Top Hat Studios Announces Under The Island

Veteran Daedalic Developers Team Up With Top Hat Studios For Exciting New IP

Top Hat Studios, Inc., is pleased to publicly reveal and announce their partnership with Slime King Games, a new studio launched by veteran game developers formerly of Daedalic Entertainment GmbH, having prior worked on beloved classics such as the Deponia series and Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. Founded by Simone Grünewald, Art Director & Head of Art at Daedalic for almost 10 years, and Johannes Grünewald, animator & senior artist for almost as long, the studio is currently developing their inaugural game, Under The Island. Under The Island will be fully published and supported by A, Inc., with Executive Producers Andy Andi Han and Joseph Brown drawing upon their long history of incubating new indie titles and teams to provide advisory and assistance with the game’s development.


Simone Grünewald is an internationally acclaimed artist and art director, having been responsible for the art direction, character designs, and art layouts for the entire Deponia series, all the while overseeing the majority of art production as Head of Art while at Daedalic Entertainment since 2009. In addition to the entirety of the Deponia series, she also served as character designer and artistic director of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. A well respected illustrator in both traditional and digital mediums, Simone has authored several best selling illustration & how to draw tutorial books, such as Sketch Every Day and Draw What You Love. Johannes Grünewald, an artist and animator by trade also formerly associated with Daedalic Entertainment, has contributed to many different shipped titles as either senior artist or consultant artist, working primarily on animation and special effects for the Deponia series of adventure games. Together, the two have over 24 years of expertise and 20+ shipped games to boast of, and are using this experience to drive the development of Under The Island.


Under The Island captures the feeling of childhood wonder and 90’s Saturday morning cartoons as an expansive player-agency focused adventure RPG, focusing on the joys of exploring and discovering hidden nooks & crannies, secrets, defeating dastardly baddies and finding otherworldly things. Our plucky and courageous heroine of the story, Nia, ends up moving to the distant Seashell Island due to her family’s work as archeologists. After some mishaps and not the… best of starts with certain things, Nia runs into and “befriends” (actually, really annoys) local studious teenager Avocado, whose reserved nature clashes with Nia’s brash and impulsive behavior. However, the two end up stumbling upon a startling secret together: the island is doomed to sink into the ocean!

Step into Nia’s shoes, and battle ferocious monsters, solve intricate puzzles, and explore different, unique, vibrant ecosystems teeming with life. Along the way, you’ll encounter a cast of unique and lovable characters, each with their own story to tell. Uncover the secrets hidden deep with the island, and find a way to save your new home before it’s too late.


Under The Island emphasizes the freedom and fluidity of adventure, allowing for multiple playthroughs as the player chooses what to tackle, and in what order.

  • Embark on a thrilling adventure through a vibrant island world, filled with at least 6 different diverse biomes that change according to the day/night cycle and weather.
  • Meet fascinating characters just waiting to get to know you with their own stories to tell!
  • Or get foiled by and bicker with Avocado, that’s fine too…
  • Traverse treacherous dungeons and caves, ranging from sentient greenhouses, to frigid ice caverns, to crazy saw mills, gathering unique items and artifacts to become stronger and unlock new abilities.
  • Fight weird enemies like eggplants that can’t stop throwing up on the floor, and wolves that somehow dig underground. And walking onions that would love nothing more than to whack you with their stalks… discover new ways to fight them, and new strategies with the artifacts, loot, and upgrades you discover around the island!
  • Embrace the freedom and fluidity of an adventure directed by yourself, exploring the island’s nooks and crannies at your own pace and discovering hidden secrets along the way.
  • Experience the world in unique different ways from playthrough to playthrough, with different events and challenges to encounter and overcome, all depending on the order you decide to approach them in.
  • Uncover the secrets of the island’s ancient past, piecing together clues to unravel the truth behind its mysterious sinking.
  • Befriend & help animals and treat them with snacks! Maybe some of them can help you?

Under The Island also features music by Miyoko Takaoka, whose long career as a composer/sound designer has seen her associated with many classic gaming franchises, such as Ys, Sonic The Hedgehog, Granstream Saga, Terranigma, and many more.​ Additional music is provided by Edward Marianukroh, most known for contributing to Chained Echoes.

Further news and announcements regarding the platform availability and distribution of Under The Island will be made in the future. However, a Steam page is available with extra media for the game. In addition, a preview of the game is available for attendees of this year’s PAX East expo.

Under The Island on Steam:


About Top Hat Studios, Inc.

Top Hat Studios is your favorite publisher of fine, indie game delicacies. With a focus on supporting games all the way from blockbuster productions through to niche and boutique experimentations, the company is proud to incubate indie games and developers of all sizes. Top Hat Studios diverse portfolio includes hits such as Frogun, Ova Magica, SONZAI, Labyrinth of the Demon King, and many more. Amongst its many functions, Top Hat Studios provides a full suite of publishing, business development, advisory, creative media, tools, co-development, and engineering & porting expertise working with all major engines and codebases.

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