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Celebrating the enduring cult of Ico

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Even if you have never played Ico, you've played games that have been inspired by (or lifted wholesale) its dreamy, minimalistic, heart-tugging ideals.

Wired's Chris Kohler is celebrating the 12-year-old PlayStation 2 classic with a series of interviews with game designers, in a feature called "The Obscure Cult Game That's Secretly Inspiring Everything." The feature looks at how the game's design principles, and some of its particulars, are showing up again and again in modern games.

One of those developers, whose work is evidently affected by Fumito Ueda's 3D exploration adventure, is Raul Rubio from Spanish studio Tequila Works, which showed a demo of its Ico-inspired Rime at Gamescom last month.

"Ico is not about a boy and a girl escaping from a haunted castle or fighting shadows with a stick," said Rubio. "Ico is a game that transmits strong emotions about solitude, injustice, loss, death, sacrifice, overcoming your own limitations and how two helpless entities can overcome any challenge if they take care of each other. Like a Miyazaki or Disney movie, there's a deep meaning behind these cartoony images. It's also a really simple yet deep story, a classic tragedy."

A HD version of Ico, along with its 2005 successor Shadow of the Colossus, was released by Sony for PlayStation 3 in 2011. Ueda and his development group Team Ico are currently working on long-awaited and much-delayed successor, The Last Guardian.