of Philip, a thirty-year-old physicist whose mother recently died. After receiving a mysterious letter from his supposedly dead father, Philip follows a series of clues that lead him to a mysterious location in uninhabited northern Greenland.

Penumbra: Black Plague (2008)[edit]

The story of Black Plague begins as an email sent by Philip to a friend, explaining what has happened to him and begging him to finish the work he could not. The rest of the game then proceeds as a flashback narrated by Philip to his friend in the email, beginning from where the previous game left off.

Penumbra: Requiem (2008)[edit]

A puzzle expansion with nine levels for the Black Plague Gold Edition. The game starts as the last one ends, with Phillip sending the 'kill them all' message. As soon as he finishes, one of the Infected barges in and hits Phillip on the head with something unseen.

Penumbra (Tech Demo)[edit]

The Penumbra series is based on Frictional Games' earlier game "Penumbra Tech Demo", a short tech demo meant to demonstrate the capabilities of the company's HPL Engine 1. The developers admitted that they edited the original engine which was 2D to support 3D environments.

Penumbra: Necrologue (2014)[edit]

Penumbra: Necrologue is a fan-made total conversion modification (mod) for the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It was released on Halloween 2014. The game features voice acting in both English and Russian and an Original Soundtrack. Some tracks from Frictional Games composer Mikko Tarmia were also used. It continues the adventures of Philip after the events of Penumbra: Requiem.

The mod also won the Moddb: Mod of The Year "Editors' Choice 2014": "Best Singleplayer" award.[2]

Twilight of the Archaic (2015)[edit]

On 31 October 2015, Penumbra: Twilight of the Archaic was released, described by the makers as a prequel/spin-off to Necrologue. It answers many questions that people had after finishing the previous game, and is divided into two chapters and where you play as two different female characters. The gameplay is near-identical to that of "Necrologue", with the exception that the player no longer has access to a flashlight, but instead uses a glowstick. The game also features a new unique monster and an original soundtrack by the lead composer Julien Hauspie.[3]

Penumbra: Prisioner of Fate[edit]

On 31 October 2019, Penumbra: Prisioner of Fate, a mod built on Soma_(video_game)'s engine was announced by CounterCurrent Games.[4]


  1. ^ Interview With Frictional Games – Amnesia Linux Gaming News, 25 November 2009 (Article by Maxim Bardin)
  2. ^ "Mod of the Year 2014 - Editors Choice feature".
  3. ^ "Penumbra: Twilight Of The Archaic mod for Amnesia: The Dark Descent". Mod DB.
  4. ^ "Penumbra: Prisioner of Fate trailer".

External links[edit]