One to watch: Harold Halibut

What possible better setup can you have than Wallace and Gromit meets Bioshock? Well new adventure game Harold Halibut has raised a few eyebrows attempting just that in it’s new teaser. But can the stylish design carry our hero Harold to his €150,000 kickstarter goal?

Would you kindly watch the making of Lumino City. Lumino City was released in 2015 to critical praise and went on to sell pretty well. However I feel it’s fair to say that in the wider gaming communities it slipped under the radar of most. Even I confess to not having actually sat down yet and played the game. Getting your game played by people is hard work. As a result in the world of indie-gaming it’s relaxing to play it safe and keep your game small and simple; minimize the risk.

So I always have to tip my hat in a sign of respect to smaller game studios who not only decide to make a game, but decide to push the envelope and add in designs that could be huge technical hurdles in development.  Lumino City decided to make all it’s levels by hand in the real world. And the team behind Halibut Harold are going one step further by making, well, everything by hand.

Harold Halibut’s story starts in the 1970s where humanities last hope of survival was put into a spaceship called the Generation Ship. It’s mission; to find new planets to colonise. Due to some petty squabbling in the cockpit the ship crashed into a planet covered entirely by ocean and proceeded to sink to it’s depths. Fast-forward a hundred or so years and the player takes on the role of titular character Harold the janitor.

What I find most charming of Harold Halibut is the combination of influences that are drawn upon and combined to create a unique gaming experience.  The aesthetics and setting borrows on elements of Bioshock’s Rapture. And being that the game is handmade the attention to detail is second to none. Drops of water, puddles, and damp posters all build a setting that is dying to be soaked up by the player. The storyline builds on this by adding a layer of sci-fi with mumblings of Ridely Scott’s Alien design being present in every corridor.

Yet despite this brutal setup the game adds a layer of Monty Python humour and cartoon whimsy. Harold himself is a real underdog hero; a Guyrbush Threepwoord, a Roger Wilco or a Manny Calvera. Just the type of character I love to play. The loser still living with his mother likely to be called to adventure within five minutes of the game. And within the environment design we’re subject to small details that demonstrate the game knows not to take itself to seriously. The water-goods store is called Slippies.  And characters eat hot-dogs called Water Weiners.

All in all it’s a promising game and Harold Halibut may just become one of the game’s we’re all talking about in 2018. Let’s just hope the developers get some help hitting that Kickstarter goal, eh readers?

Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!