Harold Halibut

Review: Harold Halibut

Humanity left Earth during a cold war on the brink of turning into a hot war. They boarded a giant ship called the Fedora, which has kept them safe for 250 years. The ship is the only home these space-faring humans have known since the planet they landed on is entirely made of water. Harold Halibut‘s journey begins here, where he makes an astonishing discovery that will change the course of human history.

That’s the basic premise of Harold Halibut, the title from the German-based Slow Bros. It’s filled with incredible moments and showcases a brilliant art form rarely seen in video games – stop motion.

Harold Halibut’s got some great moments

You play Harold, an assistant to the scientist Jeanne Mareaux working out of the science department. The player’s tasks include fixing the pump stations and assisting Mareaux’s experiments. In addition to Mareaux, the player will also interact with other residents of the ship and a group of aliens from the deep. The game involves completing tasks for these characters and going on adventures with them, allowing the player to get to know each character in the game.

Many residents are lovely, though, so you’ll encounter people who share the ship with you and many of the same perspectives. The Fedora’s environment is filled with beautiful sights, which you’ll often explore thanks to the All Water transit tube system.

In Harold Halibut, the player engages in a narrative-driven experience that primarily involves conversing with various characters. The conversations mainly revolve around the characters sharing their problems with the protagonist, Harold. For instance, the owner of the ship’s general store confides in Harold about his marital issues, the ship’s captain expresses his feelings of being ill-prepared for his role, and Harold must help repair the relationship between several residents.


Harold Halibut provides an immersive world with interactive features that allow you to perform basic tasks. The game is structured into days, and the player’s routine usually revolves around completing people’s tasks. However, the world of Harold Halibut is fascinating and well-designed, which makes these tasks less frustrating.

Stuck On The Bottom of The Ocean With You

Furthermore, you’ll complete several side quests, arcade games, and TV broadcasts that add to the world’s richness, make this world much more natural, and provide a fun and engaging experience for the player. However, there is an opportunity for the gameplay to be more developed, considering the significant effort put into many aspects of the game. Overall, Harold Halibut presents a unique and exciting world with room for improvement, and adding more challenging tasks could further enhance the player’s experience.


I went into Harold Halibut unsure of what to expect of it — thankfully, it’s been a great experience, albeit a bit of a slow start. Harold Halibut is a game that celebrates exploration, dialogue-driven narratives, and leisurely mini-games. However, the game’s true strength lies in its world’s rich tapestry and characters’ depth. Players take on the role of Harold, but the diverse cast of characters truly brings the experience to life. They offer moments of intimacy and a profound sense of immersion. Throughout the 16-hour journey, players encounter a colourful array of nearly two dozen characters, each with a captivating story waiting to be uncovered.

My primary motivation wasn’t just the pursuit of alien encounters or the search for a power source. Instead, it was to establish meaningful connections with the inhabitants of Fedora. Each character had a unique personality, from the playful banter of John Slippie to the Fish Hut Owner, Nigel. They all had depth and complexity, which made them intriguing to explore and often challenged my preconceptions.


While interactions with these characters may seem tangential to the overarching plot, they are integral to fostering a sense of authenticity within Fedora. Despite initial challenges in acquainting myself with the extensive cast, the absence of traditional waypoints encouraged immersive exploration, relying on ship signage to navigate the labyrinthine sectors and fostering genuine connections.


As Harold’s world aboard a spaceship intersects with the alien realm he’s inhabited, he forms unlikely bonds with its residents, the Flumuylum. The aliens are fish-like beings with a philosophy as serene as an ocean breeze, drifting through existence with a laissez-faire attitude far from the hustle and bustle of human life. On the other hand, Harold is entrenched in the monotony of corporate culture, following orders and adhering to rigid rules like a well-oiled cog in a machine. The clash between Harold’s structured reality and the Flumuylum’s laid-back approach sets the stage for an existential showdown that rocks Harold to his core.

In a narrative twist as unexpected as it is jarring, Harold plunges himself into a crash course on existentialism, questioning the very fabric of his existence. It’s a pivotal moment that feels like a sudden detour down a winding road of introspection. The game’s shift from asking questions to providing answers feels like a narrative whiplash, leaving players more bewildered than enlightened.

Amidst Harold’s whirlwind journey of self-discovery, other characters’ stories and the game’s broader plotlines vie for attention, creating a crowded narrative landscape. Themes of industrialization, environmental degradation, and ethical consumption are tantalizingly introduced, only to fade into the background without resolution or exploration. It’s like setting a table with a tempting array of dishes only to leave them untouched, leaving players hungry for more substantial fare.


Living under the sea isn’t so bad when things aren’t actively trying to kill you (lookin’ at you, Rapture). The most enjoyable moments are those spent with the locals, learning about their difficult circumstances. The tale of the residents of Fedora is filled with human moments, and most of them are worth experiencing. Harold Halibut is bound to elicit strong reactions from players, falling squarely into the love-it or leave-it camp. Its handcrafted visual style is a make-or-break affair; it captivates you with its charm or leaves you cold.


[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

Harold Halibut
Review: Harold Halibut
Harold Halibut is bound to elicit strong reactions from players, falling squarely into the love-it or leave-it camp.
Brilliant visuals brought to life
An interesting sci-fi adventure
Some great characters to meet
Didn't Like
Some sections drag out
It can be confusing navigating the ship at times