One of the things that first caught my attention with publisher Still Games‘ Animal Gods, was how much of this game had a Zelda-eque feel, but didn’t quite have the special “spark” that makes the Legend of Zelda titles what they are today.
Animal Gods is the puzzle-platformer where you play as the hero of the story, Thistle. The Animal Gods have all fallen, and as Thistle, your mission is to traverse through dangerous dungeons, and destroy the curse that hinders these once great beasts.
Each dungeon is unique, and equips the player with a special weapon, exclusive to each area. Unfortunately, you can only use one weapon at a time, and you aren’t allowed to carry them with you, from one dungeon to the next. The Snake dungeon gives players a sword, the Spider dungeon gives players a bow, and the Lion dungeon gives players a dash cloak. Each weapon must be used in order to pass through the dungeons, and defeat local enemies (most enemies in this game take the shape of little moving blocks). The one thing I found interesting was players are not given a health system, instead, if you get hit by an enemy, you die immediately and have to start over from the last checkpoint. Luckily the dungeons are not that big, but it was still a bit of a nuisance at times, especially when it was very easy to get too close to an enemy, and instantly take the hit. Attacking and moving is very simple in Animal Gods though; simply use the mouse (left mouse button for sword and cloak, right mouse button for bow, when prompted) and the traditional W, S, A, and D keys for walking.
I have to say, the art style to the game was very fresh and simple, in a good way, and the music was very relaxing; overall, the game had a very Zen-like feel to it! However, there were times where the scenery seemed very foggy, slow and unclear, and I always found myself trying to figure out where I had to go next.
I think the premise to Animal Gods is a great idea, and the art style is something a lot of people can appreciate. It’s very simple, but the way it was executed leaves me to believe this game is trying to be something bigger; something its not. Its those little complexes that really dull the quality of the game. But when I say it was a great idea, I genuinely mean that.
Animal Gods is available now for Linux, Mac, and Windows through Steam. A Nintendo Wii U version will be available later on. For more information on the game, you can check out the developer’s Kickstarter page.