Humankind and Mother Nature on a collision course barely turns out well, especially when she’s taken the form of an enormous White Wolf of the majestic kind. This time however humanity prevails, if only for the time being, the Wolf’s hurled into exile and the world turns into an utter mess anyway.
Someone needs to get her back and restore balance to the current state of affairs, for which her cub is the most natural candidate; together, cub and you, player, will have to cross expanses of desolate deserts and lush islands set abnormally above sea level to find Amai.
That is quite possibly the only trace of discernible human language you’ll find in the game, Zimbabwean Shona to be precise, for Amai resorts to conveying its lore in the form of ancient pictographs rather than conventional dialogue.
These pictographs will litter the platformer’s environments, have been developed from the ground up with much study of prehistoric civilizations on Squirrel Duo’s part, and are really meant to provide incentive for player exploration.
The lack of dialogue and a very limited UI are also accompanied by absolutely zero loading screens, save for one post-menu, attempting to stay true to its inspirations à la Journey. Indeed platforming forms the crux and so do puzzles, the latter being of the environmental kind that encourage prudent observation and use of the cub’s skills.
Difficulty is varying as these puzzles grow progressively unpredictable in their nature, broken by moments of artifact and item hunting. On Indiegogo Squirrel Duo states that while the foundations have been laid, any funding will go towards furnishing a story of 5-odd hours, multiple endings, 100+ platforming/puzzle sections, improved animations, art and sound.
A Q4 2018 and potential console releases are also in the pipeline, but I’d recommend some of it be spent in fleshing out world/environment detail. The low-poly art and neon-ridden populace are pretty, no doubt, but for a game that promises a ‘rich, colorful world to explore’ and some brilliant concept art to boot, I’d like for the world to be considerably more inviting and alive than it currently appears to be.
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